Corfu (city)

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For other uses, see Corfu (disambiguation).
Corfu, as seen from the New Fortress
Corfu, as seen from the New Fortress
Flag of Corfu
Corfu is located in Greece
Coordinates 39°37′N 19°55′E / 39.617°N 19.917°E / 39.617; 19.917Coordinates: 39°37′N 19°55′E / 39.617°N 19.917°E / 39.617; 19.917
Country: Greece
Administrative region: Ionian Islands
Regional unit: Corfu
Municipality: Corfu
Population statistics (as of 2001)[1]
Municipal unit
 - Population: 39,487
 - Area: 41.905 km2 (16 sq mi)
 - Density: 942 /km2 (2,441 /sq mi)
Time zone: EET/EEST (UTC+2/3)
Elevation (min-max): 0–10 m ­(0–33 ft)
Postal code: 491 xx
Telephone: 26610
Auto: ΚΥ

Corfu (Greek: Κέρκυρα - Kérkyra) is a city and a former municipality on the island of Corfu, Ionian Islands, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform, it is part of the municipality Corfu, of which it is a municipal unit.[2] It is the capital of the island and of the Corfu regional unit. The city also serves as a capital for the region of the Ionian Islands. The city (pop. 28,185 in 2001) is a major tourist attraction, and has played an important role since the 8th century. The city has become known as a Kastropolis (Castle City) because of its two castles.[3] In 2007, the old town of the city was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.[4][5][6] The municipal unit of Corfu city has a land area of 41.905 km2 (16.180 sq mi) and a total population of 39,487 inhabitants. Besides the city of Corfu/Kérkyra, its largest other towns are Kanáli (pop. 3,556), Potamós (2,365), Kontokáli (1,616), Alepoú (1,606), and Gouviá (952).


Corfu city has a Mediterranean climate. The summers are hot and dry, and temperatures reaching 33 °C (91 °F). The winters are mild and wet, temperatures around on or above 10 °C (50 °F).

Climate data for Kerkira
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 13
Average low °C (°F) 5
Precipitation mm (inches) 160
Source: Weatherbase [7]


Map of the "Old Fortress" of Corfu, 1573.
Typical houses of Corfu city.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Old Town of Corfu
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Corfu town.jpg
View of the old town
Type Cultural
Criteria iv
Reference 978
UNESCO region Europe
Coordinates 39°37′N 19°55′E / 39.617°N 19.917°E / 39.617; 19.917
Inscription history
Inscription 2007 (31st Session)

The old fortifications of the town, formerly so extensive as to require a force of from 10,000 to 20,000 troops to man them, were in great part thrown down by the English in the 19th century. In several parts of the town may be found houses of the Venetian time, with some traces of past splendour, but they are few compared to the British Neoclassical housing of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Palace of St. Michael and St. George, built in 1815 by Sir Thomas Maitland (1759–1824; Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands) is a large structure of white Maltese stone. Near Gasturi stands the Pompeian style Achilleion, the palace built for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and purchased in 1907 by the German emperor, William II.

Of the thirty-seven Greek churches the most important are the cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Cave; St. Spiridon's, with the tomb of the patron saint of the island; and the suburban church of St Jason and St Sosipater, reputedly the oldest in the island. The city is the seat of a Greek and a Roman Catholic archbishop; and it possesses a gymnasium, a theatre, an agricultural and industrial society, and a library and museum preserved in the buildings formerly devoted to the university, which was founded by Frederick North, 5th Earl of Guilford (1766–1827, himself the first chancellor in 1824) in 1823, but disestablished on the cessation of the English protectorate.

Based on the ICOMOS evaluation of the old town of Corfu,[5] it was inscribed on the World Heritage List. The ICOMOS experts have noted that "about 70% of the pre-20th century buildings date from the British period" and that "whole blocks were destroyed" in the Old Town by the German World War II blitzes; these were "replaced by new constructions in the 1960s and 1970s". The urban fabric was classified as being predominantly of the Neoclassical period "without special architectural features for which it could be distinguished".[5]


Annunziata tower of the city.

The town of Corfu stands on the broad part of a peninsula, whose termination in the Venetian citadel (Greek: Παλαιό Φρούριο) is cut off from it by an artificial fosse formed in a natural gully, with a salt-water ditch at the bottom, that serves also as a kind of marina known as Contra-Fossa. The old city having grown up within fortifications, where every metre of ground was precious, is a labyrinth of narrow streets paved with cobblestones, sometimes tortuous but mostly pleasant, colourful and sparkling clean. These streets are called "kantounia" (καντούνια) and the older ones sometimes follow the gentle irregularities of the ground while many of them are too narrow for vehicular traffic. There is promenade by the seashore towards the bay of Garitsa (Γαρίτσα), and also a handsome esplanade between the town and the citadel called Liston (it) (Λιστόν) where upscale restaurants and European style bistros abound. The origin of the name Liston has several explanations: many former Venetian cities have a square of that name, coming from a Venetian word meaning evening promenade, but it can also refer to the closed-list aspect of an up-scale area reserved to the nobility registered in the Libro d'Oro.

The citadel was depicted on the reverse of the Greek 500 drachmas banknote of 1983-2001.[8]

Panoramic view of the old town


The city of Corfu has a long tradition in the fine arts. The Philharmonic Society of Corfu is part of that tradition. The Museum of the Philharmonic Society of Corfu presents in detail the musical heritage of the island.


Statue of Ioannis Kapodistrias with the Ionian Academy in the background.
View of the Palace of St. Michael and St. George with the statue of Sir Frederick Adam.
Panagia Spiliotissa Cathedral


Up until 1866, Corfu had no mayors. This list starts from 1866 and on.[9]

  • Nikolaos V. Manesis (1866–1870)
  • Christodoulos M. Kiriakis (1870–1879)
  • Georgios Theotokis (1879–1887)
  • Michael Theotokis (1887–1895)
  • Aggellos Psoroulas (1895–1899)
  • Dimitrios Kollas (1899–1911)
  • Ioannis Mavrogian (1914–1925)
  • Spiridon Kollas (1925–1951)
  • Stamatios Desyllas (1951–1955)[10]
  • Maria Desylla-Kapodistria (1956–1959), first female mayor in Greece.[10]
  • Panagiotis Zafiropoulos (1959–1964)
  • Spiridon Rath (1964–1967)
  • Konstantinos Alexopoulos (1974–1975)
  • Spiridon Rath (1975–1978)
  • Ioannis Kourkoulos (1979–1990)
  • Chrisanthos Sarlis (1991–2002)
  • Alexandros Mastoras (2003–2006)
  • Sotirios Micallef (2007–2010)
  • Ioannis Trepeklis (2011–present)


Corfu is home to many foreign consulates.[11]

  • Austria Austria: 3 K. Zavitsianou St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 44252
  • Belgium Belgium: 44 Alexandras Av Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 33788
  • Cyprus Cyprus: 8 Sotiros St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 43915
  • Denmark Denmark: 12 Ethnikis Antistasis Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 38089
  • Finland Finland: Hotel Annaliza Pirgi Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 93438
  • France France: 22 I. Polyla St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 26312
  • Germany Germany: 57 Guilford St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 31453
  • Republic of Ireland Ireland: 20A Kapodistriou St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 33411
  • Italy Italy: 10 Alexandras Av. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 42433
  • Netherlands Netherlands: Kapodistriou & 2 Idromenon St. Corfu 49100, Tel: :+30 26610 39900
  • Norway Norway: 7 Donzelot St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 32423
  • Portugal Portugal: Hotel "Ermones Beach" Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 94241
  • Romania Romania: 55 Aghiou Spiridonos St. Corfu, T.K. 49100, Tel: 0030 266 1040044, 2661099033 [12]
  • Serbia Serbia: 19 Moustoxidou St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 33960
  • Spain Spain: 3 Sofokleus Dousmani St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 36421
  • Sweden Sweden: Skaramaga Sq. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 31386
  • Switzerland Switzerland: Corfu Palace Hotel Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 39485
  • United Kingdom United Kingdom: 2 Alexandras Av & Menekratous St. Corfu 49100, Tel: +30 26610 30055

International relations[edit]

Twin towns — Sister cities[edit]

Corfu is twinned with:[13][14]


In popular culture[edit]

Corfu plays a central role in the science-fiction novel Year Zero, by Jeff Long. The epidemic that ravages through the world's population originates at a rich archaeological artifacts collector's mansion in or around Corfu, when a 2000 year old vial is opened, containing a lethal virus. This virus also receives the name of Corfu.




  1. ^ De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 793 KB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003. 
  2. ^ Kallikratis law Greece Ministry of Interior (Greek)
  3. ^ "Home Page". Municipality of Corfu. Retrieved 2010-03-23. 
  4. ^ BBC news on UNESCO World Heritage list
  5. ^ a b c UNESCO Advisory Body (ICOMOS) report on Corfu History retrieved 3 July 2007
  6. ^ Old Town of Corfu on UNESCO website retrieved 3 July 2007
  7. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Kerkira, Greece". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.
  8. ^ Bank of Greece. Drachma Banknotes & Coins: 500 drachmas. – Retrieved on 27 March 2009.
  9. ^ "History of City Councils from the Municipality of Corfu". Municipality of Corfu. 2005-09-20. Archived from the original on April 9, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  10. ^ a b Municipality of Corfu from the Internet archive Quote:In the elections of 1954 Stamatios Desillas was elected Mayor for a second term and remained in office until his death, Christmas Day 1955. Soon after a bye-election took place in Corfu in which the widow of the deceased Maria Desilla - Kapodistria, was elected Mayor with 5,365 votes in a total of 10,207. Maria Desilla became Mayor of Corfu in 15 April 1956 until 9 May 1959. She was the first female Mayor in Greece.
  11. ^ "Municipality of Corfu: Tourism: Consulates". Municipality of Corfu. 2007-02-23. Archived from the original on April 8, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  12. ^ "Misiuni ale României | ROMANIA Ministry of Foreign Affairs". Retrieved 2013-03-26. 
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "AllCorfu.Com: Corfu's Twin Cities". Retrieved 25 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "Twinned Cities". Municipality of Corfu. 2005-09-20. Archived from the original on April 9, 2005. Retrieved 2007-03-30. 
  15. ^ "Bratimljenje Beograda i Krfa". B92. Retrieved 2010-02-25. 
  16. ^ "Bethlehem welcomes Corfu, fourth sister city". The Morning Call. March 22, 2013. 

External links[edit]