Museums & Sightseeing

The Archaeological Museum

It is situated near the coastline of Garitsa and it mainly exhibits statues from the Doric temple of Artemis (590-580 BC), in ancient Corfu, which is situated, according to the archaeologists, in the area of Kanoni. One of the most important exhibits is the gigantic stone pediment from the temple with central theme of the monstrous Gorgo, (17m length and more than 3m height).

Other exhibitions are pieces of vessels from the Stone Age, vessels and tools from the Copper Age, Corinthian vessels and copies from the tombs in Garitsa, coins, parts from the temple’s roof in Rhoda, sheets of lead, copper statues from the ancient Classical Arts, an Athenian wash-tub, ceramics from the temple of Hera, earthen statues from the temple of Artemis in Kanoni and many more.

The Museum of Asian Art

It is housed in the palace of Saint Michael and George – a huge neo-classical building in the north side of Spaniada – and unique of its kind in Greece. It includes the collection of the Corfian Diplomat Grigoris Manou (10000 pieces), of the ex-ambassador N. Chatzivasiliou (200 pieces) and the smaller collections of the Diplomats N. Sinioglou and P. Almanachos.

Among its exhibits, there are: brass vessels from China, when it first appeared in history, earthen Chinese vessels from Cheo Time, statues from the dynasty of Chan, small earthen statues that were placed in tombs from the dynasty of Tang, a brass statue of Buda from the dynasty of Sung, small statues, pots and vessels from the golden age of the dynasty of Ming, other small art-works from semi-precious stones, weapons and parts from the suits of Armour of Samurai, masks from the theatre, Indian wood-works representing love scenes and many more.

Byzantine Museum

It is housed in the Church of “Panagia Antivouniotissa” near Kampelio, in Mouragia and it exhibits ancient Christian architectural statues, parts of mosaic floors, Byzantine wall paintings, icons, from 16th-18th century, from different churches of the island.

Museum of bank notes

This unique museum is housed in the building of the Ionian bank and it presents the history of bank notes as well as the methods of  manufacturing them.

 

Sightseeing

The ancient city of Corfu was built during the 8th century BC and it stood south of where today’s city is placed, between Garitsa bay and the lake Chaliopoulou. The center of the ancient city stood where Palaiopoli is today, up to the cannon. The market must have been opposite the palace of Mon Repo and it is believed that in the place of Analipsis, stood the Acropolis. The most important monuments are the following:
The monument of Menekratis

It is a round, stone building with a conic roof and an inscripted slap which is read from the right to the left side and states that Meneokratis was the Consul of Corfu in Oianthia, a city near Galaxidi (600 BC).
The tower of Nerantziha

It is a tower that stands behind the cemetery and it is part of the ancient wall of 20ft height (4th century BC). It was preserved because the Byzantine church of Panagia was placed there

The temple of Artemis

Only a few ruins of the temple (6th century BC) have been preserved near the monastery of Agion Theodoron. Near the sanctuary many other architectural parts have been found. It can therefore be concluded that there were more buildings around. In the estate of Mon Repo, more ancient temples were found: one in Doric order, in Kardaki, possibly dedicated to Apollo and another, the biggest one, possibly dedicated to Hera, by which some pieces from the 7th century BC were found.

Palace of Saint Michael and George.

As it has been mentioned earlier, the English domination also had positive effects, like the development of the economy, the education and the arts. Around this time, an impressive building of Georgian style was built. This was the residence of the High Commissioner.

The palace on the outside is decorated with themes of the Ionian Islands which are carved in relief, while on the inside there is a central hall with two rows of steles of Ionian order and painted themes of Odyssey. A magnificent staircase leads to the first floor, which is decorated with steles of Corinthian order. The first floor also has three main rooms: the ballroom, the throne-room and the symposium-room.

The Ancient Fortress

During its turbulent history Corfu needed to entrench it self against its conquerors. In the beginning of the 8th century BC the Byzantines built the first walls and the first moat, the “Contra Fosa”, which separates the fortress from the city. In the 16th century, the Venetians, fearing a Turkish attack, extended the bulwark and the moat, creating a second and a third line of defense. The bare rocks around the hills made the fortress impenetrable, which is a masterpiece of architectural art. While on the other hand, it offers the visitor an incredible view to the city, the sea ford up across the land and the hills of Epirus. Worth visiting inside the fortress is the chapel of Saint George, which was built by the British in 1840.

The New Fortress

Over the old harbour stands the new fortress, which was built in 1570 by the Venetians. It is characteristic that for its construction they needed to tear down 2.000 houses and churches as well as Porta Reale, one of the most magnificent gates of the city. A great part of it was destroyed after an order given by the Great Forces during World War II. Today it is used by the Navy.

Saint Spiridon Church

This is the most famous religious monument of the city with obvious influences by the Italian art, which is met in all the Ionian Islands. It is dedicated to Saint Spiridon, who is the Saint of Corfu, and according to the legends he saved the inhabitants of Corfu, in the past, from epidemics and he appeared twice as a monk, helping them against Turks in 1673 and in 1716. The temple’s roof is impressive. It is separated in 17 parts and it portrays scenes taken by Saint Spiridon’s life and the Evangelists. His relics are kept in a silver casket of the 19th century.

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