corfu town Travel Blog› entry 1 of 4 › view all entries
Our first stop on the tour was a brief walk to the old Corfu town itself with the fort walls visible in the near distance. Here are some of the highlights we saw:
Largest square in Corfu and is a raised terrace which was created for defensive purposes under Venetian rule. It basically consists of two squares divided in the middle by Viktoros Dousmani St (which is where the taxis and parking areas are). The northern side is flanked by the Palace of Saint Michael and George, and the home of museum of Asian Art and the Municipal Gallery. There is a garden known as the People's Garden which has the municipal cafe, a common meeting point in town.
Dating back to the 6th century A.D., the Old Fortress is connected to town with the help of a bridge, which extends 60 meters and made entirely of iron. It was first fortified by the Goths. Between the 6th and 13th centuries, the entire town of Corfu was located within the fortifications of this structure. It was during the 15th century the Venetians took siege and then renovated it constructing walls and bastions.
St Spyridon's Church
The present one was built in 1590 which replaced a much older version and is dedicated to the island's patron saint. Ironically, he was not born in Corfu but a bishop from Cyprus who had performed miracles. He saved the island from famine once, twice from plague, and invasion by the Turks. Many children are named after him - Spiros (boys) and Spiridoula (girls) in his honor. The church is Greek Orthodox with his silver casket visible, opened for those wishing to pray directly to the saint. Respectful and apporpriate attire is required to enter the church. No hats and absolutely no photos were allowed while we were inside. We only have the pic of the tower from a distance. I tried to get a better photo when we were closer but because the streets/alley ways were so narrow, we couldn't get the church in the picture from that close of a distance.