The town of Corfu Kerkyra

corfu kerkyraKerkyra or Corfu Town is a popular holiday resort with architecture heavily influenced by the Venetians.

It is one of the most interesting and exciting cities in the Ionian islands and it’s the cosmopolitan mix that gives Corfu its unique character.

Many years of Venetian domination give Kerkyra a very Italian flavour while other parts, such as the Liston and the Spianada square, are distinctively French.

As one of the Greek islands nearest the UK it also shows a heavy British influence, not always to its credit.

Corfu old town is enclosed between the two ancient forts and many of the old houses are built of local stone. The wooden attics add a romantic charm to the concrete.

The 16th century fort dominates the town and its maze of narrow streets hides a chapel, an old mansion or a flower-filled garden square at almost every turn.

The new fort was built around 1580 and has two surviving gates at Porto San Nicolo, to the north, and Porta Spillia, to the east.

Cafes at the Liston, built in the style as the Rue de Rivoli, Paris, are the most popular tourist draws.

Corfu Town is noted for its museums and galleries with the Palace of St Michael and St George housing an impressive collection of Asian art.

Worth a visit is the town centre church of St. Spiridon ,home to the patron saint of Corfu.

corfu-townNorth of Corfu Town square is the French-designed Liston arcade, built to resemble the rue de Rivoli in Paris and packed with elegant cafes and restaurants. It’s a pleasant place for a stroll but expect to pay top price in this tourist honey-pot. The food can be bland and the service may be brusque.

Nearby is the Georgian Palace of St Michael and St George which houses the wonderful Museum of Asiatic Art, one of the largest and best collections in the world. In fact Corfu Town is noted for its many weird collections. The Ionian Bank houses a Museum of Banknotes and you can even find a Serbian War Museum (the Balkan Wars of 1915-17, not the more recent one).

The Byzantine Museum is housed in a restored 15th century church and the Solomos Museum is dedicated to the island’s poet. Also of note is the impressive St. Spiridon’s Church, home to the long preserved bones of Corfu island’s patron saint.