Sunday, 21 November 2010

The 17th century church of Saint Catherine is under the threat of collapse

 Last Friday evening, following the heavy rainfall of the last days, the roof of the historic Saint Catherine church right next to the Palace and few metres away from the Liston collapsed. The church has been left to its fate many years now and every day its horrible state of disrepair threaten the passerbys. There are some props around the building but this doesn't that they can stop the total collapse forever.
  I found some pictures from the "Kerkyra S.O.S." group, taken from a neighbouring building and reveal the size of the damage. You can see yourself the level of the damage and the bad state in which the church is in.

  Today I walked by the site to see myself the disaster. Nothing wrong could be seen from street level because the roof can't be seen from this side.

  Notice how weathered and abandoned the building looks. If there weren't those iron pillars, it would had already been collapsed. But what we know about St. Catherine church's history? Here are some lines:

  The church of St. Katherine is situated on the northern side of Esplanade right next to the St. Michael and St George palace. It was built in the 1690s by the cretan scholar Nikodimos Karofylaktos, who in 1704 converted it to a men's monastery which was housed in a nearby building. The monastery was closed at the end of 19th century. The church itself follows the "eptanisian basilica" style and features interesting paintings like that of the cretan painter Tsagarolas called "the martyr of St. Catherine". The church belongs to parish of St. Eleftherios but it is owned by the Municipality of Corfu (apart from the ground floor). There used to be a service on St. Catherine's day but they were ceased due to the building's bad state.

Marble plaque on which states the church's construction date

   It's high time something to be done. This historical monument needs imediate preservation and restoration. Otherwise, this will be another one fatality for Corfu's history and architecture. 

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