Corfu town was founded in the 8th century BC and it took its current form 9 centuries ago. A very well preserved medieval town, built between two castles, reflecting European history of over a thousand years. This is the main reason for which the entire historic center of the town was included in the monuments of world cultural heritage of UNESCO in June 2007.
UNESCO World Heritage
(Year of registration: 2007)
Corfu is a place which welcomed every kind of refugees . The Jews of Spain, the Orthodox of Southern Italy and of Greece, then ruled by the Ottomans, the refugees of Cyprus , Crete , the Peloponnese , Parga , the persecuted Serbs and the immigrants of Malta and the Dalmatian coasts. Together, locals and newcomers created together a symbol of the Mediterranean, an impregnable fortresswhich is the landmark of the West. A cosmopolitan city , the cradle of Music and Culture.
This is the place where "the beauty of the landscape filled the soul with beauty".
The Fortresses of Corfu
It is here that the Ottoman Turks stopped advancing westwards .
The fortresses and fortifications surrounding the town are a living monument where visitors can go when they come to Corfu town. If you wander around the small cobbled streets, on the fortifications, between the different buildings, if you have coffee or dinner at the various cafes and restaurants, you will experience pictures and feelings.
You will find your soul relaxing on the green scenery and the beautiful old town.
The mind travels to the open sea, searching for old traces. It is looking for the places where took place the battles of the Ancient Greeks, as described by Thucydides , it is searching for Antony and Cleopatra , for the places where the crusaders would stop for a short rest. You can "see" galleys and ship coming back in triumph after the naval battle of Nafpaktos . You can see the Turkish fleet on their last unsuccessful attempt to advance westwards. You can feel the agony of the united Christian fleet, the agony of the defenders . You can hear, in the empty rooms, the orders, the shouting and the celebrations. You can feel through the cobbled streets the prayers of the besieged, the gratitude processions to Saint Spyridon, the " Protector" .
A walk on the fortresses of Corfu town os not to be missed. It is the only place of the world where you can see the history of 2500 years in its most dramatic moments, with just one look .
Constructed on a rocky peninsula, with two typical heights (Corifes), it is the eastern extremity of Corfu Town. It started to be inhabited and fortified after the devastation of the ancient Town (Palaeopolis) after the 6th century and it was the Town of Corfu ( Corifo , Corfu) from the 11th until the 15th century. In the 16th century, the Town took in a way its actual form and the Old Fortress was turned into a military area.
Grandiose , it oversees the Town from the western part, between the Old Fortress and the New Port. It was constructed by the engineer F. Vitelli from 1576 to 1645 and it is almost exclusively an artificial hill which was delimited with the opening of large perimetrical fosses and raised by gathering the material from the fosses.
A monument of Paneuropean importance, since it is here that the Latin Nobles who were killed at the naval battle of Nafpaktos ( 1571 ), were buried; this naval battle was the end of the marine threat of the Turks. A few years later the Turks will no longer constitute a threat for the land, either, and the effort of the Turks to expand to the West will come to a final end .