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Corfu

Top 10 Highlights in Corfu

The most beautiful highlights are located in the north and west. Those who spend more time in Corfu should also take a look at the south.

How much Empress Sisi loved the island became clear in the lines she sent to her daughter Valerie in 1895. They tell of fragrant olive trees, of a setting sun that gives the roses a golden halo. Little boats seem to rest on the deep blue sea with red and white sails. It does not take much imagination to go back to the time of the hoop skirts, which still today seem to rush through the venerable corridors of Achilleion...

1. the archaeological museum with the Artemis temple

The Archaeological Museum is located in the capital of the island.

Countless finds have been excavated here, which were found during archaeological investigations.

The long history of the island is evident in every single find.

Actually, the museum was only meant to show the remains of the Artemis temple.

Today they are one of the most important attractions, but the museum has many more pieces of great value.

For those interested in history a visit is a must.

2. The Nestor Palace

This palace was discovered in 1939 by the American Carl William Blegen.

The extensive site is a palace and an administrative centre.

The buildings are to be built around the 14th floor. and the 13th. century B.C. BC. were built.

Originally the building was multi-storey.

Today only the masonry on the ground floor has been preserved up to about one meter.

The throne room should be the highlight for history lovers.

A large sacrificial hearth is exhibited there, and some of the wall paintings have been preserved in their original style.

No less impressive are the remains of a bathroom with a rectangular bathtub carved in stone.

3. Angelokastro

Corfu has changed hands several times over the millennia.

It was the object of bloody wars, countless powers wanted to adorn themselves with the coveted island.

This becomes clear by the many castles and fortifications that can be seen everywhere.

Angelokastro is the "Castle of Angels".

It dates from the Byzantine period.

It got its name because it seems to cling to a mountain cone.

The situation was probably the reason why the Castle of the Angels could never be defeated by an attacker.

The fortress was built in the 13th century and has clear Byzantine features.

Gardiki is the only large fortified complex that remains in the south of the island.

Together with Angelokastro, it forms a well thought-out defence system with which the island could protect itself from its enemies.

The defensive walls are built in the shape of an octagon.

Eight towers are integrated into it, they have been preserved in their original height until today.

5. The Achilleion

Close to the village of Gastouri, a summer palace was built in 1890 for the Austrian Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

The noblewoman popularly known as "Sisi" had a sense of harmony and architectural beauty, and this is very evident throughout the construction of this palace.

She herself gave him his name, referring to the Greek hero "Achilles".

His image can be found in several places throughout the entire complex, whether as an oil painting or as a granite statue.

Incidentally, according to tradition, the imperial family did not like the fairy-tale castle, which was built in the classical Pompeian style.

From the splendid garden of the complex you have a wonderful view over Corfu up to the highest mountain of the island, the Pantokrator.

The Achilleion is one of the sights that no Corfu travel guide should miss.

If you have enough time left in your Corfu holiday, the Byzantine Museum should be on your list.

It is located in Antivouniotissa, where it is housed in a former church.

The museum does not, however, contain any finds from the Byzantine period.

Rather, it received its name because Corfu was named after the 15th century.

In the 18th century it became a centre for the production of icons based on the Byzantine model.

This art was practiced with great diligence for many centuries.

It was not until the 19th century that it slowly overtook itself.

This is the reason why in this museum there are some very gorgeous and in parts exceptionally big icons of the Christian-Orthodox style.

They were made by various art students and therefore give a good overview of the course of the high art of icon making.

7. The Old Fortress

All over the island there are fortifications that were built by the Byzantines.

But when the Venetians took over the rule in Corfu, these fortifications had to be conquered.

In the 14th century the Venetian conquerors succeeded in this.

They extended the already existing fortifications even further.

In the capital of the island, the Old Fortress was created as a result.

The bulwark is still massive and inspires respect.

The powerful bastions for the artillery are symbolic of the fact that the castle cannot be conquered.

The whole complex is separated to the side of the city by a moat and therefore resembles an artificially built island.

The fortress was instrumental in the crushing of three major sieges by the Ottomans, which took place in 1537, 1571 and 1716.

8. The New Fortress

Besides the Old Fortress there is of course also a New Fortress.

It was also built by the Venetians.

She only has her name because she is a few years younger than her counterpart.

However, it is not located directly near the coast.

It is located inland on the hill of St. Mark's, which towers above the city.

Like the Old Fortress, it has survived several attacks over the centuries and was never completely conquered by its enemies.

This church is named after the patron saint of the island, St. Spyridon.

The bones of the saint are still kept in the St. Spyridon church, which is dedicated to him.

Built at the end of the 16th century, the building is still the scene of processions several times a year.

The largest procession takes place on Holy Saturday. The relics are carried in the procession and are displayed in the church for a few days for the faithful.

Afterwards they are stored again in the artistic coffin, which is made of pure silver.

10. The Villa Mon Repos

The tourist centre of Corfu is undoubtedly Corfu Town, also called Kérkyra by the locals.

Some years ago UNESCO declared Corfu Town a World Heritage Site.

In the old town the traveller will find everything his heart desires.

Narrow cobbled streets, a pretty market place with an inviting café and shops.

Worth seeing is the town hall in Venetian style from 1663.

It originally functioned as a meeting hall for the nobility, but in 1903 it was made a town hall.

Another highlight of the city is Mon Repos.

After its construction Mon Repos was the summer residence of the British governor general when Corfu was still under British rule.

From the middle of the 19th century the castle was the residence of the Greek royal family.