Every summer, Corfu island attracts thousands of tourists and has become a favorite destination for summer holidays. The historical and religious monuments, the picturesque villages, the beautiful nature and the hospitality of the locals offer memories difficult to forget. Corfu Town is a gem for sites with many monuments from the Medieval times, including the Old Fortress, the New Fortress, Liston Promenade and the Church of Saint Spyridon, protector of the island. Visitors should not miss the quarter of Kanoni, a bit outside Corfu Town, with the nice view to the Mouse Island and the chapel of Panagia Vlacherna. Very impressive sites in Corfu are also the Achilleion Palace, the Monastery of Paleokastritsa and the Fortress of Angelokastro.
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The region of Kanoni and the Mouse Island (Pontikonisi) is the most picturesque spot of Corfu Town. High up on a hill, there is a canon and from there people can see the Mouse Island and the little church of Panagia Vlaherna, linked with the mainland with a narrow pathway.
The Palace was built in 1890 exclusively for Elizabeth (Sissy), the Empress of Austria. It used to serve as the summer retreat of the Empress, who named it Achillion after her favorite Greek hero, Achilles. After her assassination, it was sold to the Kaiser of Germany.
The Old Fortress of Corfu stands next to Spianada square and Liston. It is an impressive castle built on a peninsula into the sea and connected to the mainland by a narrow bridge. A lighthouse stands on its top and offers a great view of the town and the sea.
The Town Hall of Corfu is housed in an elegant mansion of Venetian style, constructed in the late 17th century. At first, it used to be a club for noblemen, then a theatre and in 1903 it was turned into the Town Hall.
The Museum of Asian Art of Corfu is the only Asian museum of Greece and is housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint Georges. It was founded in 1927 after that Gregory Manos, an ambassador, donated to the prefecture its private collection of 10, 500 objects of Sino Japanese origin. The museum was first a Chinese and Japanese Art Museum (until 1974) and became an Asian Art Museum later when its collection was enriched with other private collection objects and items from Asia.
This museum is housed in the church of Antivouniotissa, one of the oldest and richest churches in Corfu Town. In 1979, this church was turned into a museum and it exhibits a rich collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons and relics, representing more than five centuries of religious fervor and art.
This fortress is also known as the New Fortress of Corfu, in contrast to the Old Fortress near Spianada square. It played an important role in the protection of the town against pirates and enemies in Medieval times. The entire fortress is an intricate network of compartments and galleries.
The archaeological museum stands in Vraila Street, near the Garitsa coastal road and was built to house the Gorgon pediment from the temple of Artemis which was found in the area of Paleopolis. This pediment is dated back to 580 BC and is supposed to be the oldest one in Greece. In the archaeological museum of Corfu, visitors will also admire other founds from excavations from the archaeological sites of the island, from the ancient town of Cassiopeia and items from a private collection.
The church of Saint Spyridon is located in the Old Town of Corfu, right behind Liston. It has the largest bell tower of all churches in the city and it is its red dome that visitors first see when they arrive by boat to Corfu. This saint is the protector of the island, as the myth says that he saved the town from a plague in the 17th century.
Built in the 13th century on the hill of Paleokastritsa, the monastery houses a small museum with Byzantine and post Byzantine icons. The museum gives great views to the sea and it is open to visitors.
The Ionian Academy is the first University of Greece. It worked as a university building from 1824 till 1864, then as a library and today it hosts cultural events and exhibitions. The academy suffered much damage by German bombs in 1943 but it has been restored.
The name of Angelokastro means the "castle of the Angels" in Greek. It is located on top of a steep cliff overlooking the sea, near Paleokastritsa. It takes a bit of rough walking to get there but the view rewards visitors.
Old Perithia (Palea Perithia) is a ghost village located on the slopes of Mount Pantokrator, the highest mountain in Corfu. Although the village today is almost uninhabited, it is frequently visited for its Venetian architecture and the impressive atmosphere.
Kaiser Wilhelm II was extremely fond of Corfu and purchased the Achilleion Palace in 1907. Carl Ludwig Sprenger was then appointed as the botanical architect of the palace and was also responsible for the building of the bridge that led to the beach.
The Byzantine Castle of Gardiki is located on the southern side of Corfu, just 2 km from Agios Matheos village. It is built in an idyllic location and offers a nice view. Not much of the castle remains today, but it still is a nice sight to see.
This tower was constructed in the Medieval times by the Venetians but it got seriously damaged by the Ottomans, in their effort to conquer the island in the 17th century. Today only some parts of this tower have survived.
The Sea Shell Museum of Corfu opened by private initiative and it houses rare pieces from around the world, such as the Indian Ocean and the Meditteranean Sea. It is located outside the village of Benitses.
The Museum of Music "Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros" opened in October 2010 with the initiative of the Philarmonic Society of Corfu. In fact, it is dedicated to the founder of this society and the composer of the Greek National Anthem and the Olympic Anthem.
Just across the Roman baths of Acharavi, northern Corfu, there is a Folklore Museum with interesting exhibits that depict the historical course of the island from 1700 till today. The museum is a personal effort of Spyros Vlachos and it is housed in an exhibition building of 1,000 sq.m.
Casa Parlante opened its doors to the public in March 2014 and is actually a living history museum. With animated robotic figures, traditional furniture and real smells and sounds, the museum represents the daily life of a noble 19th-century family.
The Historic and Folklore Museum of Corfu is housed in a traditional two-storey house in Sinarades, a lovely village west of Corfu Town. It was established in 1982 by the Historical-Folklore Society of Corfu and exhibits items from the period 1860-1960.