Saturday, 26 February 2011

Corfu island in the 1930s

 Another documentary video from the ERT archives demostrating various scenes of life as had been some 80 years before. You can see Kanoni, Achileion, the Jewish quarter with its narrow lanes, Pelekas and some activities of the locals before World War II and massive tourism. The document is enriched with local music sounds making this shooting ideal for advertising Corfu in mainland Greece and abroad.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Old Port's marina update: Construction has started again

  After several months of inactivity, the construction has commenced in the old port. When I updated you on this matter 14 months before, the place was a complete mess as little was done since the works had officially started back in 2007. Now, every day there are workers construncting the new marina which I believe it will draw tourists to neglected Spilia district. 
  Ηere are some photos I took today.

  My previous updates - compare then and now:

Saturday, 19 February 2011

An old documentary about the corfiot wind bands

  This is a 34-minute long documentary broadcasted in 1983 by ERT (Greek Radio and Television) which narrates the long music tradition of the island, the birth of the first philarmonic bands and the state in which local musical affairs had been in the -now distant- early 1980s. Though in greek, you can appreciate the rare footages of the bands perfoming in the street, which they will bring you back some good memories.

This video is courtesy of the youtube user Tetrafonia.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Corfu then and now 2: Polichroniou Konstanta street in 1890

  Polichroniou Konstanta always had been an important throughfare which connected Sarroco square with the then suburb of Kotsela (the maltese quarter) and beyond. Every morning, farmers used to pass through that street in order to sell their diary products in one of the town's markets. Nowadays, it's a very busy road with lots of traffic, as it serves as an extension of Paleokastritsas national road which leads to the northern parts of the island. 
  In the documentary 120 years old photo below, we can see how the area around the intersection with Lichnou street. Much of the buildings are now gone, except for the big front one which later had been modified and until recently housed a Commercial bank branch.

  In the 2011 one, the soil road and farmers on their donkeys transformed into an asphalt road and cars. How the same view will look like in 2130?

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Forgotten Corfu 11: The ruins of an old convent inside the Mon Repos estate

  Inside the famous Mon Repos estate, there are the relics of an old convent, probably dedicated to Agios Panteleimon. The complex is in a horrible state and needs to be restored as soon as possible. It seems to be about 300-400 years old, I looked up for some clues on internet but I couldn't find anything about it.

  The roof seems to have been long gone now and the interior of the church is completely exposed to the weather.

  The skillfully painted interior still survives although fainted.

  The traditional bell tower still stands having a pair of bells on it.


  A spring and a marble monument where probably candles had been placed can be found around the premises.

  Looking up above one of the church's entrances, a coat of arms carved on marble stands.

 The convent's facilities are in a sorry state as well.

  Even though the appaling state the convent is in, there are plenty of pleasant details to appreciate.


  Coming as a suprise, the ornamental recently vividly coloured plaque, which probably depict Virgin Mary and Joseph, makes a contrast with the grey weatherbeaten walls. 


  The convent can easily be found near the Mon Repos palace, on the wooded road to Kardaki. I heard that soon it will be restored with E.U. money which will revive this wonderful unknown religious site. Does any of you know some things about its history?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Τhoughts on the corfiot Easter funeral marches

  A very interesting video about the funeral marches which could be heard in Corfu during Holy week. This documentary sound archive from a 21 year-old E.R.A. (Greek National Radio service) emission, examines the nature of this music tradition, unique in Greece and maybe in the whole world. In the video, some famous funeral marches could be heard, like "Hamlet", Beethoven's funeral march from "3rd Symphony", "Caldae Lacrimae" and the famous Albinoni's "Adagio". 
  Unfortunately, the video is in greek, but those who can't understand the language will sure appreciate the pictures and the music.

  Easter in Corfu is unique, colourful and very traditional. Why don't you consider spending Easter in our blossomed island? From late March, there will be plenty of cheap Easyjet flights from England and back.  

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The "haunted house" on Psichiatriou square

  It stands there helpless, derelict and lonesome. The grand three-storey house on Dimoulitsa street, opposite the old mental hospital, looks like those spooked houses from the films.

 Its garden has some trees, among them an orange which bears mature oranges.

  It was built in the local traditional style and I reckon that it may belonged to a weathly family, long before this part of town become a busy spot. Now, there is a green bus station opposite to the building itself, where many commuters wait the bus to southern Corfu. But nobody seems to notice it.

  Though long abandoned, it should be still repairable. I wonder why hadn't already been bought by a property developer in order to restore it and sell it to some wealthy family.

  Notable is the grand escalade at the right side of the house which I think is one of its kind on the island. The attic too should be quite spacious.

  The rear side looks even wild. Some enormous ivies climbed the right and the rear sides making the grand house having a wild charm. 


  The left side is more neat as it's on a dead-end lane leading to some neighbouring houses.

  If I had money, I would have bought it and restore it to its former glory. Is any of you able to buy and repair it?