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Corfu attractions & sightseeing, Top tips on what to see and do .. !!

The Old Fortress, where the city of Corfu was located from 60 BC until the 14th century AD. The New Fortress with its panoramic view of the city, the Church of Saint Spyri-don, the island's Patron Saint, whose relics are housed in a silver casket, these are just a few of the most impor-tant sights of the city. Outside the town, the most famous landmark is Pontikonissi, which, together with the Vlacherna monastery, must be the best-known combination of sights in Corfu, followed by the Achilleion Palace, the summer residence of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria and subsequently of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. On the west coast, there is PaleoKastritsa with the monastery dedi-cated to the Virgin, founded in 1225, and Angelokastro, a forbid-ding Byzantine fortress built on the summit of a steep crag.

Two more fortresses are to be found at some distance from the town of Corfu — Gardiki, a Byzantine castle of the 13th century, in the south of the island, and the fortress at Kassiopi in north-east-ern Corfu, involved, in the distant past, in attacks by pirates and would-be conquerors. In the island's villages the visitor will find museums that highlight local history, folk art, customs and traditions of each area.

The kapodistrias Museum, featuring personal items belonging to loannis Kapodistrias, the first Head of State of Greece, is to be found in Evropouli, 4 kilometres from the town. The Historical and Folklore Museum of Mesis has been established in the village of Sinarades, and includes a precise re-creation of a countryman's house of the 19th century as well as Corfiot traditional costumes, musical in-struments, tools and many other objects and utensils of that pe-riod. In Gaios, Paxos, the second Folklore Museum of the province is to be found , with some very interesting exhibits, arranged in such a way as to illustrate eloquently the living conditions in a Paxiot house of former times. A visit to the Olive Museum, housed in an ancient olive-press in the village of Kinopiastes, will guide you through the traditional methods of extracting the oil from the olives.

Corfu Town

Corfu in its entirety is a sight worth seeing, a living museum of history, culture and nature. Wherever you look, your glance falls upon unique sights whose origins are lost in time. The history. traditions and culture of the island are safe-guarded by national and private museums, and also by well-looked after private collections. Rare and unusual objects, bearing the traces and imprint of a long journey through time, are preserved with respect and bring the highly sig-nificant past history of the island to life before the visitor's gaze.

The most important museums are to be found in the historic centre of Corfu which in the summer of 2007 was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is foremost amongst the island's places of interest. In the Palaces, the two fortresses of the town, in historical buildings and mansions, easy of access and scientifically clas-sified, Corfu's past is laid out before you. The collection richest in historical importance is housed at the Archeological Museum where the most commanding exhibit is undoubtedly the famous pediment depicting the Gorgon, dating from the 6th century BC. The Museum of Asian Art, unique in Greece and one of the best in Europe, is to be found in the Palace of St Michael and St George, the most important of the island's monuments of the British Protectorate.

A church of the 15th century, dedi-cated to the Holy Virgin the Antivouniotissa, has been converted into a museum housing works that illustrate the reli-gious expression of the Byzantine tradition alongside Western influences. Close by is the house where Greece's national poet, Dionysios Solomos, once lived. It now houses the Museum of the same name and also the very significant Centre for Corfu Studies.
Unique in Greece, and one of the most interesting museums of its kind worldwide, the Banknote Museum has been open since 1981 and occupies part of the historic Ionian Bank building. Surrounded by the beautiful park of Paleopolis, the Palace of Mon Repos now functions as a branch of the Archeological Museum, displaying finds from the ancient city of Corfu.

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