Monday, 27 February 2012

Corfu in 1952

  In this 60 years old video, you can have an idea of how different was Corfu back then. There wer fewer cars, narrower roads, fewer tourists and people lived in a more traditional way.

Click on the link below to watch the documentary:

Here is the description that accompanies the video:
  "Journey to the island of Corfu - Images of Corfu, and shots of the island's main attractions. Snapshots of daily life and events connected with the history of the place, such as the procession of the relics of St. Spyridon. Views of the villages and tourist resorts in North Corfu (Kassiopi, Dassia, west coast and the area of ​​Paleokastritsa).
  A ferry entering Corfu port. Images of life at the old venetian port and the nearby New Fortress of Saint Mark. People walking in the street. Buildings and views of Corfu Town Hall. The Esplanade Square and people drinking coffee at Liston. Footage of the Maitland peristyle and of the bust of Dionysios Solomos and the statue of Schulenburg. Shots of the Old Fortress, the Old Palace and the Old Prefecture, the church of Our Lady and St. Mandrakina Spyridon. Highlights from the procession of the relics of St. Spyridon, accompanied by Archbishops, priests, representatives of local authorities and large crowds.
  Images from corfiot villages. Villagers in the region of Cassiopi and shots along the east coast. View of Villa Bibelli Castello) in Kato Korakiana and a boat ride to the area of ​​Dassia. People bathe in the Dasssia beach, tourists dancing in the camping area and doing water sports. Highlights from the reception of recently arrived visitors in Dassia, dressed in polynesian outfits.
Footage from the Cassiopi region, where the ruins of the temple of Zeus Kassos can be found. Villagers engaged in agricultural activities in Paleokastritsa. General view of mountain settlements. Women spinning, tourists swimming in the sea among lobsters in Paleokastritsa. View of the Paleokastritsa Monastery.
  Shots of the statue of Kapodistrias, a view of the bay Garitsa, the summer Palace of Mon Repos and the Monastery of Our Lady Vlachernon. People visiting the Mouse island for the annual festival. Views of Achillion gardens, the statues of the Muses, the busts of philosophers and the statue of the dying Achilles."

Monday, 20 February 2012

The world famous Vlacherna monastery

   It is probably the most well known corfiot landmark, its image comes to mind when talking about Corfu. The Vlacherena monastery was founded many centuries ago on a little rocky island close to the southern tip of the Kanoni peninsula. It was a women's monastery and according the marble plaque above the white traditional campanile, the present chapel had been built in 1685. The oldest still existing funeral gravestone dates from 1758. In 1799, when Corfu was under the rule of democratic France, it was mentioned that the church belonged to the family of the famous greek composer N.C. Mantzaros. During the 19th century, the monastery had started to decline.
   It is open to the public all year round. Somobody can enjoy its beauty and tranquillity and pray. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

The old Anemomylos residences

   On Iasonas and Sosipatros street, very close to the homonymous byzantine church, there are some old buildings that date back to the era when Anemomylos was a small suburb inhabited by workers who worked in nearby windmills (from those windmills the area took its name). This neighbourhood can be considered as the historic core of that neighboorhood.
   These houses, generally speaking, are quite small and usually are not taller than one or two floors. Some of them are uninhabited. They stand there abandoned, waiting to meet their fate. One day possibly, some developers will buy these properties, will demolish them and build some more tasteless modern apartment blocks. 
   I would like to emphasize on the architecture of those houses. They may look simplistic and poor but if somebody have a closer look, some beautiful details can be spotted. For instance, that greek meander above the door in the second picture adorns the façade of that derelict house. Such details are hard to find in more modern buildings. It seems today attention is given to building's functionality than its external appearence. 
   I really hope that these buildings will be saved from the wrecking ball and be preserved, getting away from the voracious apetite for development.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

"Τhe girl from Corfu"

   Corfu had been always a favourite shooting location for many films. Among them, a 1956 comedy film, starring Rena Vlachopoulou and directed by Yiannis Petroulakis named "The girl from Corfu" (original greek title "Πρωτευουσιάνικες περιπέτειες").
    It is about a corfiot girl whose uncle invite her to live with him in Athens, teach her good manners and become part of the athenian high society. The film was shot in Corfu and Athens and it had been the very first colour greek film. It was entered into the 7th Berlin International Film festival.

You can watch the full film below.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Anemomylos after the storm

   Yesterday morning Corfu was hit by a strong storm whose strong winds and heavy rainfaill caused problems. Trees fell, a man died as he was hit by a falling tree branch in Yannades village, big waves caused inudation in some coastal areas. Thankfully by afternoon, winds had gone, rain stopped and everything came back to normal. I went out for a walk in Anemomylos area and I took some photos that show the beauty of the landscape after the storm.

   By the way, here is a short video taken by a friend of mine in Ipsos yesterday morning, the time when the stormy rain and winds hit our island.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

The roman catholic cathedral of Corfu ("Duomo")

   Situated on the eastern side of Municipal square, the roman catholic cathedral of Saint Jacob and Saint Christopher is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Greece.

   It was built in 1588 following a licence given by archibishop Martino to the roman catholic community of the island. More than a century before, in 1466, the Pope gave his permission to the catholic fraternity of St.Jacob  and St. Christopher to built a church and a place where the members of the fraternity returningfrom Jerusalem could be hosted. In 1633 the holy relics of St. Arsenios were moved to the cathedral while in 1659, the archibishop Lavia added  six little chapels. In 1709, the cathedral was renovated but in 1943 it was heavily damaged by the nazi germans bombs. The building was restored by the 1970s but St. Jacobs holy relics had been moved to the orthodox cathedral of St. Theodora.
   There are services every Sunday assisted by the majority of catholic christians that live in the island, who are about as many as 2.000 people. It is also a popular classical music venue because of its excellent acoustics. Below there are some photos I took last December when I visited the cathedral.