Town of Corfu
Information About Town
Corfu Town in Greece: Corfu Town is the capital of Corfu (Kerkyra in Greek) one of the most beautiful and elegant towns in Greece. It is the principal port of the island and one of the largest and most populated (30,000 inhabitants) towns of the Ionian Islands. Built on a promontory, the town displays a unique architecture which is strongly influenced from the different dominations, such as the Sicilian, the Venetian, the French and the English ones. From those times, Corfu Town has kept many of its imposing buildings, elegant mansions, superb palaces, French-style flowered squares and beautiful fortresses.
All that amalgam of architectural style gives to Corfu Town a unique charm, character and atmosphere that reminds of the glamorous Italian town of Naples. Having been greatly expanded during the Venetian times, Corfu is separated into a northern and a southern section.
The Old Town lies on the northern side between the Esplanade Square and the new fortress. Ferries approaching the port of Corfu offer a magnificent view to this picturesque and beautiful town as it is located close by. The square of the Esplanade (also called Spianada) is the central square of Corfu Town and the largest square in the Balkans. It became a public square during the French occupation and was designed according to the French garden architecture, with many organised trees and flower pots. It is surrounded by sumptuous buildings, imposing monuments and an old Venetian fortress which marks the beginning of the modern town.
One of the most beautiful buildings boarding the square is the Liston building which stands at the western side of the Esplanade and was built during the French occupation. Its superb arched terrace was inspired by the architectural style of the Rue de Rivoli, in Paris, and houses the most elegant and luxurious cafes and restaurants of the island. It is arguably the most cosmopolitan spot in Corfu.
Many other interesting monuments adorn Corfu Town, such as the Old and the New Venetian Fortresses, the Town Hall Square, the Square of the Saints, the Ionian Academy and the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint Georges. The town is filled with beautiful Venetian neighbourhoods such as the Kanoni area where are the ruins of the Ancient city or the beautiful area of Mandouki. With all these treasures and marvels, Corfu Town is among the most important and beautiful towns of Greece, having innumerable sights and charms to offer its visitors.
Here are some of the best sightseeing spots in Corfu Town:
Spianada Square: Spianada Square (Esplanade) is one of the most significant monuments of Corfu Town and the largest square of the Balkans. It is the main social centre where many festivals and parades take place throughout the year. Close to Spianada square lie magnificent buildings and fortresses.
Ionian Academy: It was founded in 1824 by Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of the New Greek Independent State during the British domination and it was the first university of Greece. It is situated on the southern side of Spianada square.
Liston Paved Avenue: At the western side of the Esplanade square stands proudly the imposing building of Liston. It distinguishes for its impressive architecture, the beautiful arches and artistic details. It houses some of the finest cafes and luxurious restaurants and it is the most cosmopolitan spot of the island.
Town Hall: During the Venetian times it used to be meeting place of the nobles. It was also used as a lyrical theatre and today this elegant buildings houses the Town Hall of Corfu.
Ionian Parliament: The neoclassical monument was built in 1854. In May 1864 the Ionian Parliament voted for the unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece. Today various inscriptions commemarating this vote surround the main entrance of this building.
Palace of Saint Micheal and Saint Georges: This impressive neoclassical building is situated at the centre of Spianada square. It was built during the Bristish occupation in 1824. It was first used as the official residence of the commisioner. Today it houses the Museum of Asian Art.
Kanoni and Mouse Island: It is the area where the first city of Corfu was built. Today, it is one of the most beautiful and cosmopolitan spots in Corfu situated in surroundings. It offers superb views to the island where it stands the monastery of Vlacherna.
Square of the Saint: Around this square are located three of the most important churches of Corfu. These are the church of Saint Spyridon, the church of the Blessed Virgin of the Strangers and the church of Saint John.