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The whole island, composed as it is of various limestone formations, presents great diversity of surface. Corfu is located near the Kefalonia geological fault formation; earthquakes have occurred.

The full extent of capes and promontories take in Agia Aikaterini, Drastis to the north, Lefkimmi and Asprokavos to the southeast, and Megachoro to the south.

Two islands are also to be found at a middle point of Gouvia and Corfu Bay, which extends across much of the eastern shore of the island; are known as Lazareto and Ptychia or Vido.

The main islands are Othonoi , Ereikoussa and Mathraki. Lazaretto Island , formerly known as St. Dimitrios, is located 1.

During Venetian rule in the early 16th century, a monastery was built on the islet and a leprosarium established later in the century, after which the island was named.

In , during the French occupation, the islet was occupied by the Russo -Turkish fleet, who ran it as a military hospital. During the British occupation, in , the leprosarium was once again opened after renovations, and following Enosis in the leprosarium again saw occasional use.

Homer identifies six plants that adorn the garden of Alcinous : wild olive, pear, pomegranate , apple, fig and grape vine.

Of these the apple and the pear are very inferior in Corfu; the others thrive, together with all the fruit trees known in southern Europe, with addition of the kumquat , loquat and prickly pear and, in some spots, the banana.

Olive trees dominate and their combination with cypress trees compose the typical Corfiot landscape. When undisturbed by cultivation, [16] the high maquis is the major natural vegetation type followed by deciduous oak forests and to a lesser extent, pine forests.

In total more than plant species have been recorded. Corfu is a continental island ; its fauna is similar to that of the opposite mainland.

Avifauna is extensive, with around bird species recorded since the 19th century. Species vary in size from the greater flamingo to the goldcrest.

Around 40 species of mammals live on the island and in the sea around it. Fin whales , sperm whales , Cuvier's beaked whales , common bottlenose dolphins , short-beaked common dolphins , striped dolphins and Risso's dolphins are the regularly present cetaceans.

Monk seals appear from time to time without breeding here any more. Eurasian otters still survive in the lagoons and streams of Corfu.

Red foxes , beech martens , least weasels , European hares , northern white-breasted hedgehogs are quite easy to see as some of the smaller mammals as well as the bats.

Coypus , fallow deer , Indian crested porcupines , Siberian chipmunks have been observed recently but they are escapees and only the coypu has viable population.

Eight species of amphibians and 31 species of reptiles live or have been recorded on and around Corfu.

The Greek newt , the Macedonian crested newt , the common toad , the European green toad , the European tree frog , the agile frog , the Epirus water frog and the Greek marsh frog are the representatives of the Amphibia Class.

Loggerhead sea turtles nest on the sandy beaches. On land, the Hermann's tortoise is widespread while the marginated tortoise's status is unclear.

In freshwater wetlands European pond terrapins and Balkan terrapins are common but the last few years face the competition of the introduced pond slider.

Lizard species include typical lizards and geckos like the starred agama , the Mediterranean house gecko , the moorish gecko , the Dalmatian algyroides , the common wall lizard , the Balkan wall lizard , the Balkan green lizard , the European green lizard and the snake-eyed skink as also the legless Greek slow worm and the European glass lizard.

Of the snakes of Corfu only the nose-horned viper is potentially dangerous. The harmless snake list includes the European worm snake , the javelin sand boa , the Dahl's whip snake , the Balkan whip snake , the Caspian whip snake , the four-lined snake , the Aesculapian snake , the leopard snake , the grass snake , the dice snake , the European cat snake , the eastern Montpellier snake.

Corfu has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate Csa in the Köppen climate classification. The earliest reference to Corfu is the Mycenaean Greek word ko-ro-ku-ra-i-jo "man from Kerkyra" written in Linear B syllabic script, c.

The island has indeed been identified by some scholars with Scheria, the island of the Phaeacians described in Homer 's Odyssey , though conclusive and irrefutable evidence for this theory have not been found.

Apollonius of Rhodes depicts the island in Argonautica as a place visited by the Argonauts. Jason and Medea were married there in 'Medea's Cave'.

Apollonius named the island Drepane , Greek for "sickle", since it was thought to hide the sickle that Cronus used to castrate his father Uranus , from whose blood the Phaeacians were descended.

In an alternative account, Apollonius identifies the buried sickle as a scythe belonging to Demeter , yet the name Drepane probably originated in the sickle-shape of the island.

According to a scholiast , commenting on the passage in Argonautica , the island was first of all called Macris after the nurse of Dionysus who fled there from Euboea.

Others have asserted that Corfu was Taphos , the island of the Lelegian Taphians. At a date no doubt previous to the foundation of Syracuse , Corfu was peopled by settlers from Corinth , probably BC, but it appears to have previously received a stream of emigrants from Eretria.

The commercially advantageous location of Corcyra on the way between Greece and Magna Grecia , and its fertile lowlands in the southern section of the island favoured its growth and, influenced perhaps by the presence of non-Corinthian settlers, its people, quite contrary to the usual practice of Corinthian colonies, maintained an independent and even hostile attitude towards the mother city.

This opposition came to a head in the early part of the 7th century BC, when their fleets fought the first naval battle recorded in Greek history: BC according to Thucydides.

The island soon regained its independence and thenceforth devoted itself to a purely mercantile policy.

During the Persian invasion of BC it manned the second largest Greek fleet 60 ships , but took no active part in the war.

In BC it was again involved in a quarrel with Corinth over the control of Epidamnus , and sought assistance from Athens see Battle of Sybota.

This new alliance was one of the chief immediate causes of the Peloponnesian War , in which Corcyra was of considerable use to the Athenians as a naval station, but did not render much assistance with its fleet.

The island was nearly lost to Athens by two attempts of the oligarchic faction to effect a revolution; on each occasion the popular party ultimately won the day and took a most bloody revenge on its opponents BC and BC.

During the Sicilian campaigns of Athens Corcyra served as a supply base; after a third abortive rising of the oligarchs in BC it practically withdrew from the war.

In BC it again joined the Athenian alliance; two years later it was besieged by a Spartan force, but in spite of the devastation of its flourishing countryside held out successfully until relieved.

In the Hellenistic period Corcyra was exposed to attack from several sides. In BC, after a vain siege by Cassander , [16] the island was occupied for a short time by the Lacedaemonian general Cleonymus of Sparta , then regained its independence and later it was attacked and conquered by Agathocles of Syracuse.

The island then became a member of the Epirotic alliance. It was then perhaps that the settlement of Cassiope was founded to serve as a base for the King of Epirus' expeditions.

The island remained in the Epirotic alliance until BC when it became independent after the death of Alexander , last King of Epirus.

In BC, following the naval battle of Paxos , it was captured by the Illyrians , but was speedily delivered by a Roman fleet and remained a Roman naval station until at least BC.

At this time, it was governed by a prefect presumably nominated by the consuls , but in BC it was attached to the province of Macedonia.

Christianity arrived in Corfu early; two disciples of Saint Paul , Jason of Tarsus and Sosipatrus of Patras, taught the Gospel, and according to tradition the city of Corfu and much of the island converted to Christianity.

Their relics were housed in the old cathedral at the site of the current Old Fortress, before a dedicated church was built for them c. Over the next centuries, the main settlement was moved north, to the location of the current Old Fortress, where the rocky hills offered natural protection against raids.

From at least the early 9th century, Corfu and the other Ionian Islands formed part of the theme of Cephallenia.

Indeed, traveller reports from throughout the middle Byzantine period 8th—12th centuries make clear that Corfu was "an important staging post for travels between East and West".

The peace and prosperity of the Macedonian era ended with another Saracen attack in , but more importantly with the emergence of a new threat: following the Norman conquest of Southern Italy , the ambitious Norman monarchs set their sights on expansion in the East.

Three times on the space of a century Corfu was the first target and served as a staging area for the Norman invasions of Byzantium.

The first Norman occupation from to was ended only after the Byzantine emperor Alexios I Komnenos secured the aid of the Republic of Venice , in exchange to wide-ranging commercial concessions to Venetian merchants.

The admiral George of Antioch captured Corfu again in , and it took a ten-month siege for Manuel I Komnenos to recover the island in During the break-up of the Byzantine Empire the island was occupied by Genoese privateers — , who in turn were expelled by the Venetians.

In it passed to the Greek despots of Epirus , [16] who gave it to Manfred of Sicily as a dowry in Under the latter, the island suffered considerably from the inroads of various adventurers.

The island was one of the first places in Europe in which Romani people "Gypsies" settled. In about , a fiefdom , called the Feudum Acinganorum was established, with mainly Romani serfs.

From medieval times and into the 17th century, the island was recognised as a bulwark of the European States against the Ottoman Empire and became one of the most fortified places in Europe.

Corfu repulsed several Ottoman sieges, before passing under British rule following the Napoleonic Wars. Kerkyra, the "Door of Venice" during the centuries when the whole Adriatic was the Gulf of Venice , [52] remained in Venetian hands from until , though several times assailed by Ottoman naval and land forces [16] and subjected to four notable sieges in , , and , in which the strength of the city defences asserted itself time after time.

The effectiveness of the powerful Venetian fortifications as well as the strength of some old Byzantine castles in Angelokastro , Kassiopi Castle , Gardiki and elsewhere, were additional factors that enabled Corfu to remain free.

Will Durant claimed that Corfu owed to the Republic of Venice the fact that it was one of the few parts of Greece never conquered by the Ottomans.

A series of attempts by the Ottomans to take the island began in when Ottoman troops under Ali Bey landed on the island. The Ottomans tried to take the city castle and raided the surrounding area, but were repulsed.

The Siege of Corfu was the first great siege by the Ottomans. It began on 29 August , with 25, soldiers from the Ottoman fleet landing and pillaging the island and taking 20, hostages as slaves.

Despite the destruction wrought on the countryside, the city castle held out in spite of repeated attempts over twelve days to take it, and the Turks left the island unsuccessfully because of poor logistics and an epidemic that decimated their ranks.

Thirty-four years later, in August , Ottoman forces returned for yet another attempt to conquer the island. Having seized Parga and Mourtos from the Greek mainland side, they attacked the Paxi islands.

Subsequently they landed on Corfu's southeast shore and established a large beachhead all the way from the southern tip of the island at Lefkimi to Ipsos in Corfu's eastern midsection.

These areas were thoroughly pillaged as in past encounters. Nevertheless the city castle stood firm again, a testament to Corfiot-Venetian steadfastness as well as the Venetian castle-building engineering skills.

The castle is a tourist attraction today. These defeats in the east and the west of the island proved decisive, and the Ottomans abandoned their siege and departed.

Two years later they repeated their attempt. Coming from Africa after a victorious campaign, they landed in Corfu and wreaked havoc on rural areas.

Following a counterattack by the Venetian-Corfiot forces, the Ottoman troops were forced to leave the city sailing away.

The second great siege of Corfu took place in , during the last Ottoman—Venetian War — After the conquest of the Peloponnese in , the Ottoman fleet appeared in Buthrotum opposite Corfu.

On 8 July the Ottoman fleet, carrying 33, men, sailed to Corfu from Buthrotum and established a beachhead at Ipsos. On 19 July, after taking a few outlying forts, the Ottoman army reached the hills around the city of Corfu and laid siege to it.

Despite repeated assaults and heavy fighting, the Ottomans were unable to breach the defences and were forced to raise the siege after 22 days.

The 5, Venetians and foreign mercenaries, together with 3, Corfiotes, under the leadership of Count von der Schulenburg who commanded the defence of the island, were victorious once more.

The repulse of the Ottomans was widely celebrated in Europe, Corfu being seen as a bastion of Western civilization against the Ottoman tide.

Corfu's urban architecture differs from that of other major Greek cities, because of Corfu's unique history. From to , Corfu was ruled by Venetian nobility; much of the city reflects this era when the island belonged to the Republic of Venice , with multi-storied buildings on narrow lanes.

Many Venetian-speaking families settled in Corfu during these centuries; they were called Corfiot Italians , and until the second half of the 20th century the Veneto da mar was spoken in Corfu.

During this time, the local Greek language assimilated a large number of Italian and Venetian words, many of which are still common today. The internationally renowned Venetian-born British photographer Felice Beato — is thought to have spent much of his childhood in Corfu.

Also many Italian Jews took refuge in Corfu during the Venetian centuries and spoke their own language Italkian , a mixture of Hebrew-Italian in a Venetian or Apulian dialect with some Greek words.

Venetians promoted the Catholic Church during their four centuries of rule in Corfu. Like other native Greek Catholics, they celebrate Easter using the same calendar as the Greek Orthodox church.

The Cathedral of St. James and St. The island served also as a refuge for Greek scholars, and in , it became the home of the first academy of modern Greece.

The island's culture absorbed Venetian influence in a variety of ways; like other Ionian islands see Cuisine of the Ionian islands , its local cuisine took in such elements and today's Corfiot cooking includes Venetian delicacies and recipes: " Pastitsada ", deriving from the Venetian "Pastissada" Italian: "Spezzatino" and the most popular dish in the island of Corfu, " Sofrito ", " Strapatsada ", "Savoro", "Bianco" and "Mandolato".

Venetian Old Fortress , Map Panoramic view of Corfu city from the New Fortress. During this period the Greek language became official.

During the First World War , the island served as a refuge for the Serbian army that retreated there on Allied forces' ships from a homeland occupied by the Austrians, Germans and Bulgarians.

During their stay, a large portion of Serbian soldiers died from exhaustion, food shortage, and various diseases. In , after a diplomatic dispute between Italy and Greece, Italian forces bombarded and occupied Corfu.

The League of Nations settled this Corfu incident. They administered Corfu and the Ionian islands as a separate entity from Greece until September , following Benito Mussolini 's orders of fulfilling Italian Irredentism and making Corfu part of the Kingdom of Italy.

During the Second World War the 10th infantry regiment of the Greek Army , composed mainly of Corfiot soldiers, [59] was assigned the task of defending Corfu.

The regiment took part in Operation Latzides , which was a heroic but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to stem the forces of the Italians.

Upon the fall of Italian fascism in , the Nazis moved to take control of the island. On 14 September , Corfu was bombarded by the Luftwaffe.

The Nazi bombing raids destroyed most of the city's buildings, including churches, homes, and whole city blocks, especially in the Jewish quarter Evraiki.

Following the Nazi invasion, the Italians capitulated, and the island came under German occupation. Corfu's mayor at the time, Kollas, was a known collaborator and various anti-semitic laws were passed by the Nazis that now formed the occupation government of the island.

Corfu was liberated by British troops, specifically the 40th Royal Marine Commando , which landed in Corfu on 14 October , as the Germans were evacuating Greece.

Its economy grew but a portion of its inhabitants left the island for other parts of the country; buildings erected during Italian occupation — such as schools or government buildings — were put back to civic use.

In Maria Desylla Kapodistria , relative of first Governor head of state of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias , was elected mayor of Corfu and became the first female mayor in Greece.

Corfu's urban architecture influence derives from Venice, reflecting the fact that from to the island was ruled by the Venetians. The architecture of the Old Town of Corfu along with its narrow streets, the kantounia , has clear Venetian influence and is amongst the World Heritage Sites in Greece.

Liston's main thoroughfare is often the site of parades and other mass gatherings. Liston is on the edge of the Spianada Esplanade , the vast main plaza and park which incorporates a cricket field, a pavilion, and Maitland's monument.

Also notable are the Old and New forts, the recently restored Palace of Sts. Michael and George, formerly the residence of the British governor and the seat of the Ionian Senate , and the summer Palace of Mon Repos , formerly the property of the Greek royal family and birthplace of the Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The Park of Mon Repos is built on part of the Palaiopolis of Kerkyra, where excavations were conducted by the Greek Archaeological Service in collaboration with academics and universities internationally.

The structure is filled with paintings and statues of Achilles, both in the main hall and in the gardens, depicting scenes of the Trojan War. The palace, with the neoclassical Greek statues that surround it, is a monument to platonic romanticism as well as escapism.

It served as a refuge for the grieving Empress following the tragic death of her only son and Crown Prince, Rudolf.

The Imperial gardens on the hill look over the surrounding green hills and valleys and the Ionian sea. This statue was carved by German sculptor Ernst Gustav Herter.

The hero is presented devoid of rank or status, and seems notably human, though heroic, as he is forever trying to pull Paris 's arrow from his heel.

His classically depicted face is full of pain. He gazes skyward, as if to seek help from Olympus. According to Greek mythology , his mother Thetis was a goddess.

In contrast, at the great staircase in the main hall is a giant painting of the triumphant Achilles full of pride. Dressed in full royal military regalia and erect on his racing chariot, he pulls the lifeless body of Hector of Troy in front of the stunned crowd watching helplessly from inside the walls of the Trojan citadel.

The inscription read: [74]. The inscription was subsequently removed after World War II. The Achilleion was eventually acquired by the Greek state and has now been converted into a museum.

The bridge, arching over the road, spanned the distance between the lower gardens of Achilleion and the nearby beach; its remains, a monument to imperial vanity, are an important landmark on the highway.

The bridge's central section was demolished by the Wehrmacht in , during the German occupation of World War II, to allow for the passage of an enormous cannon, forming part of the Nazi defences in the southeastern coast of Corfu.

In several parts of the old city, buildings of the Venetian era are to be found. The old city's architectural character is strongly influenced by the Venetian style, coming as it did under Venetian rule for a long period; its small and ancient side streets, and the old buildings' trademark arches are particularly reminiscent of Venice.

In the old town there are many narrow streets paved with cobblestones. This is the biggest square in South-Eastern Europe and one of the largest in Europe, [78] [79] and replete with green spaces and interesting structures, such as a Roman-style rotunda from the era of British administration, known as the Maitland monument , built to commemorate Sir Thomas Maitland.

In Greece, cricket is unique to Corfu, as it was once a British protectorate. It was then called the Palace of Saints Michael and George.

The Order of St. Michael and St. George was founded here in with motto auspicium melioris aevi , [80] [81] and is still awarded by the United Kingdom.

Today the palace is open to the public and forms a complex of halls and buildings housing art exhibits, including a Museum of Asian Art , unique across Southern Europe in its scope and in the richness of its Chinese and Asian exhibits.

A wrought-iron aerial staircase, closed to visitors, descends to the sea from the gardens; the Greek royal family used it as a shortcut to the baths.

In the city of Corfu, the ruins of the ancient city of Korkyra, also known as Palaiopolis , include ancient temples which were excavated at the location of the palace of Mon Repos, which was built on the ruins of the Palaiopolis.

Hera's temple is situated at the western limits of Mon Repos, close to Kardaki Temple and to the northwest. It is considered to be the only Greek temple of Doric architecture that does not have a frieze.

Its association with the worship of Apollo or Poseidon has not been established. The temple was dedicated to Artemis.

It is known as the first Doric temple exclusively built with stone. The temple was a peripteral —styled building with a pseudodipteral configuration.

Its perimeter was rectangular, with width of The metope of the temple was probably decorated, since remnants of reliefs featuring Achilles and Memnon were found in the ancient ruins.

Omobono in Italy , near Tiber in Ancient Rome , at the time of the Etruscans , which incorporates similar design elements. Kaiser Wilhelm II , while vacationing at his summer palace of Achilleion in Corfu and while Europe was preparing for war, was involved in excavations at the site of the ancient temple.

The Temple of Hera or Heraion is an archaic temple in Corfu, built around BC in the ancient city of Korkyra or Corcyra , in what is known today as Palaiopolis , and lies within the ground of the Mon Repos estate.

Large terracotta figures such as lions, gorgoneions , and Daidala maidens, created and painted in vivid colour by artisans , who were inspired by myth traditions across the Mediterranean , decorated the roof of the temple, making it one of the most intricately adorned temples of Archaic Greece and the most ambitious roof construction project of its time.

The Digital Archaic Heraion Project at Mon Repos is a project that has undertaken the task of digitising the architectural fragments found at the Corfu Heraion with the aim to reconstruct in 3D the Temple at Palaiopolis in virtual space.

The lion is dated at the end of the 7th century BC and it is one of the earliest funerary lions ever found. Menecrates was the ambassador of ancient Korkyra to Oeiantheia, modern day Galaxidi or Ozolian Locris , [98] [99] and he was lost at sea.

In the inscription it is also mentioned that the brother of Menecrates, Praximenes, had arrived from Oeiantheia to assist the people of Korkyra in building the monument to his brother.

In Cassiope , the only other city of ancient importance, its name is still preserved by the village of Cassiopi, and there are some rude remains of building on the site; but the temple of Zeus Cassius for which it was celebrated has totally disappeared.

The castles of Corfu, located at strategic points on the island helped defend the island from many invaders and they were instrumental in repulsing repeated Turkish invasions, making Corfu one of the few places in Greece never to be conquered by the Ottomans.

These events take place amidst the ancient fortifications, with the Ionian sea in the background. The central high point of the citadel rises like a giant natural obelisk complete with a military observation post at the top, with a giant cross at its apex; at the foot of the observatory lies St.

George's church, in a classical style punctuated by six Doric columns, [] as opposed to the Byzantine architectural style of the greater part of Greek Orthodox churches.

The new citadel was until recently a restricted area due to the presence of a naval garrison, but old restrictions have been lifted and it is now open to the public, with tours possible through the maze of medieval corridors and fortifications.

The winged Lion of St Mark , the symbol of Venice, can be seen at regular intervals adorning the fortifications. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island's shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi , which covered Corfu's defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

Angelokastro, located at the western frontier of the Empire, was instrumental in repulsing the Ottomans during the first great siege of Corfu in , in the siege of and the second great siege of Corfu in causing the Ottomans to fail at penetrating the defences of Corfu in the North.

Consequently the Turks were never able to create a beachhead and to occupy the island. The location of Gardiki at the narrow southwest flank of Corfu provided protection to the fields and the southern lowlands of Corfu and in combination with Kassiopi Castle on the northeastern coast of the island and Byzantine Angelokastro protecting the northwestern shore of Corfu, formed a triangular line of defence which protected Corfu during the pre-Venetian era.

The castles formed a defensive triangle, with Gardiki guarding the island's south, Kassiopi the northeast and Angelokastro the northwest.

Its position at the northeastern coast of Corfu overseeing the Corfu Channel that separates the island from the mainland gave the castle an important vantage point and an elevated strategic significance.

Since the castle was abandoned for a long time, its structure is in a state of ruin. The eastern side of the fort has disappeared and only a few traces of it remain.

There are indications that castle stones have been used as building material for houses in the area. Access to the fortress is mainly from the southeast through a narrow walkway which includes passage from homes and backyards, since the castle is at the centre of the densely built area of the small village of Kassiopi.

The three present municipalities of Corfu and Diapontia Islands were formed in the local government reform by the merger of the former municipalitiy.

The Ionian Academy was an institution that maintained the tradition of Greek education while the rest of Greece was still under Ottoman rule.

It had Philological, Law, and Medical Schools. The Ionian University was established in , in recognition, by the administration of Andreas Papandreou , of Corfu's contribution to Education in Greece , as the seat of the first Greek university in modern times, [] the Ionian Academy.

The university opened its doors to students in and today comprises three Schools and six Departments offering undergraduate and post-graduate degree programmes and summer schools.

In the modern era, beginning with its massive student protests during World War II against fascist occupation, and continuing in the fight against the dictatorship of Georgios Papadopoulos — , students in Corfu have played a vanguard role in protesting for freedom and democracy in Greece, against both internal and external oppression.

For Corfiotes a recent example of such heroism is that of geology student Kostas Georgakis , who set himself ablaze in Genoa , Italy on 19 September , in a protest against the Greek military junta of Corfu has a long musical, theatrical, and operatic tradition.

The operas performed in Corfu were at par with their European counterparts. The phrase "applaudito in Corfu" applauded in Corfu was a measure of high accolade for an opera performed on the island.

The most notable of Corfu's museums and libraries are located in the city; these include: []. It is believed by the faithful that on its way from the island the plague scratched one of the fortification stones of the old citadel to indicate its fury at being expelled; to St.

Spyridon is also attributed the role of saving the island at the second great siege of Corfu in Spyridon approaching Ottoman forces bearing a flaming torch in one hand and a cross in the other caused panic.

Venice honoured von der Schulenburg and the Corfiots for successfully defending the island. Recognizing St. Corfu was the capital city of a Venetian protectorate and it benefited from a unique musical and theatrical heritage.

Then in the 19th century, as a British Protectorate , Corfu developed a musical heritage of its own and which constitutes the nucleus of modern Greek musical history.

Until the early 18th century, musical life took place in city and village squares, with performances of straight or musical comedies — known as Momaries or Bobaries.

From , Corfu became the possessor of the first theatre in post Greece. The island was also the center of the Ionian School of music , the musical production of a group of Heptanesian composers, whose heyday was from the early 19th century till approximately the s.

It was the first school of classical music in Greece and it was a heavy influence for the later Greek music scene, after the independence.

Corfu's Philharmonic Societies provide free instruction in music, and continue to attract young recruits. There are nineteen such marching wind bands throughout the island.

Corfu city is home to the three most prestigious bands — in order of seniority:. All three maintain two major bands each, the main marching bands that can field up to musicians on grand occasions, and the strong student bandinas meant for lighter fare and on-the-job training.

Since the early s a music department has been established at the Ionian University. Aside from its academic activities, concerts in Corfu and abroad, and musicological research in the field of Neo-Hellenic Music, the Department organizes an international music academy every summer, which gathers together both international students and professors specialising in brass , strings , singing, jazz and musicology.

Under Venetian rule , the Corfiotes developed a fervent appreciation of Italian opera, which was the real source of the extraordinary given conditions in the mainland of Greece musical development of the island during this era.

The first opera to be performed in the San Giacomo was in " Gerone , tiranno di Siracusa " , [] and for almost two hundred years, between and , nearly every major opera from the Italian tradition, as well as many others from Greek and French composers, were performed on the stage of the San Giacomo; this tradition continues to be reflected in Corfiote operatic history, a fixture in famous opera singers' itineraries.

It was destroyed during a Luftwaffe aerial bombardment in During its year history it was one of the premier theatres and opera houses in Greece , and as the first theatre in Southeastern Europe, [] it contributed to the Arts and to the history of the Balkans and of Europe.

On Good Friday , from the early afternoon onward, the bands of the three Philharmonic Societies, separated into squads, accompany the Epitaph processions of the city churches.

Late in the afternoon, the squads come together to form one band in order to accompany the Epitaph procession of the cathedral, while the funeral marches that the bands play differ depending on the band; the Old Philharmonic play Albinoni 's Adagio , the Mantzaros play Verdi 's Marcia Funebre from Don Carlo , and the Capodistria play Chopin 's Funeral March and Mariani 's Sventura.

On Holy Saturday morning, the three city bands again take part in the Epitaph processions of St. Spyridon Cathedral in procession with the Saint's relics.

This custom dates from the 19th century, when colonial administrators banned the participation of the British garrison band in the traditional Holy Friday funeral cortege.

The defiant Corfiotes held the litany the following morning, and paraded the relics of St. Spyridon too, so that the administrators would not dare intervene.

The Venetians were replaced by the French and the French by the British, and both the lyrics and the performance of the march were officially banned.

The bands, however, defiantly played it on the Eve of Easter, as a token of the resurrection of the nation, and the tradition is honoured to this day.

Another venerable Corfu tradition is known as the Carnival or Ta Karnavalia. Venetian in origin, festivities include a parade featuring the main attraction of Karnavalos , a rather grotesque figure with a large head and smiling face, leading a diverse procession of colourful floats.

At night, dance and costume parties are traditional. Corfu is one of the locations in the legend of Simon and Milo, where Simon falls in love temporarily.

It is the setting of the song Mediterranean Lady by Prozzak. Drake mentions Corfu in a song. Corfiotes have a long history of hospitality to foreign residents and visitors, typified in the 20th century by Gerald Durrell 's childhood reminiscence My Family and Other Animals.

The north east coast has largely been developed by a few British holiday companies, with large expensive holiday villas. At the other end of the island, the southern resort of Kavos also provides tourist facilities.

St George South to the west boasts the largest sandy beach on the island coupled with a selection of all-inclusive package hotels and traditional corfiot villas and flats.

The Korission lake nature reserve also provides a stopover for European birds migrating south. Up until the early 20th century, it was mainly visited by the European royals and elites, including Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Empress Elisabeth of Austria ; today it is also widely visited by middle class families primarily from the UK, Scandinavia and Germany.

With the advent of the jet airliner bringing these groups relatively affordable 'package holidays', Corfu was one of the primary destinations for this new form of mass tourism [] It is still popular with the ultra-wealthy however, and in the island's northeast the homeowners include members of the Rothschild family and Russian oligarchs.

The small port of Lefkimmi is also to be found at the southernmost tip of the island on Cape Kavos, offering a ferry service to the mainland.

The Ioannis Kapodistrias International Airport , named after Ioannis Kapodistrias , a distinguished Corfiot and European diplomat, and the first governor of the independent Greek state, is located around three kilometres south of Kerkyra, just half a kilometre north of Pontikonisi.

The approach and landing, in a northeasterly direction, afford passengers spectacular aerial views of Pontikonisi and Vlaheraina Monastery, also taking in the hills of Kanoni , as the runway employed for landing lies a few hundred metres from these spectacular local landmarks.

The buses to the main places on the island run about six times a day between the city and Glyfada, Sidari, Paleokastritsa, Roda and Acharavi, Lefkimmi, Lefkimmi and Piri.

Other coaches drive up to twice a day to Athens and Thessaloniki. City buses run through the city to the Airport, Achilleion, Gouvia, Afra, Pelekas and some other places of interest.

The Diapontia Islands are accessible by boat with regular services from Corfu port and Agios Stefanos Avliotes and by ferry from Corfu city port.

Corfu is mostly planted with olive groves and vineyards and has been producing olive oil and wine since antiquity. Modern times have seen the introduction of specialist cultivation supported by the mild climate, like the kumquat and bergamot oranges , which are extensively used in making spoon sweets and liqueurs.

There are three breweries in Corfu and one bed layers factory. The island has again become an important port of call and has a considerable trade in olive oil.

Venetian arsenal, Gouvia. View of St. George's Temple at the Old Fortress. Statues at the Achilleion terrace. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Greek island in the Ionian Sea. For other uses, see Corfu disambiguation. For other uses, see Corcyra disambiguation. When Lugaretzia's daughter goes into labour Larry is sent to fetch Dr.

Petrides, but he has his hands full delivering his own child. Theo and Gerry make a discovery at the den.

Margo is delighted two As the Durrells prepare for a celebration, Margo is determined to persuade the reclusive Countess Mavrodaki to attend.

Sven makes a good impression and Gerry considers releasing his animals into the As IMDb celebrates its 30th birthday, we have six shows to get you ready for those pivotal years of your life Get some streaming picks.

Title: The Durrells in Corfu — Set in when the Englishwoman Louisa Durrell, whose life had fallen apart, decided to move from Bournemouth to the Greek island of Corfu.

Her husband had died some years earlier and she has financial problems, when she suddenly announces that she and her four children will move to the island and a Homeric battle ensues as the family adapt to life on the island, especially when they discover that Corfu does not even have electricity at that time.

But it is cheap, an earthly paradise and the Durrell family make the big step that will change their lives. Written by Vidas.

Totally against the grain of the other reviews here I love this. I haven't read the book since school so basically I have forgotten it.

That gives me the advantage of watching this as an original work not an adaptation. And I love it, I love the characters, the actors, the direction and the cinematography.

Overall it is just charming, crammed full of dry wit and it's a bit of a page turner as I can't wait for the next episode. Margo's besotted face is a delight, Leslie's imperialist stomping around with guns and suitable opaque wit is a hoot, Larry's fey artist trip just sucks you in and gets you ready for the 'Quartet', Mrs Durrell is like a real Mary Poppins and Gerry well he, sacrilegiously, is the weak link for me, I don't really care about the animals.

I usually hate this kind of family thing but with this I am a convert. So if you are not a stickler for adaptation fidelity and you want a smile on your face for an hour a week then watch this.

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page. Sign In. Keep track of everything you watch; tell your friends. Full Cast and Crew. Release Dates. Official Sites.

Company Credits. Technical Specs. Episode List. Plot Summary. Plot Keywords. Parents Guide. External Sites. User Reviews. User Ratings.

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The girls of corfu

The Girls Of Corfu Video

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