The historical centre of Corfu town is delimited by the two well known Corfu Fortresses
The Corfu Fortresses stand steadily in the old town of Corfu and wait for visitors to take their breath away with their beautiful view.
Corfu Fortresses – The Old Fortress
The entrance of the Old Fortress is placed just in front of the Liston, near Corfu’s Esplanade.
You will be impressed by the massive bastions, a real masterpiece of military architecture in old times.
To get in you just have to cross the short bridge that links the fortress with the town of Corfu. The large ditch that divides the fortress from the town is used today as a docked for fishing boats.
A short visit let you understand why this area was the ideal place to create a fortress.
As it is surrounded by the sea, the fortresswas in fact used both to defend Corfu town, and to check the near coast. Before the Venetian era the promontory, which lies between the Gulf of Kerkyra to the North and Garitsa Bay to the south, was defended by Byzantine fortifications which the Venetians largely replaced with fortifications of their own design. The creation of this fortress was started under Byzantine domination and later, under the Venetian occupation, was changed the structure to defend better Corfu town from Turkish. The fort successfully repulsed all three major Ottoman sieges: the great siege of 1537, the siege of 1571 and the second great siege of Corfu in 1716.
The statue in honour of Commander Schulenburg (built by Venetian to remember the battle against Turkish) is just near the bridge that will take the visitors inside the fortress.
Inside the fortress there are different buildings such as a prison built in 1786 by Venetian and made it bigger in a second moment by English.
Not far from the prison you can also visit the military church called “Madonna of Carmini” and an ancient military hospital converted today into a music school.
Also, near the principal gate there’s the historical archive that gather up more than 6 centuries of Corfu history.
Inside this archive there are many old documents and the Corfu Byzantine Collection that includes icons, sculptures and paintings of the Byzantine period.
In addition, the Old Fortress houses today the Archives of the Prefecture of Corfu, the Public Library’, Offices of the Ministry’ of Culture, Departments of the lonian University, rooms devoted to exhibitions or other events and it operates, in general, as an open air monumental area. In the open spaces of the Fortress (Versiada) music events take place, while there are, also, a cafe, a store selling items of cultural interest and a restaurant in Mandraki.
Corfu Old Fortress
49100 KERKYRA , IONIAN ISLANDS , GREECE
01 Apr – 31 Oct Mon-Sun, 08:00-20:00
01 Nov – 31 Mar Mon-Sun, 08:30-15:00
Admission: Adults €4
Corfu Fortresses – The New Fortress
The new fortress is a Venetian fortress built on the hill of St. Mark in Corfu in stages. The original architect of the fort was the military engineer Ferrante Vitelli. The construction of the castle began in 1577 under the Venetians and it was completed together with the town wall in 1588.
At the top of the castle there is a stone building which was used for defence and a brick building which in modern times functions as the headquarters of the Naval Station of Corfu. The Venetian fortifications were later expanded by the British and the French to help defend against a possible Turkish attack.Its fortifications included 700 pieces of artillery with range estimated as far as the Albanian coast.
The new fortress is placed just above the old port and it’s full of underground tunnels that run till the old fortress and the old Corfu town.
Maybe less fascinating than the old one, the new fortress deserve to be visited just for the marvellous view you can have from its top. Also it gives hospitality to many exhibitions of painting, photography, sculpturing and music concerts which you can visit if you are lucky enough.
Sat – Sun, holidays 8:30am – 3pm
Students, E.U. seniors €2
Images taken from: © Slip |© Avid Travel Media|© wikimedia