Corfu Paleopolis

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Location: Town

The ancient Agora of the city of Corfu is believed to have been located at Palaeopolis. Archaeologists believe that numerous public edifices of great architectural significance were built within proximity to Palaeopolis along with numerous sanctuaries, highly evolved workshops, and residences of wealthy merchants and consuls. There was also the harbor of Alkinoos where shipping vessels from far away countries used to lay anchor.

The ancient city of Corfu became known when the impregnable Venetian fortress at San Salvadore was being demolished back in 1843. This particular area was referred to as the Palaeopolis in the local dialect, which means the ancient town. The Palaeopolis was created as a result of the endeavor of the Corinthians. It is believed to date back from the 8th century BC. The fortification which dates back to the 4th century BC and encircles the city from three sides is also of particular significance.

How the fortification was built is a testimony of the high degree of craftsmanship in this part of the world. The port of Alkinoos was in the north, the Lagoon of Chalkiopoulos in the west and the Mon Repos in the east. The strategic positioning of the fortification must have been designed by highly skilled architects.

The marketplace was believed to be located at the northern side of the present bay of Garitsa. The Acropolis was located where the Analipsi stands today. The fortification had just a solitary tower which was strategically located right in the entry of the port of Alkinoos. However, today there stands the church of Agios Athanasios. Not far from the cemetery, one can see the tower of Neratzha which is nearby. Furthermore, there is the church of the Virgin Mary which is rather carefully preserved. The primeval aqueduct falls also used to be in this particular area.

The neighborhood around Garitsa is where a group of archaeologists have discovered vestiges of tombs belonging to the Archaic and Classical periods and was believed to be an integral part of the cemetery that is found nearby. The most famous of all is the monument of Menekratis. In ancient times, the town's exclusive naval fleet found a haven in the port located at the bay of Chelaios. There are two islets at the entry of the bay: the church of Vlaherna is situated on the one, while the other islet, right next to the church, is named Pontikonissi.

A characteristic feature of the church is that there are vestiges and remnants of ancient temples that were built by the residents of Corinth and Evoia. At this point, we should mention the magnificent temple of Hera, the temple of Diana and Kadaki and also the temple of Dionysus, all of which are believed to date back to the 7th and 6th century BC. The priceless vestiges belonging to these temples are showcased in the neighborhood of the Archaeological Museum.

The first relics on the site came into light during the period of the British Protectorate when a section of the Doric temple at Kardaki was destroyed due to bad weather. Archaeologists conducted extensive excavations between 1936 and 1955 and managed to bring to light the ancient Agora as well as the Basilica of Saint Kerkyra. Nowadays, methodical excavation works have been carried out here since 1987 under the renowned archaeologist K. Preka, in collaboration with Prof. T. Hackens from Louvain University. These archaeologists have been able to reveal the Roman baths, the harbor of King Alkinoos and a large segment of the stone pavement in the Agora.

How to get there

The Paleopolis is located in Corfu Town.

Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked Corfu transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: 0030 26610 39911, 0030 694 5452 338, 0030 697 3372 289, or booking your taxi online.

Car rental: Τhere’s the option of renting a car in Corfu and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover Paleokastritsa and many other places of interest in Corfu at their own pace.

Public transport: The central bus station of the island is located at Corfu Town. There are bus connections between this bus station and most areas of the island. Consider that time schedules might change according to the season. Check the official timetables here.
Tip: Since buses don’t always stop at every scheduled stop of their itinerary, our advice to visitors is to inform the driver about their final destination so that he makes a stop there.



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