6 amazing Corfu monuments and sites- A peek inside Corfu’s history
So you want to learn everything about the best Corfu monuments and sites?
You’re in the right place.
To be honest, Corfu is a secret oasis of history and tradition. Thus, it’s not a surprise that has so many places for sightseeing.
Actually, you have to make an effort not to see Corfu’s history in every corner of the island!
But what are the best monuments and sites you just can’t miss visiting during your stay in Corfu?
Stick with us to find out. Plus, to make a mental tour in the glorious history of Corfu!
1. Corfu Old Fortress
If one thing stands out to you the most while approaching Corfu by ferry, it is Corfu Old Fortress.
Corfu Old Fortress was built by the Venetians during the 15th century on a rocky peninsula, on the eastern side of the island.
Corfu Town is separated from the fortress with an artificial moat, known as “contrafossa”. Actually, there used to be a movable wooden bridge connecting the town with the fortress. But, in 1819, the British created the stable pathway that is used today, in order to easily get to the Old Fortress from the town.
The location of the Old Fortress is strategic. It has a great view of both the coasts around it and the open sea. At the same time, defense from the land was easy, too.
But, how can you get to Corfu Old Fortress?
It can be accessed from Spianada Square, the most famous square in Corfu. The entrance to the Old Fortress is actually very impressive. Imagine a huge arched entrance with symbols carved in marble.
Inside the fortress, you’ll also find many amazing things!
Impressive buildings, created by the Venetians and the British, barracks, a military hospital, the church of Saint George, built in Doric style and many more!
The best part?
The unbeatable view!
Once you get inside the Old Fortress, you’ll have a panoramic view of the Ionian sea. It will simply blow you away, so don’t miss it!
2. Spianada Square Corfu
Fact: Spianada Square is not only the biggest square in Corfu, but also the biggest square of the Balkans.
A stroll around Spianada Square is one of the must things to do in Corfu. Especially if you’re staying at a downtown Corfu hotel, this will be your everyday stroll.
Picture this. A huge square, full of trees, colorful flowers, monuments and a kiosk, where bands often perform. Trust us, the scenery is truly idyllic! At this square, there’s also the bridge leading to the Old Fortress.
Statues is another thing about Spianada Square. If you’re a statue nerd like us, you gonna love it.
In front of the bridge, you’ll find two impressive statues: the ones of Schulenburg and Guildford. What’s more, in the area of St. Michael and George Palace, you’ll find the bronze statue of Lord Frederick Adam.
The bottom line, though, is cricket.
Yeah, you read that right.
A big part of Spianada Square is a cricket court, as Corfiots love playing cricket.
History, nature, sports… Spianada Square ticks all the boxes!
3. Pontikonisi Corfu (Mouse Island) and Panagia Vlacherna church
This is, hands down, the most photographed spot in Corfu.
At the area of Kanoni, on the southern part of Corfu, there are two small islets rising from the sea. At the smaller island, you’ll see the picturesque church of Panagia Vlacherna. The bigger one is the famous Mouse Island.
The church of Panagia Vlacherna is easily reached by a 300 m causeway, walking down from the hill at Kanoni. It was built in the 17th century and it is one of the most romantic chapels ever! Above the gate of this beautiful white chapel, there is a beautiful two-floor bell tower, while its roof is covered with tiles.
Pontikonisi is the other highlight of the area! Its name means Mouse Island, due to its shape and size. It might be a tiny island, but its beauty is amazing. The whole island is covered with cypress trees, while there is a beautiful Byzantine church located there. You can reach Mouse island by boat from Kanoni.
4. Mon Repos Palace
One of the many perks of Corfu is that palaces are not rare.
So, we’re calling all the palace lovers!
Mon Repos Palace is a time capsule that will travel you back in glorious times.
Located on the top of a green hill, the Neoclassical building of Mon Repos Palace is, surely, an impressive site. It is surrounded by pine trees and wide paths covered with white pebbles.
Apart from an impressive site, it is a place holding a great history. Princess Sissy was hosted at Mon Repos palace for a long period of time in 1863. After falling in love with the beautiful island of Corfu, she built her own palace, Achillion.
Mon Repos Palace is also the birthplace of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II. Later, during the occupation of Corfu by the Italians, it became the residence of the Italian governor of the Ionian islands, Parini.
Back to now, Mon Repos Palace attracts hundreds of tourists every year. This is partly because inside the palace there is a little museum, hosting Ionian treasures.
You can reach Mon Repos Palace either by car/taxi or by bus.
5. Achillion Palace Corfu
Surprise! Another dreamy palace on our list.
Just 10 km away from Corfu town, you’ll find the stunning palace of the famous princess Sissy, named Achillion Palace.
Just imagine an imposing palace, surrounded by a tropical garden and amazing statues.
True love, or what?
Achillion Palace was built in 1890 in order to become a getaway for the princess, whose health was fragile at the time. Apart from her love for Corfu island, the princess was also a Greek history lover. In fact, Achilles was her favorite Ancient Greek hero, hence the name of the palace.
Later on, after Sissy’s assassination in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany bought Achillion.
Today, Achillion palace is open to the public and inside it, you can find many amazing things. Such things are furniture, amazing paintings and even some clothes of Sissy.
Trivia: Several scenes of the famous James Bond movie “For your eyes only” were shot at Achillion Palace.
6. The Museum of Asian Art in Corfu
One of the must places to visit while strolling around Spianada square is the Museum of Asian Art.
If you are a history nerd, then this will probably be your kind of paradise!
You’ll find the impressive Museum of Asian Art in- what else- a gorgeous neoclassical building, inside the Palace of Saint Michel and Saint George.
The museum was created in 1928, to be a Sino-Japanese museum. Since then, it received many amazing works of art from India, Pakistan, Thibet, Siam and Southeast Asia as donations. That’s why it was later renamed to the Museum of Asian Art.
So what are you going to find among the exhibits of the museum?
Samurai armor and weapons, sculptures, ceramics, pieces of Chinese porcelains and bronzes are just some of the interesting exhibits in this museum.
However, given that the Museum of Asian Art used to be the residence of the royal family, there are still some stunning rooms to visit inside it. On the second floor of the building, you’ll find a gorgeous ballroom and the dining room. This is, hands down, your best chance to travel back in time!
To sum up, Corfu is one of the best places to dive into history. And the best part is, the historical monuments and sites of the island are beautiful both inside and outside!
Our question is: Can you really afford to miss the chance to visit them?
If not, start planning your Corfu holidays!