INNOVIMENTOR (Balkan-Mediterranean)

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OLD FORTRESS

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Constructed on a rocky peninsula, with two typical heights (Corifes), it is the eastern extremity of Corfu Town. It started to be inhabited and fortified after the devastation of the ancient Town (Palaeopolis) after the 6th century and it was the Town of Corfu ( Corifo , Corfu) from the 11th until the 15th century. In the 16th century, the Town took in a way its actual form and the Old Fortress was turned into a military area.
The fortifications were constructed throughout a historically long period of 15 centuries. From their different phases, we should point out three. The Byzantine period, when the eastern hill was fortified (Castel Vecchio), the early Venetian period, when the peninsula was turned into an island and the western hill was fortified (Castel Nuovo) and the late Venetian period, when the fortifications were completed, taking their actual form, in order to withstand canons and canonballs, the new, modern weapons of the time. At this time, all buildings in front of the Old Fortress were demolished and the impressive Spianada Square was constructed, the biggest historic square of the Balkans. The actual buildings were constructed mainly during the period of the British rule (1817 – 1864). In spite of the fact that no army was ever able to conquer it, it hosted many different flags, as a result of the changes in Europe. D’ Anjoux, Byzantines, Venetians, French, Russians, British, Greeks, Italians, Germans took it or gave it, all leaving their trace , a building, a rampart, a church, a construction, making of the Old Fortress a real masterpiece of military architecture of older times, decorated with buildings until the late 19th century.
To get in, you have to go along the bridge which connects the fortress to the town, over an artificial canal called ” Contra fossa” , which is today used as an anchorage place for fishing boats .
In the beginning of the bridge, before the entrance, you will see the statue of the Field Marshal Shulenburg in the memorial of the successful defense during the last siege of the Turks. Note that, the Corfiot people were so grateful to the Field Marshal, that this statue was created while he was still living .
Among the buildings that you eill see are the old Venetian prison (1786), the English barracks (1850), the impressive neoclassic church of Agios Georgios (1840) and the English hospital .
At the left (northern) side, a subterranean tunnel will take you to the Venetian port (“Mandraki”), which is now used by the Sailing club, and where a Restaurant and Bar functions.
At the central part of the Fortress over the church of Agios Georgio, there is also a Bar and a small Restaurant .
The most important monuments of the site are:
The Building of the Prisons.The Main Gate.British Barracks of the Officers.The Barracks of the British Protectorate.The English Hospital.Church of St. George.Also know as Kastropolis (city of Castels), the city is surrounded by two (technically three) fortresses. The Old fortress, which is actually two side by side fortress is separated from the island by a waterway effectlively making it an island in its self. Almost 800 years old it is one of the greatest attraction of the city and today hosts a large section of the Ionian Univercity.

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