Monday, 26 March 2012

This year's Philharmonic Society of Corfu marching show

   This year too, celebrating our indepedence day, the Philarmonic Society of Corfu presented a fabulous marching show at the cricket ground of Esplanade.
   The show started with the theme from "Rocky" and the "Commandery" march. Then, they played a greek march called "Taxiarchia" and the famous "Memories" melody from "Cats", originally sung by Barbara Streisand. The show ended with a selection of famous melodies, "Con te partiro", the "Colonel Boogie" march and "Rocky theme" once again.
   Here is the video covering the whole show, courtesy of Corfweb.

-Last year's show:

Friday, 23 March 2012

The impressive old mansion of "Tennis" neighbourhood

   Opposite the tennis court in the middle of the upscale residential neighbourhood which took its name from that sports facility, there is a quite impressive early 20th century mansion. It is not architecturally interesting but to my eyes always looked gigantic as a castle. I remember this building since high school. I could see it from the high school's courtyard and it used to impress me because it looked very old and grotesque.
  Actually, the building has some victorian architecture elements like a bay window on its eastern side. There is a nice garden on the front as well which looks rather well-kept but I think the building itself desperately needs a good paint.The mansion still houses a couple of families who can be considered lucky living in a spacious place like this close to denser town's centre.
If you ever pass by the tennis area, have a glance at it. It's worth it.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

At the top of Aerostato hill

   Aerostato hill offers some good panoramic views of the central western part of Corfu island. On your right hand side you get a marvellous view of Agios Gordios beach and on the opposite one you can see Glyfada beach, Pelekas village and Myrtiotissa monastery. Also, it is a good look out point to watch the beautiful Ionian sunset. There is also a cafeteria there from which you can drink your coffee admiring the view below you. Aerostato can be reached easily from Sinarades village following the signs.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Synagogue of Corfu and a short history of the jewish community

    Before the Second World War around 5,000 jews were living in Corfu Town that lived in the island at least for 1800 years. In the 12th century, according to historian Gregorovius, only one jude lived in Corfu but in the 13th century, during the Angevins sovereignity, many jews had been transpoted to the island. The next big influx of Jews occured in 1493, caused by the presecution of the spanish and portuguese jewish population. In 1549, more Jews arrived from the Apulia region of Italy who joined the the spanish and portuguese ones and were rivals with the other older jewish community, called "Romaniotiki". In 1577, there were 400 Jews living in Corfu. Most of them lived in the Campiello district, which back then was also called "Ovreovouni" (greek for "Jewish Hill"). In 1622, the venetian authorities forced the Jewish population to leave Campiello and move to the area between Porta Reale and Porta di Spilia. This area later was known as "Evraiki", which means "Jewish quarter", a name that still survives up to our days. The community was flourishing until the 1940s when most of them died in Auswitz by the germans. Nowadays, there are around 120 corfiot jews still living in the island.

   There were three synagogues in the jewish district: two of them belonged to the Jews from Apulia, but had been destroyed by the 1943 german bombings. The only one surviving is the Scuola Greca on Velissariou street, a naive 19th century building which had been built on the site of an older jewish temple. The interior is as simplistic as the exterior. There are services every Saturday, attended by the majority of the community.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

This year's "Sunday of Orthodoxy" litany

   Last Sunday, the greek orthodox church celebrated the "Sunday of Orthodoxy" (known as well as "feast of Orthodoxy"). In Corfu we celebrate it with the litany of St. Theodora's relics around the old town accompanied by the philharmonic bands, numerous schools and the scouts.
   That day the weather was great. It was sunny and warm so lots of people decided to come to old town centre to watch the litany. Below, there are two videos covering the whole procession, courtesy of corfweb1 channel in YouTube.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Corfu then and now 8: Ioulias Andreadi street in 1959

   Recently while surfing the Νational Μultimedia Αrchives, I found a short 1959 newsreel about the groundbreaking ceremony of the (old) hospital, attended by Queen Frideriki. The video starts with a shot of Ioulias Andreadi street, as it looked 53 years ago. The plot on which the hospital had been built was actually the southern side of Avramiou hill and part of the old Jewish cemetery. The neighbourhood across the road, looked very different then as there had not been built yet the 60s/70s apartment blocks. I should confess that I still have trouble identifying the two old buildings squeezed between the apartment blocks and compare them with those seen in the 1959 image. The now busy throughfare looked peaceful back then and it was lined with one or two storey houses and it was considerably narrower.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Few more photos from Kanoni

   Here are few more photos that I recently took at Kanoni. It is one of the most popular places in Greece mostly because of the famous Mouse island. There is also a pedestrian bridge connecting Kanoni peninsula with Perama which is located almost next to the southern end of the airport's runway. Standing in the middle of it, you will feel your adrenaline pump seeing the planes flying right above you as they approach the runway.