*Page under construction*
Corfu City, often referred to as Corfu Town (Greek: Kerkyra), is not only the island of Corfu's main city but also the regional capital for the Ionian Island group.
Corfu was annexed to the Republic of Venice at the end of the 14th century and became one of its major military bases on the Adriatic coast, enabling the Venetians to control Eastern Mediterranean trade routes.
As a result of over four centuries of Venetian occupation, Corfu Town strongly resembles an Italian city with many visitors seeing a similarity to Naples.
The town's compact old quarter, with its narrow lanes and quiet little squares and fountains, nestles between the two Fortresses and is a protected UNESCO heritage site. From a photographer's point of view, I think it's better to visit the Old Fortress in the morning and the New Fortress later in the day when the sun has moved round. The panoramas from both are excellent with the latter providing the best view of the cruise ship dock.
Beneath the walls of the New Fortress are the remnants of a former Jewish Ghetto, a stark reminder of the once vibrant Jewish community that lived in Corfu Town for over a millennium. In the late nineteenth century the Jewish population numbered close to 5,000, most of them poor and some working in menial jobs. The community was a mixture of Romaniote (Greek speaking Jews) and Jews from the south of Italy who had emigrated to Corfu after the persecutions in the 15th century.
At the outbreak of World War II the Jewish community of Corfu numbered around 2,000, most of whom were elderly or young children. After the fall of Italian fascism in 1943, the Nazis took control of the island and Corfu's mayor at the time, Kollas, was a known collaborator.
Additional anti-Semitic laws were passed and on 10 June 1944, four days after D-Day, the Jews of Corfu were rounded up. They were initially imprisoned in the Old Venetian Fortress in dank, cramped quarters until they sailed from the island in small boats to the mainland to begin a long overland journey, final destination Auschwitz-Birkenau. Of the 1,795 Jews of Corfu who were deported, only 121 survived. This bronze by Georgios Karahalios commemorates those who died. A plaque on the base states “Never again for any nation.” The Holocaust memorial was dedicated on November 25, 2001.
Please bear in mind that all images on this website and my blog are Copyright. They are not free to use and have been embedded with a digital watermark.