Corfu Museums: Ioannis Kapodistrias Museum
Ioannis Kapodistrias Museum
A few words about the ‘Governor’
Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first governor of Greece, was born in 1776 in Corfu, during the period of Venetian Rule. He studied Medicine in Padova, Italy (1794 – 1797) and after completing his studies, he returned to his home country, where he practiced medicine.
It was in 1800, when the Septinsular Republic was founded – the first Modern Greek State formation, under the principal control of the Russians, that Kapodistrias became actively engaged in politics as Secretary of State on Foreign, Naval, and Trade Affairs of the Septinsular Republic.
In 1808 Ioannis Kapodistrias was invited by Czar Alexander I to serve Russia’s Foreign Ministry.
In 1828 after almost 20 years of intense political & diplomatic activities Kapodistrias returned in the war-torn Greece determined to reform the country.
In his effort to create a State modeled on European standards, Kapodistrias gained many potical rivals. Hopes held by the revolted Greeks were crushed by the bitter reality of a small, poor country forced to take its first steps dependent on the aid of European Powers.
Reaction against Kapodistrias was made flesh on a Sunday morning on September 27th, 1831, when the Governor was assassinated on the steps of the church of Saint Spyridon in Nafplio, by the son of Petrobeys Mavromichalis, aided by Petrobeys’s brother. A chapter closed for the new State of Greece.
The Governor’s body would be handed to Ioannis Kapodistrias’s brother Avgoustinos, who, in April 1832, brought it back to Corfu for burial in the Monastery of Platytera, next to the grave of Ioannis’s father, Antonios Kapodistrias.
Ioannis Kapodistrias Museum
The life of the leading figure of Corfiot Count Capodistrias, first Governor of Greece and senior European diplomat, unfolds here in a unique museum dedicated to his great Corfiot and Greek heritage, and impact on European politics of the 19th century. In “Koukouritsa”, the family estate of Kapodistrias in the middle of Corfu, any guest can follow the path of his life, in a narration that starts from his childhood in Corfu and culminates in his assassination in Nafplio.
The building belonged to the Kapodistrias family, at least from the 18th century and up until a few decades ago, when in 1979 Maria Dessylla Kapodistrias, mayor of Corfu Town and first female elected mayor in Greece, donated it to three historically important cultural institutions the Corfu Reading Society, founded in 1836, the Philharmonic Society of Corfu founded in 1841 and the Society of Corfu Studies founded in 1952.
The Capodistrias Museum – Capodistrian Studies Center, founded in 1981 is the first and only museum in Greece devoted exclusively to the life and work of John A. Kapodistrias. Its aim is to offer the visitor a journey into the history of Corfu, Europe and modern Greece, following the course of life of the first Governor of the Greek state.
Ioannis Kapodistrias, as Corfiot aristocrat, European diplomat and first Governor of Greece, is a figure who has marked the course of this journey with his very own life.
Kapodistrias Museum offers its visitors the opportunity to see:
- The country home of the Kapodistrias Family
- Personal items of Ioannis Kapodistrias, along with books, maps, etc.
- Honorary gifts given to the Governor, such as medals, religious icons, and items from his time in the Court of Czar Alexander I
- Works of art, furniture and household items of the Governor and his family
- The rich digital archive gathering evidence concerning Kapodistrias’s life and work, by accessing historical documents from throughout Europe.
Tuesday – Sunday: 10:00 – 16:00
*Last Entrance: 30 minutes before the Museum closing time.
The Museum is closed on all national holidays.
General admission: 5€
Reduced admission fees: 3€
Children <12 years old : 2€
Center of Capodistrian Studies
Phone: 0030 26610 32440
Images taken from: © Θάλεια Κυμπάρη |© Σταμάτης Καταπόδης