Spianada, Corfu Town
Spianada (or Plateia) is the meeting place for residents and visitors, and the largest square not only in Greece but also in the Balkans. The photo above is of the southern half looking across Garitsa Bay towards the Kanoni peninsular, the end of Lear’s Cannon Walk. On the left is the Monument of the Union of the Ionian Islands a memorial to the Union of the Ionian Islands with the rest of Greece that happened in 1864. The symbols of all the Ionian Islands are engraved on it. In the heart of the Upper Square there is the so-called “Music Stage”. Every year there is the “Holy Resurrection Sequence”, on Holy Saturday. One of the most important experiences of celebrating Easter in Corfu. Throughout the year, if you are lucky enough, you can attend one of the concerts by the city philharmonic orchestras or interesting events and concerts.
Panagia Mandrakina, with the ornate orange-red bell tower, stands out among the trees of two gardens: The Garden of the People and the Durrell Boschetto. With unique views of the Fortress, Mandraki, the island of Vidos and the endless blue of the sea from its yard and the adjoining park it is a perfect spot to stop and repose.
Corfu celebrates the Durrell family who lived in Corfu during the period 1935-1939 with the Durrell Boschetto. The garden is designed with symmetry like an Italian Renaissance Garden. At the back of the garden, overlooking the moat and the Old Fort, is the Guilford Statue honouring Frederick North, Count of Guilford, who established the Ionian Academy under Lord High Commissioner Frederick Adam.
In Greek Walls I wrote in 1966: “The ground looks too rough to play cricket on,” I said.“That’s how we like it,” George said with a huge laugh. “There are always small stones under the matting. We have very accurate bowlers; they know where the stones are.” Seeing my surprise he continued with a wicked grin. “If we bat first, we take it very slowly, siga siga as we say in Greek. Then when the other team bats, it gets dark and the lights of cars sometimes dazzle our opponents.” (The photo above shows the House of Commons and Lords v Corfu.)
Jannie in 1966. The Liston was built by Mathieu de Lesseps (1771-1832) in 1807 on the orders of Napoleon, from a design inspired by the Rue de Rivoli (1804) in Paris.
During the mid-6th century AD, the ancient city of Corfu (Paleopolis), on the peninsula of Kanoni, was destroyed in barbaric raids. Consequently, its inhabitants gradually began to move to the naturally fortified peninsula of the Old Fortress. The Venetians separated the promontory from the rest of the city of Corfu by creating the moat. The fort successfully repulsed all three major Ottoman sieges in 1537, 1571 and 1716. In 1840 the church of St. George was built as a garrison church for British troops.
Sir Thomas Maitland was the first Lord High Commissioner. A convinced autocrat, he said: ‘the people were either illiterate peasants or nobles whose only object is the possession of power for corrupt ends’. ‘To the nobility liberty and independence means liberty to plunder the country and independence of all judicial proceedings.’