Life

Fascinated by the ancient city of Corfu, Greece

  We set off from Saranda, a coastal city in southern Albania. After sailing on the blue sea for two hours, a small island appeared in front of us—Corfu Island, Greece, which looked like a mermaid lying on the Ionian Sea.
  Corfu is the second largest of the Ionian islands and occupies a strategic position at the mouth of the Adriatic. Historically, Corfu Island once belonged to the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, and was successively occupied by Corinth, Athens, Rome, and Venice. The Greek name for Corfu is “Kerkyra”. In Greek mythology, the nymph Corkyra fell in love with Poseidon, the god of the sea, who brought Corkyra to Corfu and named the island after her. Corfu Island not only carries the touching legend of Greek mythology, but also is favored by Princess Sissi.

  In 1861, Princess Sissi, Queen Elizabeth of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was invited to set foot on Corfu Island for the first time. She fell in love with it at first sight and decided to build a palace on a hill overlooking the bay for long-term residence. In 1889, the palace was built and named after her favorite hero in Greek mythology, Achilles. Every summer, Princess Sissi comes to Achilles Palace to learn Greek and read works of Homer, Goethe and Shakespeare while recuperating. This neoclassical style building was built by her into a temple of art.
  The ancient city of Corfu on the east coast of Corfu Island was built in the 8th century BC and has important military and strategic significance. In order to compete with the Ottoman Empire and protect the maritime trade interests of the Republic of Venice, the three fortresses designed by Venetian engineers are extremely strong, and the twin-spire castle stands today. Time flies, and in the 19th century, the British ruled Corfu, and the fortress was repaired and partially rebuilt many times.

  The ancient city of Corfu is one of the best-preserved ancient cities in Greece. The city and port complex dominated by the Venetian fortress became a model of architecture at that time, which is also an important reason why it was listed as a world cultural heritage. The Old Fort and New Fort are the historical center of the ancient city of Corfu, according to the east and west of the ancient city.
  A tall wall connects the two forts and protects the inhabitants of the island. The Old Fort was built in the 6th century AD when Corfu was destroyed by invaders, the survivors built the fortress when it was rebuilt, and it was later expanded by the Venetians. The expanded old fort includes a prison, a church and a military hospital that is now converted into a conservatory, and nearby is a living area of ​​alleys, old houses and taverns.

  In addition to the three fortresses in the ancient city of Corfu, there is an old port and an old trade market in the north. The former still docks ships from the Greek mainland, while the latter dates back to the 8th century. To the south of the ancient town of Corfu is Kanoni, overlooking the picturesque island of Pondiknichi. Between the north and south are beautiful Italianate buildings, narrow streets, small squares and churches.
  In the Archaeological Museum of the ancient city of Corfu, there is a treasure of the town island-the triangular lintel with the head of Medusa, which was once placed in the Temple of Artemis in the 6th century BC. In ancient Greek art, this A piece of work unrivaled.
  Wandering in the ancient city, I saw many neoclassical buildings. These buildings are bright and refreshing with light yellow and milky white as the main colors. Starting from the square, walk into a narrow cobblestone path at will, and there will be a small garden square waiting for you at the other end, which is full of surprises. Venetian architecture, French-style garden squares, towering spiers, solid medieval stone walls… the ancient city is like an open museum, walking through it, as if you are in a movie scene, making people addicted to her unique historical charm and leisure atmosphere. .

  Sunny, sea-facing, cozy and comfortable resorts make people linger and forget to return. In the evening, I reluctantly boarded the ferry back to Saranda and watched the ancient city gradually disappear into the night. Corfu has been a source of inspiration for many artists for centuries. Today’s Corfu Island has experienced the baptism of multiple civilizations, like a vivid picture scroll, with unique stories in every corner and every crevice.

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