Castles of Corfu

Castles of Corfu

Gardiki Castle

Our exciting tour begins with a scenic drive south to the Byzantine castle of Gardiki. Located very close proximity to the village of Agios Matthaeos, Gardiki Castle was established in 13th century. It was an octangular building including fortifications which had saved the residents of the region on a number of occasions. At present, the walls are well-kept in extremely good condition. In the grounds of the Gardiki Castle there are several architectural associates of antique buildings.

In the district around Gardiki Castle you can see various olive groves, which adds to the exclusive beauty of the place. This castle has typical Byzantine features in its edifice. You can see the Gardiki Castle right at the entrance of Gardiki village. The most famous scholars of Corfu associate this wonderful Castle with the Angelokastro Fort. This is mainly for the reason that the castle was established during the same period and by the same Archbishop. Gardiki Castle is striking with its octagonal form and a spherical addition. The adjoining fortifications were decorated in conventional Byzantine style. The signs that you can see on the right part of the main doorway are considered to belong to the in-house chapel.

Old fortress

We continue our tour with a visit of the Old Fortress located opposite the main square of Corfu Town. It is a masterpiece of architectural art and offers an incredible view. Worth visiting inside the fortress is the chapel of Saint George, which was built by British in 1840. The Old Fortress today is a monumental area housing the Historical Archive of Kerkyra, the Public Library, services of the Ministry of Culture and rooms for exhibitions and events.

New Fortress

Our tour finishes at the New Fortress, considered as the new citadel or popularly known as the Neo Frourio. The New Fortress is also popularly known as the Fortress of San Marco. This prominent tourist attraction upholds the rich cultural heritage of the country. The New Fortress was constructed by the Venetians close to the Old Harbour of Corfu town. It is said to be built shortly after the second great Turkish siege and that is between the years 1576 and 1645. An eminent Italian military engineer Ferraute Vitteli was greatly responsible for the establishment of the New Fortress.

Here, you can see the amazing and beautiful winged Lion of St Mark. This is the icon of Venice which you can see at regular intervals decorating the fortifications. Along the western side of the New Fortress you can find a dry moat that is a great example of the architectural brilliance of the 17th century artisans. You can find two colossal gates of the fortress that have withstood the test of time. The first gate faces the Old Harbor’s square while the other gate faces the square to the south. These two gates have the sign of Venice, which is the winged lion of St. Mark.

 

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