Corfu general information

An old city and older fortress on the Greek island of Corfu

Corfu (Kerkyra) has a total area of 592 square km. It is the northern island of the Eptanese and the second in size after Kefallonia, it is also the seventh largest island of Greece. It has a maximum length of 62 km and a maximum width of 28 km in the north part and 3.5 km in the south part. The island presents low elevation and rich vegetation, and has plenty perennial ovives. The total length of the coastline is 217 km. The climate of the island is Mediterranean with mild winders, cool summers and several rainfalls. It has the same average temperature with Athens even though it is located more to the north. The most important urban center is the town of Corfu, but there are some other small towns like Lefkimmi, Potamos, Agios Matthaios, Kassiopi and Gaios the capital of Paxos. Corfu is a unique traditional Eptanese town. The old town of Corfu has been declared by Unesco world heritage.

Corfu was inhabited since Paleolithic times 30000 ago when it was still united with the main land. Relics of Neolithic age have been found at Sideri (7000-2600BC). The people of Eretria colonized Corfu in the 775-750 BC period but where then evicted by the Corinthians in 734. The Corinthian colony was at the place of the today’s town of Corfu. The island has a remarkable naval presence during the Persian wars.

Old narrow street in city Kerkyra, Corfu, Greece

In 435 BC the Corinthians and the people of Corfu disagreed over Epidamnos and that was the event that started the Peloponnesian war. Corfu in the following years passed to the hands of Cicely, Epirus and to the Illyrian pirates (301-229BC). The Romans evicted the Illyrians and conquered the island. After the division of the Roman Empire the island was a part of the East Roman Empire. In 1204 AD after the Fall it remained under Venetian supervision. In the 1214-59 AD it passed again to the Byzantine Empire. IN 1259 AD the Emperor offered it as dowry of his daughter to the king of Cicely and after his death it passed to the dominance of Angevins of Naples until 1386 AD and after that it was passed to Venetians. In 1797 it was taken by French Democrats. IN 1799 it was occupied by the Turk – Russian fleet and was passed under Turk occupation. A short lived Ionian state was founded after that but the island was then passed to the Imperial French. In 1814 AD it was occupied by the British. In 1819 the first revolutions began and the island was united with Greece in 1864. In the World War 2 it was under Italian command and the German occupation ended in 9 October of 1944.

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