Another unique for the Greek standards museum that a visitor can visit in Corfu, is the Museum of Asian Art.It is housed in the Palace of SS Michael and George, one of the finest examples of European Neoclassicism.
It was founded in 1927 after an initial donation of 10.000 objects of Asian provenance by the Greek diplomat Gr. Manos.Later, the collection was significantly enriched by donations from other collectors. (Chiotakis, Chatzivasiliou, Almanachou and Siniosoglou, just to name them).
It was Sir Thomas Maitland, the first High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands (do not forget that during the describing period, the Ionian Islands were under British occupation!), who undertook the construction of the Palace to house the residence of the Lord High Commissioner, the Ionian Parliament and Senate, as well as, the ceremonies of the Order of SS Michael ang George.
Some technical details: we know that the building was designed by General Sir George Whitmore and constructed between the years 1819 and 1824.
Some historical facts: In 1864, after the unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece, it was given to the Royal Family to use it as a summer residence.It was seriously damaged during the Second World War, as the whole city of Corfu has been bombardized by the Nazi airplanes.In the recent years an extensive renovative work has been carried out in order to be used for the European Union Summit Meeting in 1994.
The Museum is considered as one of the 5 best European ones, concerning Asian Art!
This is the largest square in Corfu and the heart of the town.The raised terrace was created for defensive purposes under Venetian rule and the square assumed its final form in more modern times under the French and British rulers of the island.Essentially it consists of two squares,divided in the middle by Viktoros Dousmani st.(where you will find a taxi rank and carriages for hire).The Northern side of the Spianada is dominated by the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George,home of the museum of Asian art and the muncipal gallery.In the garden known as the people's garden you will find the municpal cafe,a meeting point in town with its fine view of 'Vido'island.Outside the Palace there is another small garden,the Bosketo,with swings,benches and a view of the Ancient Fortress,which stands to the east of the square.The north western side of the square is dominated by the 'Liston'which stands out from its arcaded terrace now full of cafes and bars.There is a cricket green opposite the Liston where you are always sure to catch a game,the only place in Greece to see cricket being played.
Palaiopolis is located Kanoni Peninsula.the Archaeological site of Palaiopolis and Mon Repos is the site of the market of the Ancient City of Corfu,as it evolved from the ancient times till the 6th century A.D.the most important monuments of the site are the agora,the doric temple of Kardaki,the roman baths and a pre-Hellenistic round building,which was transformed into a Christian church during the first Christian era.
The tallest tower in all of Corfu is saint Sryridon's church which can be seen all over Corfu Town.Built in 1596,the body of St.Spyridon rests in the church after arriving in Corfu in 1456.Ceiling decorations originally consisted of gold-plated wood carved by P.Doxaras who took until 1727 to cmplete the work.Due to the lack of presevation the decorations were replaced later by Nicolaos Aspiotis.
Just outside the New fortress is a monument dedicated to the Jewish community of Corfu for those who perished under the hands of the Nazi's during World War Two.the monument has a plaque which was erected in november 2001.
A Must! A real Jewel!
If you do not have time and you want just to visit only one museun in Corfu, this is the museum to be!Everything you always wanted to know about the Byzantine art-Corfiot style and the Byzantine icons under the same roof!
The church dedicated to the Holy Mother of God Antivouniotissa was probably built at the end of the 15th century.In 1979, the descendants of the founders (4 families), decided to bestow a donation on the church, which has a rich collection of heirlooms and portable icons, on condition that it should become a Museum.In 1984 the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa opened officially its doors.
The collection of icons includes some important items, by both known and anonymous artists, dating back from the 15th to the 19th century.You can admire works by famous religious painters like: Michael Damaskinos, Emmanuel Lambardos, Emmanuel Tzanes, Victor and Michael Avramis and others.
My favourite icon is painted by Michael Damaskinos (post 1571) and depicts: Saint Sergius, Bacchus and Justine.Especially, Saint Justine is so sweet!!!
Go exploring - the tiny little alleys and back streets are beautiful to walk around; in some there will be little shops, in others you'll be passing people's homes, with washing strung across the lane (just like in this photo). The cobbles and mellow, honey-coloured buildings just glow in the sun - it's one of my favourite memories of my stay there.
Sadly I didn't take any photos of my own as I'd run out of film by that point!
It is a private museum dedicated to "the beautiful world of the deep" and encourages you "to explore the underwater world".
The founder and his family, after many years of dangerous expeditions around the world, they have managed to collect many specimens from the beautiful world of the deep.
Corfu Art Gallery is the first private institution exhibiting Corfiot art.It was established in order to house and exhibit the private collection of the Corfiot engineer and collector, Michail Aggelos Vradis, with paintings from the 19th, 20th and 21th century.
The building of Corfu Art Gallery was designed and created by the founder and consists of 5 levels.
The paintings are of Corfiot art and from the period of Pavlos Prosalentis (1784-1837), one of the most important Greek painters of Corfiot origin.
The permanent exhibition numbers roughly 550 works, while 1100 more works are found in store rooms.
Of special attention is the room dedicated to Spyros Alamanos, another important Greek painter and sculptor of Corfiot origin.
This church should be the most important Byzantine church in Corfu!
It was built around 1000 A.D. and dedicated to the Saint Jason and Sosipatros, two disciples of Saint Paul, who came to Corfu, during the 1st century A.D., in order to preach the Word of God to the island.
The church possesses important icons and heirlooms from the Byzantine times.
From the once thriving Jewish Community of Corfu, this is the only Synagogue left.It is called: the Sinagoga Vecchia.The current building was built in the beginning of the 19th century.
The most famous Jewish son of Corfu was the French-speaking writer Albert Cohen, who spent his first 15 years of his life in Corfu, before his family emigrated to Marseille and then to Switzerland.
The Promontory on which this fortress stands was first fortified in the 12th century.The Venetians built the outer walls of the fortress between 1576 and 1588,although the buildings within-stairways,tunnels and vaulted chambers-were constructed by the British.The citadel at the top was completed in 1843.The views from the top of the fortress are spectacular.Theres also a cafe open roughly 10am till 4pm at the top to refresh those worn out by the uphill climb,plus a gallery and small museum of Corfiot ceramics,both open erratically.
Open 9am till 9pm May-Oct,closed in off season,admission is 3 euros.
One of Corfu towns most dominant landmarks rises on a natural headland to the east of the old town.The earliest fortifications were built by the Byzantines,after Goth raiders destroyed the original Corinthian settlement of Corcyra on the Kanoni Peninsula in AD 550.The surviving Corcyrans decided not to rebuild their ruined city but established themselves instead on the high headland with its natural defences.Materials from the ancient city were used in the construction of the new town.
From 1550 the Venetians extended the fortifications and dug a moat,which was spanned by a retractable wooden bridge.Many of the buildings inside the fortress were built by the British for military use,including the church of St.George which was designed to look like an ancient temple and dates from 1840.
There are sweeping views from the fortress south across the Bay of Garitsa to the Kanoni Penninsula and west to the old town.Although the gate to the higher levels closes at 7pm,the views are worth the climb though.You can wander around the lower rampants at any time and you can dine at the attractive bar-restaurant here.There is a music school on the lower level and part of the fortress is used for outdoor concerts in the summer,there is also a small museum.
opening hours 8.30am till 7pm tue till sun,closed mondays,admission is 4 euros.
In the centre of Corfu town up a series of steep steps is the Small and charming Church of St.Nikolas,unfortunately the church was closed so we didnt get a chance to go in,though i noticed a lot of churches on Corfu island have signs outside saying no photos to be taken inside.The church was built in honour of St.Nikolas who is the patron saint of Corfu.
Built in 1414,it was a cathedral until 1712 and its carvings are the oldest in town.
Built between 1962-65 the museums initial purpose was to house the archaeological finds from the ancient temple of 'Artemis' in Corfu.In 1994 it was expanded with the addition of two more exibit halls that display more recent finds such as the ancient citadel of Corfu.
Highlights include:Bronze statures from the 'Archaic to the Roman era'.Funeral offerings from the 'Archaic,Classical and Hellenistic era',from the cemeteries of 'Gantsa' and 'Almyros' as well as a rich collection of ancient coins.Findings from the Prehistoric era and 6th and 7th century B.C.,findings with the exceptional 'Menecrates Lion',clay pottery and terracota statuettes from the shrines of Corfu,and the impessive 'Gorgon-Medusa' pediment from the great temple of 'Artemis' made in 585 B.C.,excavated in 1911 near the monastery of 'Aghioi Theodoroi,the oldest,so far,stone-pediment of an ancient Greek temple.The museum is open 8.30am to 3pm tues till sun,closed mondays and entry is 3 euros.