Corfu Old Fortress
It is built on a small island on the eastern edge of the Old Town of Corfu and Spianada, the big square. The Old Fortress which was the “guardian” of Corfu since the 6th century, has been built from the citizens who used ruins of Paleopolis, the ancient city that was destroyed by raids. The Old Fortress was the city of Corfu until the 15th century and it was converted into a military site, some years later. Although it was never occupied after a siege, many people passed through it including Byzantines, Venetians, French, Russians, English, Greeks, Italians and Germans.
Corfu owes its Latin name Corfu, by which it is known worldwide, to the Old Fortress, with its two hilltops. Two towers, the Land Tower and the Sea Tower, were built on these two peaks, while near the main gate you will see the Corfu Historical Archive with centuries of documents from the island’s history.
A small iron bridge connects the Old Fortress with Spianada square and you have to cross it to pass the “Contra Fossa”, the artificial moat underneath, that was created for more safety. Today it is full of fishing boats and small boats that find shelter there.
Visitors are greeted by the arched entrance of the Old Fortress, from where a gallery leads to the centre of the fortress. At the end of the tunnel, a narrow alley leads to the old camp, while to the south you have the opportunity to approach the Doric church of St. George, which built in 1840 during the English occupation. In front of the Gate, on the edge of Spianada square, the Statue of Schulenburg, the marshal, who successfully defended the Old Fortress, repelling the Turkish attack in the 18th century, has been moved.
With all that fear, it’s much easier to stay at home in our comfort
zones than to break out and travel.
In the Old Fortress you will see various buildings still standing: the Venetian prison, the military chapel, two barracks and the English military hospital, where today the music school operates. Madraki, the small harbour full of boats, with its beautiful Soranza gate awaits you on the northern side of the peninsula.
Stone stairs lead to the highest fortification level of the Old Fortress, from where you will enjoy a panoramic view of Spianada and the Old Town, the bay of Garitsa and Vido. Cultural events are organized in the area of the fortress, called Versiada.
To enjoy all the beauties of the Old Fortress, you will need about three hours, while if you want to rest, there are two recreation areas for drinks, refreshments, coffee or food.