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Top Attractions of Corfu island, Greece

Corfu town (Kerkyra)
If we had to present everything worth visiting and seeing within the town, we would certainly have to give you only the most important monuments and places to be, just a hint to further investigation and planning according to your own interests and mood.

The Mon-Repos Palace

Built in 1831 the Mon-Repos Palace is located atop a hill within a 250 acre park in the middle of Corfu's archeological centre. According to historians, the ancient city of Corfu had originally been there. It was built by Commissioner Adams for his wife, although she soon vacated the palace when her husband was sent to serve in India and it became a rarely used summer house for all the governors. During the British occupation a school for clergymen was located there. After the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece, King Georgios I took pocession of the area and named it Mon-Repos. During the Italian occupation it was residence for the Italian politician Parini who governed the Ionian Islands. It was virtually abandoned when the Greek monarchy was overthrown. It soon became derelict, but was recently magnificently restored and is now a fabulous museum housing many of the Islands treasures.

The Achillion Palace
Situated near the village of Gastouri, the Achillion Palace was built in 1889 for the Austrian Empress 'Sissy' Elizabeth. Supervising Italian architects Landi and Carito were unable to unite the Doric, Ionian and Corinthian architectural themes. Elizabeth requested the palace be filled with decorations based on ancient Greek history and mythology. The Achillion Palace obtained its name from a stunningly realistic statue of the 'Dying Achilleus" trying to remove an arrow from his heel. After the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni assassinated Elizabeth, the Achillion remained empty until 1908 when German Emperor Wilhelm II bought it from Elizabeth's daughter Gisela. After the defeat of Germany inWW1, the Kaiser lost his throne and the Achillion, ownership passing to the Greek government. The Italians and Greeks used the palace as a military hospital during WW2 after which it became a residence for children and featured an engineering college and a boarding school. It is now beautifully restored and open to the public.

The St. Spyridon Church
Featuring the tallest tower in Corfu, the St. Spyridon Church can be seen in the background. Built in 1596, the body of St. Spyridon rests in the church after arriving in Corfu in 1456. Before then it was kept in other churches. Ceiling decorations originally consisted of gold-plated wood carved by P. Doxaras who took until 1727 to complete the work. Lack of preservation meant the decorations where replaced later by Nicolaos Aspiotis. Four annual processions take place from the church, the one on August 11 marks the date the Turks abandoned the siege of Corfu in 1716.

World famous Kanoni is situated south of the Palaiopoli peninsula. It was named Kanoni (cannon) after the battery of artillery established by French in 1798. One of the battery's cannons still stands at the tourist kiosk. In front of Kanoni is the Monastery of Vlaherna, linked to the mainland by a cement dock and built in the 17th century. From there one can visit Pontikonissi. According to the legend, this was the ship of Phaiakes which, after taking Ulysses to Ithaki, was petrified

At the tip of the Kanoni peninsula a footpath descends to the Vlacherna Monastery, a tiny island linked to the shore by a causeway. The causeway is the mooring point for a number of small boats which will take you to Mouse Island (Pontikonissi) where you can visit the Byzantine Church of Pantokrator. The combined picture of Kanoni, Vlacherna and Pontikonissi has become the trademark of the whole island, and  has  been photographed, perhaps, by  just  about every camera in the world. Another causeway, for walkers or cyclists, links Kanoni with Perama on the opposite shore.

The byzantine fortress known as Aggelokastro (Castle of Angels) is situated near the Krini, opposite Paleokastritsa, at an altitude of 330 m. It was built in the 13th century by Michael Angelo B' the son of Epirus's archbishop Michael Angelo Á'. Tradition says that the founder was looking for the most dangerous and the steepest rock to build upon it an impregnable fortress. Thus, he came across the area of Aggelokastro where there stood a fortress, courtesy of the archbishop of Epirus. The forts' purpose was to protect the inhabitants from the pirates of Africa and the Venetians. For a while it served as the island's capital as the governor lived there. In 1403, from the castle, they fought successfully against the pirates of Genoa. The castle's entrance is an arched gate, but inside there are only ruins of the chambers and the storage rooms. In a dark cave, there is a church dedicated to the archangels Michael and Gabriel where one can admire a remarkable fresco of the Virgin Mary.

Museum of Asian Art
The building housing this collection of Chinese and Japanese works of art is a beautiful neoclassical structure built by the British in 1820 when the Ionian Islands were ruled by Britain. The museum is a peaceful oasis exhibiting Chinese porcelain and art through all the main dynasties, as well as some Japanese prints, ceramics and sculpture.

corfu island