Choose the best beach for you and your family or friends. The earliest reference to Corfu is the Mycenaean Greek word ko-ro-ku-ra-i-jo ("man from Kerkyra") written in Linear B syllabic script, c. 1300 BC. [citation needed]. According to the myth, Poseidon, God of the Sea, fell in love with Nymph Korkira, kidnapped her and brought her on this island. Coypus, fallow deer, Indian crested porcupines, Siberian chipmunks have been observed recently but they are escapees and only the coypu has viable population. Corfu (/kɔːrˈf(j)uː/, US also /ˈkɔːrf(j)uː/) or Kerkyra (Greek: Κέρκυρα, romanized: Kérkyra, pronounced [ˈcercira] (listen))[a] is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, of the Ionian Islands,[2] and, including its small satellite islands, forms the margin of the northwestern frontier of Greece. Recognizing St. Spyridon's role in the defence of the island Venice legislated the establishment of the litany (λιτανεία) of St Spyridon on 11 August as a commemoration of the miraculous event, inaugurating a tradition that continues to this day. The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat. From the twin peaks of the new site, the medieval city received its new name, Korypho (Κορυφώ, "city on the peak") or Korphoi (Κορφοί, "peaks"), whence the modern Western name of "Corfu". The ancient city of Corfu, known as Korkyra, took part in the Battle of Sybota which was a catalyst for the Peloponnesian War, and, according to Thucydides, the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time. Old town of Corfu Corfu town, especially for its oldest part, is one of the most charming and romantic places of all the Greece. Hera's temple is situated at the western limits of Mon Repos, close to Kardaki Temple and to the northwest. Other coaches drive up to twice a day to Athens and Thessaloniki. The whole island, composed as it is of various limestone formations, presents great diversity of surface. [54] In 1716 Antonio Vivaldi, on commission by the republic of Venice, composed the oratorio Juditha triumphans to commemorate this great event. What is ancient Greece most known for? [95][96] The tomb and the funerary sculpture of a lion were discovered in 1843 during demolition works by the British Army who were demolishing a Venetian fortress in the location of Garitsa hill in Corfu. Drake mentions Corfu in a song. Thucydides. [132], On Good Friday, from the early afternoon onward, the bands of the three Philharmonic Societies, separated into squads, accompany the Epitaph processions of the city churches. Old Perithia. The small port of Lefkimmi is also to be found at the southernmost tip of the island on Cape Kavos, offering a ferry service to the mainland. The landing strip at the airport in Corfu is incredibly close to the sea. Today the palace houses the Museum of Asian art of Corfu . The castle is a tourist attraction today. [54] The same day, the Venetian fleet encountered the Ottoman fleet off the Corfu Channel and defeated it in the ensuing naval battle. The traditional cuisine of Corfu includes delicacies that will appeal to both the ordinary traveller as well as the most demanding gourmet. Consequently the Turks were never able to create a beachhead and to occupy the island.[105]. Its history is full of battles and conquests. [130] The opera house of Corfu during the 18th and 19th centuries was the Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo, named after the neighbouring Catholic cathedral; it was later converted into the City Hall. Two high and well-defined ranges divide the island into three districts, of which the northern is mountainous, the central undulating, and the southern low-lying. It was in the Venetian period that the city saw the erection of the first opera house (Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo di Corfù) in Greece. The Ionian Academy was an institution that maintained the tradition of Greek education while the rest of Greece was still under Ottoman rule. The location of Gardiki at the narrow southwest flank of Corfu provided protection to the fields and the southern lowlands of Corfu and in combination with Kassiopi Castle on the northeastern coast of the island and Byzantine Angelokastro protecting the northwestern shore of Corfu, formed a triangular line of defence which protected Corfu during the pre-Venetian era. The bridge, arching over the road, spanned the distance between the lower gardens of Achilleion and the nearby beach; its remains, a monument to imperial vanity, are an important landmark on the highway. From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe. Avifauna is extensive, with around 300 bird species recorded since the 19th century. With more than 130 miles of coastline, Corfu offers a … There are more than 2 million olive trees on the island of Corfu adding to its lushness and the food tables. These areas were thoroughly pillaged as in past encounters. The island has again become an important port of call and has a considerable trade in olive oil. [94], The Tomb of Menecrates or Monument of Menecrates is an Archaic cenotaph in Corfu, built around 600 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra (or Corcyra). [54][125][126] The legend also states that the Saint caused a tempest which was partly responsible for repulsing the Ottomans. Famous Graves in Greece, a Find A Grave. Corfu is known for its Mediterranean cuisine dominated by local products that include fish, olive oil, honey, goat cheese or yogurt. Just outside the modern town are the ancient remains of Paleopolis, the ancient city of Corfu on the peninsula of Kanoni near to the summer palace of Mon Repos. On 8 July the Ottoman fleet, carrying 33,000 men, sailed to Corfu from Buthrotum and established a beachhead at Ipsos. Venice honoured von der Schulenburg and the Corfiots for successfully defending the island. ΜΟΝΙΜΟΣ Πληθυσμός", https://corfutvnews.gr/diaspasi-deite-tin-tropologia/, "Old Town of Corfu on UNESCO website retrieved 3 July 2007", "European Union Summit: Corfu summiteers ready to fudge key EU decision", "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. [16], Christianity arrived in Corfu early; two disciples of Saint Paul, Jason of Tarsus and Sosipatrus of Patras, taught the Gospel, and according to tradition the city of Corfu and much of the island converted to Christianity. The Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo di Corfù was the first theatre and opera house of modern Greece and the place where the first Greek opera, Spyridon Xyndas' The Parliamentary Candidate (based on an exclusively Greek libretto) was performed. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle. There is so much more to see and do in Greece, I could talk for days. The first governor of independent Greece after the revolution of 1821, founder of the modern Greek state, and distinguished European diplomat Ioannis Kapodistrias was born in Corfu. A promenade rises by the seashore towards the bay of Garitsa (Γαρίτσα), together with an esplanade between the city and the citadel known as Spianada with the Liston [it] arcade (Greek: Λιστόν) to its west side, where restaurants and bistros abound.[2]. "The Revolution in Corcyra." [41], During the break-up of the Byzantine Empire the island was occupied by Genoese privateers (1197–1207), who in turn were expelled by the Venetians. According to legend, the island was Scheria, home of the Phaeacians in Homeric epic. The metope of the temple was probably decorated, since remnants of reliefs featuring Achilles and Memnon were found in the ancient ruins. Panitsa, M. & E. Iliadou 2013: FLORA AND PHYTOGEOGRAPHY OF THE IONIAN ISLANDS (Greece). [65] A large minefield was laid there shortly afterwards by the newly communist Albania and gave rise to the Corfu Channel Incident. [82] Built at the top of Analipsis Hill, Hera's sanctuary was highly visible to ships approaching the waterfront of the ancient city of Korkyra. Two years later they repeated their attempt. [7] From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island, having successfully repulsed the Ottomans during several sieges, was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe. The stunning island of Corfu is home to the Corfu Trail where you can go hiking, although don’t imagine a leisurely afternoon stroll. Though Greek and Venetian are the strongest influences, spices from the east, cooking methods from France as well as other parts of the Mediterranean and even the remnants of British occupation, have all left their mark on Corfu food. Things to Do in Corfu, Ionian Islands: See Tripadvisor's 458,976 traveler reviews and photos of Corfu tourist attractions. Its shape resembles a sickle (drepanē, δρεπάνι), to which it was compared by the ancients: the concave side, with the city and harbour of Corfu in the centre,[16] lies toward the Albanian coast. Near the old Venetian Citadel a large square called Spianada is also to be found, divided by a street in two parts: "Ano Plateia" (literally: "Upper square") and "Kato Plateia" (literally: "Lower square"), (Ανω Πλατεία and Κάτω Πλατεία in Greek). It is considered to be the only Greek temple of Doric architecture that does not have a frieze. [128] Corfu Offshore Islands There are three islands off the northwest coast of Corfu, Erikouusa, Othoni and Mathraki, popular with day-trippers from resorts like Sidari. The island then became a member of the Epirotic alliance. [136] The march, which functions as the anthem of the island, was composed during the period of Venetian rule, and its lyrics include: "Greeks, never fear, we are all enslaved: you to the Turks, we to the Venetians, but one day we shall all be free". [16] Beaches are found in Agios Gordis, the Korission Lagoon, Agios Georgios, Marathia, Kassiopi, Sidari, Palaiokastritsa and many others. Check out also what to do … Following the Kaiser's purchase of the Achilleion, he invited archaeologist Reinhard Kekulé von Stradonitz, a friend and advisor, to come to Corfu to advise him where to position the huge statue of Achilles which he commissioned. The island is part of the Corfu regional unit, and is administered by three municipalities with the islands of Othonoi, Ereikoussa and Mathraki. Most known apetizers in Corfu. It is a very green island and a mixture of the civilizations that have passed through at various times. This T … Solomos Museum and the Corfiot Studies Society. The internationally renowned Venetian-born British photographer Felice Beato (1832–1909) is thought to have spent much of his childhood in Corfu. In 1923, after a diplomatic dispute between Italy and Greece, Italian forces bombarded and occupied Corfu. Corfu is known as Greece’s emerald island because Corfu is one of the greenest islands in Greece. The island has indeed been identified by some scholars with Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians described in Homer's Odyssey, though conclusive and irrefutable evidence for this theory have not been found. 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