Constructed in 1589 with thw contribution of the Corfiot community. It is the church which houses ever since the holy reliques of Agios Spyridon, Corfu's patron saint . The huge belltower of the church is predominant in Corfu Town and you will recognize it as you will be walking through the old town and the castles . The bell tower resembles a lot the bell tower of the Greek church of Venice ( San Giorgio dei Greci ).
At Paxos, there were 39 churches in 1686, 45 in 1739 and 51 in1781.
Today on the island there are 64 churches of which 2 are paleochristianic of the 6th century (Agia Marina - Agios Stephanos at Porto Ozias). All of them have got architectural and artistic details. Marble temples , doors, windows, bell towers , icons with artistic and archaeological value and remarkable frescoes . They are all remarkable monuments of the island.
Synagogue. It is the Old Synagoge(vecchia). The actual building is a reconstruction of the 19th century building, as the Jewish neighborhood was the most severely devastated district by the Nazi bombardments of World War II . The original basement with crossed arches is still preserved. It has two departments, Oratorio Medrage ( 1820 ) right next to it and Tempo Nuovo .
It is located at the northern entrance to the town. It was built in 1743 but it was destroyed in 1798. It was rebuilt in 1801 and it was completed in 1864 with the bell tower. It is devoted to the Virgin Mary, to Agios Chrysanthos and Agia Daria.
In the monastery there is an interesting collection of post-byzantine icons made by important painters, like G. Klontzas, father Nik. Koutouzis and Sp. Ventouras. It has got an artistic wood-carved templon covered with sheets of gold and silver.
In the monastery there are the tombs of Ioannis Kapodistrias , the first governor of Greece, as well as of several Metropolites of Corfu.
Monastery of Panagia Palaiokastritsa
The monastery of the Virgin Mary was founded in 1225 . However, the building that the visitors see today date to the 16th-18th century .
The first buildings seen to have been parts of older fortifications , where comes the name "Palaiokastritsa" (of the Old Castle). It was destroyed by the Genovese in 1403 . It was rebuilt in 1469 and destroyed again in 1537 by the Turks. In 1572 it was built again and it is still preserved with several additions and repairs, like the northern entrance of 1722.
Visit the churches and monasteries of Corfu , Paxos and the Diapontian islands . Feel centuries of prayer. Admire the art of popular and acknowledged painters of the post-Byzantine Cretan or Ionian school. Even if you aren't faithful , light a candle in memoriam of those who sought here in these churches hope and strength .
Small and humble chapels, at points of unbelievable beauty, are waiting for you in Corfu , Paxos , Othoni, Erikousa and Mathraki . They preserve memories of frontier holders of the ancient and mythological times. They tell old stories of pirates and raids. They offer generously a breathtaking view over the surrounding landscape. They can fill your soul with peac , your mind with feelings , your eyes with beauty and your heart with that sweet taste of life, that made Dionyssios Solomos, the National Poet of Greece, to write « life is sweet and death is black ».
Devote to these plain corners a day of your holidays. If you can, come at sunset and witness the sky meeting the sea at a holy encounter… …
Easter in Corfu
If you only get one chance in a lifetime to visit Corfu, you'd better choose spring and especially Easter week . It is the time when Corfu brings out to light all its natural and cultural beauty .
You will feel overwhelmed by the flowers , you will feel surprised by the green , you will be taken away by music , you will get unprecedented feelings by the religious and celebrating events.
It is the only place on Earth where you can experience Spring getting inside your very existence, where you can enjoy so strongly the atmosphere of the most important celebration . Easter here is bright beyond all expectations.
Several Saints have chosen to honor Corfu and Paxos by living here. Frontier holders, , guardians of the extremities of the Eastern Orthodox faith, those Saints are today honored by the two major churches of the island .
Saint Spyridon , is the patron saint and protector of Corfu .
Saint Theodora the Byzantine Emperess.
Saint Gaios is the patron saint and protector of Paxos .
Moreover , several Saints and Holy relics are in Corfu and offer protection to the place and to its people .
Another Saint of the Holy Church of Russia left his trace in the history and conscience of thw Corfiot people, since, as an Admiral of the Russian fleet, he played an important part in the first independence of a Greek territory (1800). Admiral Usakof .