Edward Lear walks to the Palace
Edward Lear first came to Corfu in April 1848 for three weeks and was immediately entranced. He wrote to his sister: ‘I wish I could give you an idea of this island, it is really Paradise’.
On our walk to the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, we pass through the Campielo, the oldest part of town, and the Reading Society and Faliraki.
(The picture at the top of the page shows The Palace of St. Michael and St. George)
He was also as a landscape painter and walker. We follow Lear’s frequent walk, the Cannon Walk, from his home on the Mouragia, the Sea Walls, at 7 Donzelot Street, to Kanoni, and see where he painted along the Corfu Trail.
As a prolific letter writer, he could see the mail boat arrive.
Antivouniotissa Church and Byzantine Museum
We walk along Mouragia, the Sea Walls. At number 1 is the burial site of the national poet Dionysios Solomos and a museum chronicling the lives and work of other local poets. We then climb 51 steps to the church of Antivouniotissa which contains an exhibition of Byzantine church art and icons and a beautiful iconostasis.
Campielo to Reading Society
Instead of returning down the steps to the Mouragia we walk round the Church of Antivouniotissa into Campielo, the oldest part of the Old Town. We stop at a small square in the middle of which is Favela 17 Café, a jewel for coffee and cakes. We then go west down Komninon and see Kremasti Square with its Venetian Well. We return to the east through Campielo along narrow lanes, like in Venice, to Platia Taxsiarchon on which stands the Holy Church of Pantocrator (Ruler of the Universe), which was built in the second half of the 16th century. This leads us finally under Kokkini’s Arch to the Corfu Reading Society.
We cross Kapadistriou and look down on the Gate of St. Nicholas, the second remaining original gate of the Town. It leads to Faliraki which has one of the loveliest views of the Old Fortress, its moat and the ancient staircase rising up to the Palace of St. Michael and St. George.
Palace of St.Michael and St. George and Museum of Asian Art
It is the largest and the most significant building of the English rule period, which started in 1814 and ended in 1864 when the Ionian Islands were reunified with the rest of Greece. Today, the Palace houses the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, the only one of its kind in Greece, solely dedicated to the art and antiquities of the Far East and India.
Garden of the People
We walk through the East Wing of the Palace to the Garden of the People. The Palace Garden was built in 1833 and access was once forbidden to the public, only the nobles could walk in the garden and enjoy the beauty and the serenity it offers. Inside the Garden there are often exhibitions of various artists and events that take place at the Municipal Art Gallery of Corfu including one on the Corfu Channel Incident.