New Fortress

Location: Town   

The New Fortress (Fortress of Saint Mark) in Corfu: The Fortress of Saint Mark in Corfu is also referred to as the Fortress of San Marco. It was built by the Venetians and is strategically located in close proximity to the Old Harbour of the town. It took a rather long time to be built (1576 and 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.

The fortress played a pivotal role as far as protecting the town of Corfu and its residents were concerned. The entire fortress is an intricate network of compartments and galleries. The ramparts of the Fortress was built by the French and afterward by the British colonial rulers who completed the entire construction.

The fortress has a dry moat that meanders along its western side which is typical of the 17th-century architectural style. The moat begins from the place where the vegetable market is presently located and culminates into the New Harbour. Of particular significance are the two winged lions of Saint Mark, which were incidentally the official emblem of Venice along with two distinct Venetian inscriptions.

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. 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.

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