Despite being a small island the Greek Island of Corfu has a long and varied history, with many stories to be uncovered and sights to be seen. Holidays in Corfu can be a real history lesson as the island has been inhabited since 1300BC and been involved in many battles right up to World War II. It has always been a plentiful island located between the landmasses of Greece and Italy, making it a prime target for invasion. These days things are a lot calmer, but the relics and stories still remain ready to be discovered.
Historic Sites on the Island of Corfu: The Palaio Frourio (Old Fort)
The Palaio Frourio (Old Fort)
The Old Fort sits on the East side of Corfu town and has a small museum to explain its significance in Corfiot history. The museum is well worth a visit, even just to view some of the oldest remaining art in existence, dating back to the 1st Century. Whilst there has been a fort here at all times since the 6th Century, much of what remains today was built by the Venetians at a later date and repaired by the British in the years that followed.
Gardiki Castle is now partially ruins, but once stood tall above the Gardiki village, protecting it from invaders. The castle is Byzantine by design and its octagonal shape was once decorated with art of the time. Sitting among olive groves, this picturesque relic is a huge attraction on the island.
Palaiokastritsa, a Panagia Theotokos Monastery
The Palaiokastritsa, a Panagia Theotokos Monastery dates back to 1225 and is located in a beach resort. This strange combination makes for an interesting daytrip as the beach is notoriously clean, and the monastery houses a small religious museum, home to a supposed sea monster skeleton! The current building was built in 1700 but the site itself has many ancient stories to tell.
Islands are great places to find a wealth of history as they have often witnessed many battles and changed hands multiple times over the ages. Corfu is no exception and is a fantastic place to explore the past.