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 in the Campiello district of the old town. The bell tower of the church is similar in design to its contemporary Greek Orthodox church of San Giorgio dei Greci located in Venice. In 1831, Ioannis Kapodistrias, the 1st Governor of the Hellenic State, was assassinated outside the church.
Inside the church there is a crypt to the right of the iconostasis where the remains of the Saint are kept in a double sarcophagus. The larger of the two contains the smaller one in its interior and is wooden with silver leaf trim. The smaller sarcophagus is surfaced in red velvet and has a removable bottom to facilitate changing the slippers of the saint.
The lack of any underground chamber to house the remains of the saint was part of a deliberate design plan to make them as accessible as possible. In the crypt there are 53 incense burners hanging from the ceiling, 18 of which are golden and the rest made of silver.
The front of the marble iconostasis resembles the exterior of the entrance of a baroque-style church. The ceiling of the church is divided into segments depicting scenes from St. Spyridon's life and miracles. The original painter of the church ceiling was Panagiotis Doxaras who created the works in 1727. With the passage of time the Doxaras paintings rotted away and subsequently they were replaced by copies painted by Nikolaos Aspiotis, a member of the Aspiotis family of Corfu. The only remaining trace of Doxaras's work is the gilded border of the iconography.
Above the western door of the narthex the imperial coat of arms of the House of Romanov stands as a reminder that the church was under the nominal protection of Russia from 1807-1917. Near the same area a painting depicts the saint touching the head of Constantius II curing the emperor from illness.
The Venetian Senate offered a gilded silver lamp bearing the reliefs of the Saint and the lion of St. Mark in commemoration of the miracles of the Saint during the second great siege of Corfu in 1716. The lamp is hanging at the west corner of the nave near the women's quarters.References:
Varberg Fortress was built in 1287-1300 by count Jacob Nielsen as protection against his Danish king, who had declared him an outlaw after the murder of King Eric V of Denmark. Jacob had close connections with king Eric II of Norway and as a result got substantial Norwegian assistance with the construction. The fortress, as well as half the county, became Norwegian in 1305.
King Eric's grand daughter, Ingeborg Håkansdotter, inherited the area from her father, King Haakon V of Norway. She and her husband, Eric, Duke of Södermanland, established a semi-independent state out of their Norwegian, Swedish and Danish counties until the death of Erik. They spent considerable time at the fortress. Their son, King Magnus IV of Sweden (Magnus VII of Norway), spent much time at the fortress as well.
The fortress was augmented during the late 16th and early 17th century on order by King Christian IV of Denmark. However, after the Treaty of Brömsebro in 1645 the fortress became Swedish. It was used as a military installation until 1830 and as a prison from the end of the 17th Century until 1931.
It is currently used as a museum and bed and breakfast as well as private accommodation. The moat of the fortress is said to be inhabited by a small lake monster. In August 2006, a couple of witnesses claimed to have seen the monster emerge from the dark water and devour a duck. The creature is described as brown, hairless and with a 40 cm long tail.