Corfu Town is the Capital and is an UNESCO world heritage site. It is the largest town on the island with a permanent population of roughly 30,000. Here you will find the main shopping centre, the main port as well as the island’s airport.
It is situated on the eastern side of the island, roughly half way between north and south. Every single building, every single street will appear like an open museum, but the joie de vivre of the local people will remember you that the old town is also full of life and full of surprises.
The Liston and the area is famous for the variety of shops particularly the jewelry shops selling locally made items in Gold. Just off The Liston is the Church of Saint Spiridon, where the mummified remains of the islands patron saint are kept. ThisChurch is the most famous church on Corfu.
The 16th-century fortress dominates the town and port area. The main square at The Liston was built by the French in the style of Rue de Rivoli in Paris.
Pelekas is the village that has something for everyone. For more than 40 years it has been a favourite hideaway for independent holiday makers who return year after year. It is a picturesque village set on a rocky hill (272 m. high, ~500 inhabitants), whose summit according to the Corfiots say – is the best place to watch the sun go down.
Above the village is the Kaisers Lookout where Kaiser Wilhelm II frequently went to admire the spectacular sunsets off the west coast. The view from the peak incorporates not only the evergreen northern and eastern side of the island, the rugged south-west coast, but also where you can enjoy the magnificent setting sun, disappearing into the crystal clear Ionian sea.
CORFU – TOWN HALL / SAN GIACOMO THEATRE
The original San Giacomo monumental building was built in 1690, as the seat of a club for the aristocrats. In 1720 it was transformed with some additions to a theater for the garrison’s officers and hosted various plays and concerts.
The first theatre in Greece was found in Corfu and was named “Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo” as it was situated at the square next to the Catholic Cathedral San Giacomo. At the time it was considered to be one of the important theaters in Eastern Europe. Today the building once accommodating the theatre serves as the Town Hall of Corfu.
The construction of the building started in 1663 and initially was intended to be used as a place where for nobles to arrange their meetings and entertaining events. In 1720 it was transformed into a Theatre which was functioning in accordance with European specifications.
Corfu Spianada Square
One of the biggest squares in Greece, Spianada’s rolling lawns and vast open spaces afford terrific views of the Old and New Ports.
Between the tightly packed buildings of the old town and the Old Fortress, the Esplanade (Spianada) is a vast green space and claims to be the second largest square in Europe.
Locals play cricket (a game passed down to them by the British) on the carefully tended lawns of the Esplanade, and there is also a bandstand where brass bands occasionally play
Corfu Old Fortress
The historical centre of Corfu town is delimited by the two fortresses. Along the east side there’s the ancient fortress on the sea, while on the west side there’s the new one. Especially imposing when viewed from the sea, the magnificent
Old Fortress lies on a small, rocky peninsula, immediately east of the old town. Built in 1546 on the site of an older castle, it is accessed off the Esplanade via a bridge that spans a moat, the famous contrafossa, measuring 15 meters deep and up to 40 meters wide. From the highest point, marked by a lighthouse, you have spectacular views west over town and east across the sea towards Albania.
Corfu Kanoni and Mouse Island
Kanoni is actually a quarter of Corfu Town, just a couple of km from the city center. It took its name from an old cannon that stands on top of the hill. This hill is lush green and has many luxurious hotels and local residences.
Some steps go down the hill from Kanoni and you reach the small church of Panagia Vlacherna. A narrow 300m passageway connects the island with the church. Constructed in the 17th century, this lovely chapel has an impressive wooden-carved iconostasis and beautiful frescoes inside. The roof has red tiles and above the gate entrance, there is a tall bell tower.
Church of Panagia Vlacherna and the Mouse Island in Corfu: The location of Kanoni with the church of Panagia Vlacherna below and the Mouse Island (Pontikonissi) are the most famous and photographed spots of Corfu.
Corfu New Fortress
The New Fortress in Corfu is another example of the exceptional capacity of Venetians in fortification, and an architectural marvel of art built by the Venetians and with the physical labor of the inhabitants from 1576 until 1645. Construction of this impregnable fortress was completed soon after the infamous Turkish invasion. The design and construction of the Fortress were undertaken by the renowned Italian military engineer, Ferraute Vitteli.
A section of the fortress was demolished by the then British colonial rulers as per the agreement of 1864 that united Corfu with the rest of Greece.
The two main gates of the fortress seem to have somehow withstood the ravages of time and are still very well preserved.
The first gate faces to the Old Harbor’s square while the other faces down south. Both the gates are replete with the official emblem of Venice, that is the winged lion of Saint. Mark.
Corfu Ionian Parliament
Neoclassical building which was constructed in 1855 by the architect John Chronis. The main entrance marble bearing inscriptions in Greek and English and mention the resolution of the Union with Greece .
The building of the Ionian Parliament is a neoclassical construction in the Old Town of Corfu, at the end of Moustoxidi st or Plati Kandouni, as it is known to the locals. It is found very close to the Town Hall and Spianada square. This beautiful building was constructed in 1853 by a local architect, Ioannis Chronis.
Some marble pillars mark the entrance.