Corfu Landmarks and Monuments
(Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece)
Contrasting greatly with the tourist scene around the beaches of Corfu and the island's historic landmarks. One of the most famous of all the landmarks on Corfu, the Old Fortress is known locally in Greek as the Palaio Frourio and is instantly recognisable, standing on an adjacent island and being surrounded by imposing fortifications.
Located off the coastal road and to the south of Corfu Town, the Achillion Palace is another important monument and is conveniently close to the villages of Gastouri and Benitses. Also worth looking out for are the landmarks of the Palaia Anaktora, the Church of Agios Spyridon, Kaiser's Bridge, and the Palace of St. Michael and St. Georges, which was completed in 1824, after five years' worth of construction work.
Palaio Frourio (Old Fortress / Citadel)
Tel: +30 2661 048 310
The interior of the Palaio Frourio remains in a very good state of repair and is often used to host a number of Corfu's leading events and concerts, with the background being provided by none other than the Aegean Sea itself. The centre of the fortress features a tall obelisk structure, with its very own observation area at the very top.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 19:00
Neo Frourio (New Fortress / Citadel)
Often referred to be tourists as either the New Fortress or the New Citadel, the Neo Frourio stands alongside the coastline, on the north-eastern side of Corfu Town. With enormous walls surrounding the entire landmark, the Neo Frourio dominates the waterfront and is open to members of the general public, who can learn more about the history of the fortress by taking an insightful guided tour around the medieval passageways and corridors.
Open hours: daily, May to October - 09:00 to 21:00
Palaia Anaktora (Old Palaces) / Royal Gardens (Garden of the People)
Sited on the northern side of the Kato Plateia, the Palaia Anaktora comprises an extensive complex of historical, Romanesque buildings and palaces, surrounded by Venetian fortifications and castle-like turrets. Used in the past to house everyone from British Governors to the King of Greece, the Palaia Anaktora contain a series of large halls and corridors, where various art works are displayed. The gardens of the palaces have been named as the Royal Gardens and are especially impressive, being filled with exotic planting schemes and seasonal colour, affording some superb views of the bay.
Open hours: daily
Achilleion / Achillion Palace
Address: Near Gastouri, Corfu, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 26610 56245
During the latter part of the 19th century, this beautiful landmark building served as the summertime palace to the Austrian Empress Elizabeth (Sissy). Take a walk around the formally landscaped garden surrounding the Achillion Palace, and look out for the various statues of mythological characters, including the legendary Greek hero of the Trojan war, Achilles, the palace's namesake. Also be sure to climb up the stairs to enjoy the views from the marble terrace. After Empress Elizabeth's tragic assassination in 1898, the palace remained deserts for almost a decade, before being purchased by the German Kaiser Wilhelm II.
Open hours: daily, April to October - 08:00 to 19:00; November to March - 08:30 to 15:00
Admission: charge, discounts available
Church of Agios Spyridon / Cathedral
Address: Agiou Spyridonos, Corfu, Greece, GR
With almost 40 different churches spread around the island of Corfu, the Church of Agios Spyridon is without question the island's most important and was built more than 400 years ago. Dedicated to the island's patron saint 'Agios Spyridon', the church's bell tower is easily visible from all around the busy Kantounia area of the town and beyond, and therefore serves as a very useful point of reference and also a convenient meeting place.
Open hours: daily
Admission: free, donations suggested
Palace of St. Michael and St. Georges
Address: Palaia Anaktora, Kerkyra, Corfu Town, Corfu, Greece, GR
Tel: +30 26610 30443
Appearing more like a stately home on an English estate, than a Greek palace on the resort island of Corfu, the Palace of St. Michael and St. Georges
boasts impressive Neo-classical architecture and a Maltese marble facade, and resides on the northerly side of the Spianada, within Corfu Town itself. The palace served as the official residence of the British Lord High Commissioners. In subsequent years, the Palace of St. Michael and St. Georges become a summer retreat for the Greek monarchy and today houses both the Museum of Asian Art and the Municipal Art Gallery.
Open hours: Tuesday to Sunday - 08:30 to 15:00
Address: St. Michael and St. Georges Palace, Palaia Anaktora, Kerkyra, Corfu Town, Corfu, Greece, GR
Kaiser Wilhelm II has long been extremely fond on this island and often holidayed on Corfu. Following his acquisition of Achillion Palace, Wilhelm commissioned much redesigning of the palace's botanical gardens and surrounding area. To enable him to be able to reach the beach with ease, without the need to cross the road itself, Kaiser Wilhelm ordered that a stone bridge be built, connecting the Achillion's gardens with the nearby beachfront. This bridge remains as monument to the Kaiser's wealth and self-importance, although the central section was actually removed by the Germans during WWII, to allow their vehicles greater access to the road itself.
Open hours: daily - 24 hours