Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The most beautiful house in Corfu Town?

   On Alexandras avenue, right next to Maraslion municipal building, there is a distinctive mansion which easily catch somebody's eye. Its roof reminds those found in Switzerland. 

   Without doubt, it looks unique and a bit out of place as it is surrounded by more modern buildings. Despite this fact, it looks sexy and attractive.

   The entrance is simple and indiferent. There is a small garden too but, quite suprisingly, there is not a garage in the property. The stone wall around it and the ironwork which encircle it look as simplistic as the entrance.

    The attic looks cool - perfect for a bedroom or a study room.

   There are some beautiful chimneys on the roof as well.

   Generally speaking, the building echoes the distant era when Alexandras avenue was a boulevard scarcely built up lined with fashionable mansions where wealthy corfiot families lived.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

"Malteses in Corfu" - an exhibition in the Palace

   There was a very interesting exhibition in the Palace of Esplanade at Easter about the corfiot maltese community. It demonstrated the history of the maltese immigrants who fled to Corfu from 1818 until 1832 invited by the then High Commissioner of the Ionian islands Thomas Maitland in order to help in the building of the Palace and other projects commisioned by the british authorities. The Palace had been built using maltese rock and the maltese people themselves by that time were famous for their building skills. Most of them lived in the neighbourhood named "Kotsela" which took its name from the island that most of maltese immigrants came from, Gozo. 
   Nowadays, the maltese community is still quite big, there are more than 3000 people of maltese origin living in Corfu. Most of them are christian catholics, they have hellenized maltese surnames but unfortunately very few of them understand or speak the maltese language. 
   Here are some photos from the exhibition which took place inside the Palace built by the maltese immigrants almost two centuries before. The exhibition featured rare photos from the everyday life of the maltese people as well as more than a century old documents such as music scores, certificates, books, passports etc.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Corfiot Easter 2012 - a video compilation

   Ι made this compilation of videos that I found on the net to show to the world how special is our Easter festivities and traditions.

   The first video shows the traditional easter carrols performed by the Mantzaros Philharmonic Society on Easter Monday:

   The epitaph (funeral procession) of Saint George's church in the Old Fortress:

   The Philharmonic Society of Corfu performing the famous Albinoni's Adagio at the epitaph of the Cathedral (Mitrópoli):

   At the epitaph of Saint Spyridon which takes place on Easter Saturday morning, the Kapodistrias Philarmonic Union performs the funeral march from Beethoven's Third Symphony (Heroica) while the Philharmonic Society of Corfu performs Franco Faccio's "Hamlet":

   The so called "First Resurrection" takes place at 11 a.m. with the throwing of clay pots ("mpotides") from the windows: 

   Also at the very same moment, another custom takes place: that of "Mastela". A guy dives into a barrel of water which is full of coins thrown by passerbys and he collects them:

   At 12 p.m., the Philharmonic Society of Corfu gave a marching show attended by hundreds of spectators:

  At midnight, after the Resurrection an amazing fireworks show brightens the skies. Afterwards, the bands parade in the streets of old town playing the "Graikoi" march and giving shows by their percussion teams:

   The procession of Resurrection of "Panaya ton Ksenon" church on Easter Sunday morning: 

  The Philharmonic Society "Mantzaros" performing Kritikos "Marcia Trionfale" at the procession of Resurrection of Saint Spyridon:


   - Read more about what is happening during the Holy Week in Corfu here:

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Watch Good Friday's funeral processions live wherever you are

   Tomorrow, Good Friday, from early in the evening until late at night, you can watch the live stream of the funeral processions that pass outside the Philharmonic Society of Corfu building. Click on the following link to connect:

   Also here is the link of tonight's general audition of the funeral marches that the Philharmonic Society of Corfu will perform tomorrow and on Holy Saturday.
The pieces performed are the following:
  • Dimitrios Kafiris "O Pónos tis Manas"
  • Tomasso Albinoni "Adagio"
  • Franco Faccio "Hamlet" 

OfficialFEK on Broadcast Live Free


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Philarmonic Society of Corfu yesterday's Easter concert

   Yesterday, the band which I'm a proud member of, gave a marvellous concert at the Municipal theatre performing pieces by Verdi, Purcell, John Williams and many more. There were three soloists: trumbetist Dimitris Agathos, clarinetist Aggelos Politis and percussionist Marios Mouzakitis. The last one played a segment from Ney Rosauro's "Concert for Timpani and Band" which was really impressive and unusual because most of people think that doesn't exist concerts for percussion.
  Below, there are three of the pieces performed, uploaded today by a user named lisistratos62 on YouTube. The first one is Purcell's "Concert for trumpet", the second is Hellmesberger "Devil Dance" (usually perfomed by the Vienna S.O.) and the last one is the segments from Rosauro's concert for timbani.

  It was a great night packed with melody, rhythm and styles from distinct eras proving that corfiot bands' artistic level is quite high.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Corfu then and now 9: The Annunziata area in 1836 and now

   Most of you have probably seen the wonderful Samuel Prout watercolour depicting Strada Reale and Annunziata in 1830s. Since then, lots had been changed. The neighbourhood had been bombarded by the Germans in September 1943 and lots of the buildings dissapeared. Among them, the Annunziata catholic monastery. After the 2nd World War, the area was redeveloped by building some tastless edifices on the site once the old palazzi of Strada Reale once stood. 

   The monastery could had been rebuilt from ashes but the authorities preferred to create a circular square on monastery's site to facilitate the increasing traffic. Only the campanile and some cells (where Cervantes spent a year being injured at the battle of Lepanto) survived the wrecking ball.

    On the right hand side of Prout's watercolour we can clearly see the medieval venetian campanile, the cells and the little escalade which leaded to the monastery's entrance. On the left hand side, only the buildings of the background still exist. On the site where the old spring which provided Corfiots with fresh running water and the venetian arcaded palazzi behind it once stood, the marble National Bank of Greece building and some other tasteless 60s edifices were built. The new structures look totally out of place and ruin the character of that ancient neighboorhood.
   I think it's about time to eliminate those invaders and built some new buildings in the old venetian style, restoring the original character of the area around Annunziata.

Annunziata in early 20th century

Sunday, 1 April 2012

The Mirtiotissa beach paradise

   Recently, a greek travellers site called Voyager-tv uploaded to its YouTube channel a marvellous video demonstrating the beauty of Mirtiotissa beach a paradise for nudists and for those who love secluded beaches.
I have heard that Mirtiotissa had been voted as one of the most beautiful beaches worldwide. By seeing the video you can see why it got that dinstinction.