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corfu old town and history

Corfu Town (or Kerkyra as is often referred to) is the Capital and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is situated on the eastern side of the island, roughly halfway between north and south. It is the largest town on the island with a permanent population of roughly 30,000.

Here you will find the main shopping center, the main port as well as the island’s airport. The town itself is a mixture of Venetian and French architecture and is a maze of narrow streets.

The 16th-century fortress dominates the town and port area. The main square at The Liston was built by the French in the style of Rue de Rivoli in Paris. In the center of the square is the cricket pitch evidence of British influence on Corfu.

Many narrow streets radiate from The Liston and the area is famous for the variety of small shops particularly the jewelry shops selling locally made items in Gold. Just off The Liston is the Church of Saint Spiridon, where the mummified remains of the island’s patron saint are kept. This impressive Church is the most famous and visited church in Corfu.

The Venetian character remains unchanged due to the preservation of almost all the Italian architecture buildings scattered all over the place, Corfu is a city with old tall buildings, separated by slopes and narrow streets which are called Kantounia, of course without the canals of Venice.

There are also important signs and remnants left after the 50 years of British domination, but also monuments from the French occupation too.

Old monuments of Byzantine origin are preserved as well as of other various conquerors who have passed from here during the island’s turbulent history.

The Old Town part is enclosed entirely by the walls of two fortresses, the Old Fort on the East and the New fortress in the North and West, therefore it is called Kastropolis and is the only one of its kind in Greece.

Corfu Town’s wider urban area today is inhabited by some 45,000 inhabitants, while the Venetian style old town part has about 20.000 residents.

Μaking it such a progressive island without losing its old glamor.

The city has all modern services: banks, police, military, municipal services, TV and radio stations, international port, as well as an airport suitable for aircraft of all kinds. It is the seat of the Ionian University, the Prefecture of Corfu and the Ionian Islands Region.