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Corfu (city)

Corfu montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article, if it exists.View of the Old Venetian Fortress and the Old Town of CorfuVenetian Bell Tower of CorfuThe Natura 2000-protected seaside from Kanoni to MesoggiChurch of the Virgin Mary MandrakinaPanoramic view of the City of CorfuPalace of St. Michael and St. GeorgeA characteristic street of Corfu
Clockwise from top: The Old Venetian Fortress and the Old Town of Corfu, as seen from the New Fortress, Venetian bell tower of Corfu, The Natura 2000-protected seaside from Kanoni to Mesoggi, Church of the Virgin Mary Mandrakina, Panoramic view of the city of Corfu, Palace of St. Michael and St. George, A characteristic street of Corfu.
Official seal of Corfu
Corfu is located in Greece
Location within the regional unit
Coordinates: 39°37′26″N 19°55′17″E / 39.62389°N 19.92139°E / 39.62389; 19.92139
Administrative regionIonian Islands
Regional unitCorfu
MunicipalityCentral Corfu and Diapontia Islands
 • Municipal unit41.905 km2 (16.180 sq mi)
 • Municipal unit
 • Municipal unit density960/km2 (2,500/sq mi)
 • Community
(Greek: Κερκυραίος, -α "Kerkyreos")
Time zoneUTC+2 (EET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(s)26610
Vehicle registrationΚΥ
Official nameOld Town of Corfu
CriteriaCultural: (iv)
Inscription2007 (31st Session)
Area70 ha (170 acres)
Buffer zone162 ha (400 acres)

Corfu (/kɔːrˈf(j)/, also US: /ˈkɔːrf(j)/) or Kerkyra (Greek: Κέρκυρα, romanizedKérkyra, pronounced [ˈcercira] ; Ancient Greek: Κόρκυρα, romanizedKórkyra, pronounced [kórkyra]; Medieval Greek: Κορυφώ, romanizedKoryfó; Latin: Corcyra) is a city and a former municipality on the island of Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2019 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Central Corfu and Diapontia Islands.[2] It is the capital of the municipality and of the Corfu regional unit. The city also serves as a capital for the region of the Ionian Islands. The city (population in 2021: 40,047 residents and the whole island about 100,000) is a major tourist attraction and Greek regional centre and has played an important role in Greek history since antiquity.


The ancient city of Corfu, known as Korkyra, took part in the Battle of Sybota which was a catalyst for the Peloponnesian War, and, according to Thucydides, the largest naval battle between Greek city states until that time. Thucydides also reports that Korkyra was one of the three great naval powers of fifth-century-BC Greece, along with Athens and Corinth.[3] Medieval castles punctuating strategic locations across the city are a legacy of struggles in the Middle Ages against invasions by pirates and the Ottomans. The city has become known since the Middle Ages as Kastropolis (Castle City) because of its two castles.[4]

From 1386 to 1797, Corfu was ruled by Venetian nobility; much of the city reflects this era when the island belonged to the Republic of Venice, with multi-storied buildings on narrow lanes. The Old Town of Corfu has clear Venetian influence.[5] The city was subjected to four notable sieges in 1537, 1571, 1573 and 1716, in which the strength of the city defenses asserted itself time after time, mainly because of the effectiveness of the powerful Venetian fortifications. Writer Will Durant claimed that Corfu owed to the Republic of Venice the fact that it was the only part of Greece never conquered by the Ottomans.[6]

In 2007, the old town of the city was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.[7][8][9] The municipal unit of Corfu city has a land area of 41.905 km2 (16.180 sq mi)[10] and a total population of 40,047 inhabitants. Besides the city of Corfu/Kérkyra, its largest other towns are Kanáli (population 4,786), Potamós (3,840), Kontokáli (1,660), Alepoú (3,149), and Gouviá (838).


Kardaki Temple in Corfu

In the city of Corfu, the ruins of the ancient city of Korkyra, also known as Palaiopolis, include ancient temples which were excavated at the location of the palace of Mon Repos, which was built on the ruins of the Palaiopolis. The temples are: Kardaki Temple, Temple of Artemis, and the Temple of Hera. Hera's temple is situated at the western limits of Mon Repos, close to Kardaki Temple and to the northwest.[11] It is approximately 700 m. to the southeast of the Temple of Artemis in Corfu.[11] Hera's Temple was built at the top of Analipsis Hill, and, because of its prominent location, it was highly visible to ships passing close to the waterfront of ancient Korkyra.[11]


Map of the "Old Fortress" of Corfu, 1573.
Typical houses of Corfu city.

In several parts of the town may be found houses of the Venetian time, with some traces of past splendour. The Palace of St. Michael and St. George, built in 1815 by Sir Thomas Maitland (1759–1824; Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands) is a large structure of white Maltese stone. Near Gastouri stands the Pompeian style Achilleion, the palace built for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and purchased in 1907 by the German emperor, William II.

Of the thirty-seven Greek churches the most important are the cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Cave; St. Spiridon's, with the tomb of the patron saint of the island; and the suburban church of St Jason and St Sosipater, reputedly the oldest in the island. [citation needed] The city is the seat of a Greek and a Roman Catholic archbishop; and it possesses a gymnasium, a theatre, an agricultural and industrial society, and a library and museum preserved in the buildings formerly devoted to the university, which was founded by Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766–1827, himself the first chancellor in 1824) in 1823, but disestablished on the cessation of the British protectorate.

Based on the ICOMOS evaluation of the old town of Corfu,[8] it was inscribed on the World Heritage List. The ICOMOS experts have noted that "about 70% of the pre-20th century buildings date from the British period" and that "whole blocks were destroyed" in the Old Town by the German World War II blitzes; these were "replaced by new constructions in the 1960s and 1970s". The urban fabric was classified as being predominantly of the Neoclassical period "without special architectural features for which it could be distinguished".[8] However, they note that the layout and structure of the city, including its Venetian fortifications, make Corfu a quintessential example of a fortified maritime city.[8]


View of the old town
Agion Panton Street

The town of Corfu stands on the broad part of a peninsula, whose termination in the Venetian citadel (Greek: Παλαιό Φρούριο) is cut off from it by an artificial fosse formed in a natural gully, with a salt-water ditch at the bottom, that serves also as a kind of marina known as Contra-Fossa. The old city having grown up within fortifications, where every metre of ground was precious, is a labyrinth of narrow streets paved with cobblestones, sometimes tortuous but mostly pleasant, colourful, and sparkling clean. [citation needed] These streets are called "kantounia" (καντούνια) and the older ones sometimes follow the gentle irregularities of the ground while many of them are too narrow for vehicular traffic. There is promenade by the seashore towards the bay of Garitsa (Γαρίτσα), and also an esplanade between the town and the citadel called Liston [it] (Λιστόν) where upscale restaurants and European style bistros abound. The origin of the name Liston has several explanations: many former Venetian cities have a square of that name, coming from a Venetian word meaning evening promenade, but it can also refer to the closed-list aspect of an up-scale area reserved to the nobility registered in the Libro d'Oro.

The citadel was depicted on the reverse of the Greek 500 drachmas banknote of 1983-2001.[12]

Panoramic view of the old town


The city of Corfu has a long tradition in the fine arts. The Philharmonic Society of Corfu is part of that tradition. The Museum of the Philharmonic Society of Corfu presents in detail the musical heritage of the island.


Corfu is the only place in Greece where cricket is popular. It was imported into the island during British rule. The Hellenic Cricket Federation is based in Corfu and it is the only Greek sport federation that is based outside Athens.[13] The most Greek cricket clubs are based in Corfu and they star in the Greek Championship. Notable cricket clubs of Corfu are Kerkyraikos G.S. (KGS), founded in 1893, GSK Vyron, founded in 1925 and AO Phaeax founded in 1976.

In other sports, Corfu has two teams with presence in higher divisions. The football club AOK Kerkyra, founded in 1969 originally as "AO Kerkyra", that plays in A Ethniki and the water polo club NAO Kerkyra (NAOK) founded in 1935, with earlier presence in A1 Ethniki Polo.

Sport clubs based in Ampelokipoi
Club Founded Sports Achievements
Kerkyraikos G.S. 1893 Basketball, Cricket, Track and Field Panhellenic titles in Cricket, earlier presence in Beta Ethniki Basketball
GSK Byron 1925 Cricket Panhellenic titles in Cricket,
Olympos Kerkyras 1934 Football Presence in Gamma Ethniki
NAO Kerkyra (NAOK)[14] 1935 Water Polo, Swimming Earlier presence in A1 Ethniki Water Polo
AOK Kerkyra (originally as AO Kerkyra) 1969 Football Presence in A Ethniki
AO Phaeax 1976 Basketball, Cricket, Handball Panhellenic titles in Cricket


Corfu city has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Csa). The summers are hot and generally dry but with high relative humidity and daytime temperatures reaching 33 °C (91 °F). The winters are mild and wet, with temperatures around 10 °C (50 °F).

Climate data for Corfu
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.5
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 13.9
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.7
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 5.1
Record low °C (°F) −4.5
Average rainfall mm (inches) 136.6
Average rainy days 16.1 14.6 14.5 12.9 8.0 4.9 2.3 3.4 7.0 11.8 15.7 17.5 128.7
Average relative humidity (%) 75.4 74.3 73.4 72.8 69.5 63.4 60.0 62.2 70.4 74.6 77.5 77.2 70.7
Mean monthly sunshine hours 117.7 116.8 116.0 206.5 276.8 324.2 364.5 332.8 257.1 188.9 133.5 110.9 2,545.7
Source 1: Hellenic National Meteorological Service[15]
Source 2: NOAA (extremes and sun 1961−1990)[16]


Spianada Square
The City Hall (former Nobile Teatro di San Giacomo di Corfù).
Statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias, by sculptor Leonidas Drosis, with the Ionian Academy in the background.
View of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, with the statue of Sir Frederick Adam, which houses the Museum of Asian Art

Mayor history

Up until 1866, Corfu had no mayors. This list starts from 1866 and on.[17]

  • Nikolaos V. Manesis (1866–1870)
  • Christodoulos M. Kiriakis (1870–1879)
  • Georgios Theotokis (1879–1885)
  • Ioannis Padovas (1885–1887)[18]
  • Michael Theotokis [el] (1887–1895)
  • Angelos Psoroulas [el] (1895–1899)
  • Dimitrios Kollas (1899–1911)
  • Ioannis Mavrogiannis (1914–1925)
  • Spyridon Kollas (1925–1951)
  • Stamatios Desyllas (1951–1955)[19]
  • Maria Desylla-Kapodistria (1956–1959), first female mayor in Greece.[19]
  • Panagiotis Zafiropoulos (1959–1964)
  • Spyros Rath (1964–1967)
  • Municipal councils (1967–74)
  • Konstantinos Alexopoulos (1974–1975)
  • Spyros Rath (1975–1978)
  • Ioannis Kourkoulos (1979–1990)
  • Chrisanthos Sarlis (1991–2002)
  • Alexandros Mastoras (2003–2006)
  • Sotirios Micallef (2007–2010)
  • Ioannis Trepeklis (2011–2014)
  • Kostas Nikolouzos (2014–19)[20]
  • Merope Hydraiou (2019–)

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Corfu is twinned with:[21][22][23][24][25]


The city hosts consulates from the following countries:


Main streets


  • TV: Corfu TV, Start TV
  • Newspapers: Kerkyra Simera



See also


  •  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Corfu". Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 145–146.
  1. ^ "Αποτελέσματα Απογραφής Πληθυσμού - Κατοικιών 2021, Μόνιμος Πληθυσμός κατά οικισμό" [Results of the 2021 Population - Housing Census, Permanent population by settlement] (in Greek). Hellenic Statistical Authority. 29 March 2024.
  2. ^ "Τροποποίηση του άρθρου 1 του ν. 3852/2010" [Amendment of Article 1 of l. 3852/2010] (in Greek). Government Gazette. p. 1164.
  3. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 1.36.3
  4. ^ "Home Page". Municipality of Corfu. Archived from the original on 2017-07-04. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
  5. ^ Italian Corfu city
  6. ^ Will Durant. The Renaissance. page 684. MJF Books. New York, 1981 ISBN 1-56731-016-8
  7. ^ BBC news on UNESCO World Heritage list
  8. ^ a b c d UNESCO Advisory Body (ICOMOS) report on Corfu History retrieved 3 July 2007
  9. ^ Old Town of Corfu on UNESCO website retrieved 3 July 2007
  10. ^ "Population & housing census 2001 (incl. area and average elevation)" (PDF) (in Greek). National Statistical Service of Greece. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-21.
  11. ^ a b c Philip Sapirstein (2012). "The Monumental Archaic Roof of the Temple of Hera at Mon Repos, Corfu". Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 81 (1): 31–91. doi:10.2972/hesperia.81.1.0031. JSTOR 10.2972/hesperia.81.1.0031. S2CID 193469029.
  12. ^ Bank of Greece Archived March 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Drachma Banknotes & Coins: 500 drachmas Archived 2007-10-05 at the Wayback Machine. – Retrieved on 27 March 2009.
  13. ^ "History". Retrieved 17 April 2015.
  14. ^ "NAOK website". NAOK.
  15. ^ "Mean Corfu Climatic Averages". Hellenic National Meteorological Service. Archived from the original on 24 January 2015. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  16. ^ "Kekira Climate Normals 1961–1990". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  17. ^ "History of City Councils from the Municipality of Corfu". Municipality of Corfu. 2005-09-20. Archived from the original on April 9, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-30.
  18. ^ "Municipal council of Corfu, 5th period (1883-1887)". Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  19. ^ a b Municipality of Corfu from the Internet archive Quote:In the elections of 1954 Stamatios Desillas was elected Mayor for a second term and remained in office until his death, Christmas Day 1955. Soon after a bye-election took place in Corfu in which the widow of the deceased Maria Desilla - Kapodistria, was elected Mayor with 5,365 votes in a total of 10,207. Maria Desilla became Mayor of Corfu on 15 April 1956 until 9 May 1959. She was the first female Mayor in Greece.
  20. ^ "Mayor of Corfu".
  21. ^ "Αδελφοποιήσεις Δήμου". (in Greek). Kerkyra. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  22. ^ "Sister Cities". City of Bethlehem. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  23. ^ "Gradovi pobratimi". (in Montenegrin). Bar. Archived from the original on 2021-09-05. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  24. ^ "MV-U-7/19: KD Okvirni sporazum putovanja". (in Serbian). Zemun. 2019-06-01. p. 7. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
  25. ^ "Αδελφοποιημένες Πόλεις". (in Greek). Mytilene. Archived from the original on 2020-01-29. Retrieved 2020-01-10.
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Corfu (city)
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