Saint Spyridon Church

Corfu, Greece

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.

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Details

Founded: 1580s
Category: Religious sites in Greece

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mirek Zabski (3 years ago)
Greek Orthodox Church. The most important church on Corfu Island. A.D 1590. It’s Venetian architecture. Church Agios Spyridon houses very important religious relicts of Saint Spyridon. St. Spyridon was born in Cyprus, in 220 C.E. During his modest life he did a lot of holy miracles, and he was declared as the saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church and Roman Catholic Church. St. Spyridon is the patron saint of the Corfu Island. His memory day is celebrated on December 12th each year. I admired the magnificent interior of Church Agios Spyridon in September 2020. My best recommendation to visit.
Udo tarnawski (3 years ago)
Holly Spirydon!!!!!!!.VISIT it!! pray to God
Michael John Tanti (3 years ago)
A must visit... reading a few one star comments... Because he don't like churches...why then go... Why leave a one star... Bubbles...The tomb is open various times of the day.. please read the history of the islands Saint before you attend then things will fall into place... No you can't take photos or videos but the is part of having respect for the church and the people who attended in prayers...Why have we become so disrespectful...
Helen Halpin, PhD (3 years ago)
I believe that St Spyridon performed a miracle in Corfu for me in July & and saved my life. As St Spyridon is the patron Saint of Corfu, I wanted to thank him. I went to the church for solitude and gratitude to Spyridon for protecting me.
Елена Мозговая (3 years ago)
Recommended to visit. Very pleasure atmosphere
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