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The Corfu peninsula of Kanoni

Last updated on November 26th, 2018 at 09:58 am

Kanoni – The peninsula south of Corfu town

The peninsula of Kanoni
The peninsula of Kanoni

The cosmopolitan Kanoni is one of the most famous Corfu sights, covers the entire peninsula south of Corfu town, in antiquity there was the ancient city of Corfu founded in the 8th century BC by Dorians who came from Korinth, (a Greek town near Athens), with the ancient temple of Artemis, the monuments and the citadel at the present location of Analipsis.

Fittingly the port stood almost where the airport is currently.
On the hill facing the departure terminal is a piece of wall believed to be 2500 years old, all that is left of the watchtower and wall of the ancient city.

Residents here often find cannon balls and pieces of pottery when they are gardening.
Further inland lies the remains of the temple of Athena, and just outside the gates of Mon Repos Palace is a large site still being evaluated by archaeologists.

Apart from these, and the foundations of a small temple actually in the grounds of Mon Repos there is little else left now as Kanoni has become a very popular suburb of Corfu Town and has a number of hotels, as well as many apartments.

Kanoni got its name because on the promontory at the end of the peninsula was situated a battery cannon that has been there since 1798- pointing out to see to protect the island.
In Victorian times it was a popular stroll in the cool of the evening, and we can imagine the men in their uniforms and the ladies in crinolines.
Today’s visitors are more comfortably dressed, but still enjoy taking a coffee at one of the bars enjoying superb views over Vlacherna convent- a small whitewashed building that is said to be a miniature replica of the famous Vlacherna convent in Constantinople- better known now as Istanbul.

Plane spotters also abound here as the view of take-offs and landings at the airport are uninterrupted, at times the watchers are higher than the approaching aircraft.
Mon Repos Palace, birthplace of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, has now become extremely popular with joggers and walkers- its many trees providing welcome shade.
A walk through the grounds is always pleasant, and an escape from the crowds in town.
The palace itself houses a small but interesting museum, with both permanent and temporary exhibits.

Tucked away near Mon Repos is one of Corfu’s most beautiful churches, the 10th century church os St Jason and St Sosipatros- the two missionaries who converted the islanders to Christianity.
The church is one of the few examples of Byzantine architecture on Corfu, domed and arched, it stands in a large square.
On the walls are the remains of frescoes, and the custodian welcomes visitors and will open on request if he is working on his land next door.
This church is the finest example of the Byzantine heritage, but there is a signposted trail to the remains of another four churches in the area, showing that this sleepy suburb was once the hub of a thriving metropolis.

The theory is that the harbour gradually silted up and became impassable for shipping, so that the townspeople moved to the present site of Corfu Town, where a folrt was contructed to protect them.
The historical truth is completely different though, the ancient city of Corfu destroyed by Visigoths invaders in the 5th century AD and this forced the residents to abandon it.

Some mysteries remain from the dim and distant past…….on an estate on the promontory is an ancient lemon eucalyptus tree, believed by tree specialists to be 900 years old- how did it get there when Australia, home of the eucalyptus, was not visited by westerners until the 18th century.
Near it is a ficus, the third largest in the world, also a rarity in these climes.
What sailors brought these back, or were seed randomly blown ashore from one of the ships at anchor in the harbour below?

Kanoni has beautiful perbble beaches and also offers the most magnificent views of the Mouse island with the monastery of the Pantocrator and Vlaherna the monastery with which is joined via a small bridge.
The area has many large hotels, restaurants, clubs and other shops that turn Kanoni in to a busy tourist destination, there is also the Corfu Casino housed in a hotel of the area.

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