Top Historic Sights in Corfu, Greece

Explore the historic highlights of Corfu

Saint Spyridon Church

Saint Spyridon Church is a Greek Orthodox church built in the 1580s. It houses the relics of Saint Spyridon and it is located in the old town of Corfu. It is a single-nave basilica and its bell tower is the highest in the Ionian Islands.  In the 1580s, after the demolition of the private church, the Saint Spyridon remains were moved to their present location in a new church which was built within the city fortifications ...
Founded: 1580s | Location: Corfu, Greece

Palace of St. Michael and St. George

The Palace of St. Michael and St. George originally served as the residence of the British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. It was built between 1819 and 1824, to a neoclassical design of Colonel George Whitmore.  The palace was designed in the Greek Revival style of neoclassical architecture, and it was the first building of that style to be constructed on Greek territory. It was designed by the British ar ...
Founded: 1819-1824 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Cathedral of St. James and St. Christopher

The old cathedral was located in the Old Fortress of Corfu and was dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. This temple was one of the oldest monuments of the old fortress and was originally an Orthodox Cathedral which from the 13th to the 17th century was the cathedral of the city"s Catholics. Originally the church was a basilica and beside it was a chapel dedicated to Saint Arsenius, first bishop of Corfu (876-952 ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Old Fortress of Corfu

The Old Venetian Fortress of Corfu covers the promontory which initially contained the old town of Corfu that had emerged during Byzantine times. Before the Venetian era the promontory, which lies between the Gulf of Kerkyra to the north and Garitsa Bay to the south, was defended by Byzantine fortifications which the Venetians largely replaced with fortifications of their own design. As part of their defensive plans the ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Achilleion

Achilleion is a palace built in Gastouri on the Island of Corfu for the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi. Elisabeth was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria following the Mayerling incident in 1889, and a year later she had this summer palace built as a refuge. Achilleion is located about ten kilometres south of the city of Corfu and provides a panoramic view ...
Founded: 1889 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Paleokastritsa Monastery

The monastery of the Holy Theotokos, also known as Paleokastritsa Monastery, is one of the oldest in Corfu, dating to 1225. The reasons for visiting this monastery are two-fold. Set on the top of the cape, the views from the monastery are stunningly dramatic and indescribably beautiful. Perhaps the most visited of the island’s religious sites, due to its amazing position, it is also steeped in history. It is built on t ...
Founded: 1225 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Vlacherna Monastery

The Holy Monastery of Blachernae (Vlacherna) was built in the 17th century. In 1799, it belonged to the Halikiopoulos-Mantzaros family and for years functioned as a nunnery until 1980. The building is distinguished by its unusual shaped, tiled roof and intense white walls that sharply contrast with the lush landscape and the brilliant blue of the sea. After crossing the pedestrian bridge you will find yourself in the co ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

New Fortress of Corfu

The New Fortress of Corfu is a Venetian fortress built on the hill of St. Mark in Corfu. The current buildings which exist within the fortress were built by the British during their rule of the island (1815–63). In the aftermath of the first great Ottoman siege of Corfu in 1537, the Venetians developed plans to expand the fortifications of the city. Venetians built the New Fortress at the hill of St. Mark to further st ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Venetian Arsenal

The Venetian arsenal at Gouvia was a shipyard built by the Republic of Venice during their rule over the island of Corfu. It was located on the west side of what used to be called 'Govino Bay', the current location of the modern village of Gouvia. The arsenal was built in 1716 as part of defenses against the Ottomans. It was abandoned by the Venetians in 1798, when the Venetian Republic ceased to exist.
Founded: 1716 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Kassiopi Castle

Kassiopi Castle was one of three Byzantine-period castles that defended the island before the Venetian era (1386–1797). The castles formed a defensive triangle, with Gardiki guarding the island"s south, Kassiopi the northeast and Angelokastro the northwest. The exact origins of the castle are not clear, with various theories being advanced, but they appear to be Byzantine. During excavations in the two towers adja ...
Founded: 6th century AD | Location: Corfu, Greece

Mon Repos

Mon Repos villa was built as a summer residence for the British Lord High Commissioner of the United States of the Ionian Islands, Frederick Adam, and his second wife, Diamantina "Nina" Palatino, in 1828–1831, although they had to vacate the villa soon afterwards in 1832 when Adam was sent to serve in India. The villa was rarely used as a residence for later British governors. In 1833, it housed a school of fi ...
Founded: 1831 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Corfu

The Archaeological Museum of Corfu was built between 1962 and 1965. The museum land was donated by the city of Corfu. Its initial purpose was to house the archaeological finds from the Temple of Artemis in Corfu. In 1994 it was expanded with the addition of two more exhibit halls that display the more recent finds at the ancient citadel of Corfu.  The collections of the museum include for example finds from excavations ...
Founded: 1962 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Angelokastro

Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. 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. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwes ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Church of Saints Iasson and Sossipatros

Church of Saints Iasson and Sossipatros is dedicated to the two Saints Iasson and Sosipatros, both Paul"s disciples, who spread the Christianity on Corfu island.This church was constructed in the 11th century on the ruins of a monastery and it is one of the few examples of Byzantine architecture left standing. Stones collected from abandoned ancient buildings were used in its construction and expert builders were ca ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Basilica of Palaiopolis

The Basilica of Palaiopolis, one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Corfu, was built in the mid-5th AD century by the Bishop Ioviano. The temple was built in the center of the Roman market of Corfu. It was a five-aisled basilica with a transept, double narthex, atrium and rich sculpture and mosaic decoration. For building materials from the adjacent ancient pagan temples , which still visible on its walls. The ...
Founded: 5th century AD | Location: Corfu, Greece

Pantocrator Church

Just in front of Vlaherna Monastery there is an island called Pontikonissi on which there is only one building: the church of Pantocrator. According to one interpretation of the Odyssey this island would be the ship of Ulysses that was turned into rock by Poseidon while, according to another legend would be the rock on which Ulysses" ship crashed during a storm. The church of Pantocrator was built in the 13th centur ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Temple of Hera

The Temple of Hera or Heraion is an archaic temple in Corfu, built around 610 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. The sanctuary of Hera at Mon Repos is considered a major temple, and one of the earliest examples of archaic Greek architecture. Large terracotta figures such as lions, gorgoneions, and Daidala maidens, crea ...
Founded: 610 BCE | Location: Corfu, Greece

Kardaki Temple

Kardaki Temple is an Archaic Doric temple in Corfu, built around 500 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra. The temple features several architectural peculiarities that point to a Doric origin. The temple at Kardaki is unusual because it has no frieze, following perhaps architectural tendencies of Sicilian temples. It is considered to be the only Greek temple of Doric architecture that does not have a frieze. The spacing of t ...
Founded: 500 BCE | Location: Corfu, Greece

Tomb of Menecrates

The Tomb of Menecrates is an Archaic-period cenotaph in Corfu, built around 600 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra. The tomb and the funerary sculpture of a lion were discovered in 1843 during demolition works by the British army who were demolishing a Venetian-era fortress in the site of Garitsa hill in Corfu. The tomb is dated to the sixth century BC. The sculpture is dated to the end of the seventh century BC and is on ...
Founded: 600 BCE | Location: Corfu, Greece

Gardiki Castle

Gardiki Castle is a 13th-century Byzantine castle on the southwestern coast of Corfu and the only surviving medieval fortress on the southern part of the island. It was built by a ruler of the Despotate of Epirus, and was one of three castles which defended the island before the Venetian era (1401–1797). The three castles formed a defensive triangle, with Gardiki guarding the island"s south, Kassiopi Castle the nor ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Corfu, Greece

Temple of Artemis

The Temple of Artemis is an Archaic Greek temple in Corfu, Greece, built in around 580 BC in the ancient city of Korkyra. The temple was dedicated to Artemis. It is known as the first Doric temple exclusively built with stone. It is also considered the first building to have incorporated all of the elements of the Doric architectural style. Very few Greek temple reliefs from the Archaic period have survived, and the large ...
Founded: 580 BCE | Location: Corfu, Greece

Platytera Monastery

Platytera Monastery is situated in Corfu city not far from the new port. It was built in 1743 but had a short life because during the war French-Russian-Turk (1799) it was destroyed. Then it was reconstructed and became one of the most important monasteries of the island for the mortal remains of Capodistria, president of Greece, and Tsavellas, hero of revolution, which are inside. This monastery is dedicated to the Bless ...
Founded: 1743 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Pantokratoras Monastery

Pantokratoras monastery, standing on the summit of the mountain of the same name, enjoys scenic views of the entire island of Corfu, the surrounding islands and the mainland. The first construction was built in 1347 and destroyed in 1537, while the building we admire today dates back to the late 17th century. Besides the stone church there are portico and inner courtyards. Entering in the monastery you have not a feeling ...
Founded: 1347 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Walled city of Jajce

The Walled City of Jajce is a medieval fortified nucleus of Jajce in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with citadel high above town on top of pyramidal-shaped steep hill, enclosed with approximately 1,300 metres long defensive walls,. It is one of the best preserved fortified capitals of the Bosnian Kingdom, the last stronghold before the kingdom dissolved under the pressure of military advancement at the onset of Ottoman Empire takeover.

The entire complex of the Walled city of Jajce, with the citadel, city ramparts, watchtower Medvjed-kula, and two main city gate-towers lies on the southern slope of a large rocky pyramid at the confluence of the rivers Pliva and Vrbas, enclosed by these rivers from the south-southwest, with the bed of the Pliva, and east-southeast by the river Vrbas gorge.

History

The fortress was built by Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić, the founder of Jajce. However, the city became the seat of the Bosnian kings, hence the royal coat of arms decoration on the citadel entrance. A part of the wall was built by the Hungarian King, while the Ottomans erected the powder magazine. The walls are high and the castle was built on a hill that is egg shaped, the rivers Pliva and Vrbas also protect the castle. There is no rampart on the south and west.

Jajce was first built in the 14th century and served as the capital of the independent Kingdom of Bosnia during its time. The town has gates as fortifications, as well as a castle with walls which lead to the various gates around the town. About 10–20 kilometres from Jajce lies the Komotin Castle and town area which is older but smaller than Jajce. It is believed the town of Jajce was previously Komotin but was moved after the Black Death.

The first reference to the name of Jajce in written sources is from the year 1396, but the fortress had already existed by then. Jajce was the residence of the last Bosnian king Stjepan Tomasevic; the Ottomans besieged the town and executed him, but held it only for six months, before the Hungarian King Matthias Corvinus seized it at the siege of Jajce and established the Banovina of Jajce.

Skenderbeg Mihajlović besieged Jajce in 1501, but without success because he was defeated by Ivaniš Korvin assisted by Zrinski, Frankopan, Karlović and Cubor.

During this period, Queen Catherine restored the Saint Mary"s Church in Jajce, today the oldest church in town. Eventually, in 1527, Jajce became the last Bosnian town to fall to Ottoman rule. The town then lost its strategic importance, as the border moved further north and west.

Jajce passed with the rest of Bosnia and Herzegovina under the administration of Austria-Hungary in 1878. The Franciscan monastery of Saint Luke was completed in 1885.

Surroundings

The Walled city of Jajce is located at the confluence of the Pliva and Vrbas rivers. It was founded and started developing in the Middle Ages and acquired its final form during the Ottoman period. There are several churches and mosques built in different times during different rules, making Jajce a rather diverse town in this aspect. It is declared National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and, as the old Jajce city core, including the waterfall, and other individual sites outside the walled city perimeter, such as the Jajce Mithraeum, it is designated as The natural and architectural ensemble of Jajce and proposed as such for inscription into the UNESCO"s World Heritage Site list. The bid for inscription is currently placed on the UNESCO Tentative list.