Corfu is an island full of green with special natural beauty combining elements of different civilizations. The ethics, traditions and civilization have made it famous all over the world.

The island complex, which is consisted of the island of Corfu, of Paxos, Othonoi, Ereikousa and Mathraki has played an important historic role for many decades. Corfu has an important role up to date, because of its geographical location on the North Ionian Sea, on the conjunction of the commercial channels of the Mediterranean and on the sea channels connecting Central Europe to Africa and the East to the West and also because of its Mediterranean climate.

In Mythology, Corfu is referred in Odyssey of Homer as the island of Faiakes, where Odysseus was shipwrecked and met Nausika and was assisted by the local residents in order to return to Ithaca.

According to philological sources Corfu is referred under several names, such as Scheria (according to Homer), Drepani or Arpi, Makri, Kassopaia, Argos, Keravnia, Faiakia, Korkyra or Kerkyra, Gorgo or Gorgyra and much later Koryfo or Corfoi, due to the two distinctive top rocks of the Old Fortress.

The island was resided since the Paleolithic Period. For the first time it was resided by Hellenic races in 775 – 750 BC, by the Eretreans from Evoia and later by the Corinthians. During the Corinthian period, Corfu was developed into a great commercial, maritime and artistic force of the ancient world. In 585 BC the island became independent again.

From 229 BC up to 337 AD Corfu agreed to be dominated by the Romans, in order to be protected from the invasions from the Illyrians.

When the Roman Empire was divided, Corfu was united with the East Roman Empire in 395 AD. In the Medieval Times Corfu was plundered by the Huns, the Vandals, the Goths and the Arabs, while its defense was enforced by the fortification of the new town with walls and the old fortress.

In 1204 the Venetians dominated Corfu. The Venetian domination lasted for more than four centuries, up to 1797 and as a result Corfu was never occupied by the Ottomans, under the occupation of which was the rest of Greece.

During the Venetian domination the so-called today old town was built, one of the most beautiful towns of Greece, as well as many of the sightseeing of the island. Commerce was highly developed by the exploitation of the natural resources of the island and by the prominence of the port of the town as one of most important commercial ports of the world as it was then. Arts and literature were also developed.

In 1797, when Venice was occupied by Napoleon Bonaparte, Corfu was occupied by France.
In 1800, Russia and Turkey occupied the Ionian Islands and recognized them as an autonomous state, the “Eptanisos Politeia”, which however paid tax to Turkey.

In 1807, the Venetian domination was reestablished in Corfu, which had a positive impact in the beautification of the town, in architecture, in arts and literature. At the time, new fortresses and outstanding architectural buildings were built, a lot of green was planted in the town, in the Spianada square and in Liston, public services were organized and schools were built and the School of Arts and the Ionian Academy were established.

After the fall of Napoleon, during the conflict between England and France, Corfu and the rest of the Ionian Islands were occupied by England, in 1814. At the time, the economy was developed, a new road network and water network was constructed, the Ionian Academy became a University and the Greek language became the official language of the “Ionios Politeia”.

In 1863, when the treaty of the great forces in London was signed, England renounced the protection of the Ionian Islands. On 21st May 1864, the Ionian Islands were integrated into the formally new founded Greek State.

During the B’ World War, Corfu was bombed and occupied by the Italians and in 1943 it was bombed by the Germans, when three outstanding architectural units were wholly burned, the Ionian Academy, the Library and the Municipal Theatre.

During the postwar period tourism contributed significantly to the financial and social development of Corfu.

In modern times, Corfu is one of the most beautiful islands of Greece, with important contribution to the Greek culture, the arts and literature and one of the most wonderful and well-organized holiday destinations and a traction place for Greek and foreign visitors, which is full of life also during the winter period due to the Ionian University.

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