Based on a man-made islet on the Eastern side of Corfu (Kerkyra) is the Palaio Frourio, or the old citadel, a Venetian fortress that is today open to the public and serves as a main city attraction. Though there may be a small fee at the door, a complimentary transport van is available at the gate for a quick ride into the fortress, which features a restaurant and café bar. The fortress’s restored interior is also used to host cultural events, private parties, and concerts.
Occupied in the past by Venetians and the British, Corfu is one of Greece’s most romantic islands. A walk through the Palaio Frourio’s tunnels and bridges transports you back to an era of knights and fair ladies. The military observation point at the top of the fortress offers a picturesque 360-degree view of the city and the Ionian waters below. Byzantine mosaics and artifacts are on display for those interested in old art and history.
At the base of the old citadel lies the Church of St. George, housed in a building resembling a classical style temple complete with Doric columns. Lit up during the night, this ancient-style structure, combined with the moonlight shimmer on the dark waters below, makes for a magical scene reminiscent of an ancient aura. Combined with the byzantine fortress above, the view from both within, as well as from a distance, is particularly relaxing and pleasing to the eye.
With extraordinary acoustics and a capacity of accommodating more than 5,000 people, an area subjacent to the fortress is used to host summertime concerts and other live performances including those of famous artists such as Michalis Hatzigiannis, Sakis Rouvas, Giorgos Dalaras, and composer Goran Bregovic. If you like the aura that much, you can even host your own birthday party, wedding reception, or other private event at the fortress’s bar area, which has a stunning and unforgettable backdrop of St. George Church, and the Ionian Sea.
For tourists visiting the fortress while on vacation in Corfu, it is recommended to visit the Palaio Frourio early in the morning or later in the evening, especially during the summer season, as it can get pretty hot during midday. It is also suggested you wear comfortable shoes to prepare for wandering around (and getting lost) on the cobblestone walkways.
Visit corfuoldfortress.com for more information, photos, history, and even a virtual tour of Kerkyra’s Palaio Frourio.