Corfu: Idylli on the History Volcano

In the world, this Greek island is known as Corfu. Greeks prefer to call him Kerkira, despite the fact that the same name is also the main city of the island; Residents of the island refer to Kerkirians. Why did the discrepancy arise – this will be on this. We, in order to avoid confusion, focus on the title – Corfu.

So, the island lying in the Ionian Sea, the western coast of Greece, the northernmost in the chain of the Ionic Islands. The area is about 600 kV. KM., Northern part – Highland, South – Hilly. Mountains are folded mainly by limestones and shale. The geological features of the island are similar to that part of mainland Greece, which is opposite him. Once, millions of years ago, the island and the mainland constituted a single whole.

Climate soft, subtropical, Mediterranean. The average temperature in the summer + 30 ° C, in winter + 10 ° C. Rainy time – from September to March.

110 thousand people live on the island, in the city of Kerkir – 36 thousand.

Corfu – the closest point of Greece. The island lies at the crossroads of sea roads, this is the meeting place of the East and the West, and it is not surprising that he did not know the rest of the centuries. Romans, Normans, Crusaders, Venetians, Turks, French, British – Who only with a sword and fire did not pass along this earth, occupying it for decades, and even a century. And in this boiler events born a unique cultural face Corfu. The person who we, the group of Russian journalists was to see.

It seemed to me that we did not land, but put the waves about the landing strip. Lil rain. Lights of a close city broke out of his dense wall. But it was warm, and smelled by the sea and south.

The first meeting with unfamiliar land is always a promise. So it was this time. Peering into the dark brilliance of the sea, in black silhouettes of cypresses, dewing white walls of houses and again – in the wet web of the mountain road (our hotel "San Stefano" was on the side from Kerkira), I felt in the night landscape of the island, drowned in the streams of rain, something anxious.

In the morning the island appeared in the shine of the sun. Serenely blonde sea. The mountainous line of the shore was cut by coves and bays. Gray-green slopes, cropped oliv and cypress trees, breathed freshness and tranquility. Red tiled roofs trustingly ran off the slopes to the sea.

This idyllic picture was not, as I understood later, a random smile of nature, revived after the rain. This was the whole island and all the days we spent here.

And yet the night Corfu did not leave the memory. As if in those watches, a secret bottom.

The island and the main city has a patron – Holy Spiridon. Wonderworker, as they call him local. For many centuries, Kerkirians worship his relics. "Mystery that does not understand the unbelieving", — Georgios Kudas said this, in Russian George, our guide and translator. Georgy by specialty historian, seven years ago graduated from Leningrad University. Looking ahead, I will say that his interest in the past of its island, knowledge of the story helped me personally, to raise the veil over the peaceful landscape and the prosperous life in general today’s Corfu.

Church of St. Spiridon is located in Kerkira, in the crowd of the old city. Her high bell tower with red imparting is visible from everywhere. She led us to the walls of the church. I’m trying to photograph the bell tower – not included in the frame. I go further – I bump into the cafes sitting at the tables, even further – on souvenir sellers. Street narrow, curb, and driving part filled with people. There is an ordinary life – noisy, carefree, only at the entrance to the church people calm down and silently, crossing, stick to burning candles in a long tray with sand.

The church was built in 1590. A bishop of Spiridon in the V century. His remains were kept in Constantinople, but after the capture of the city of Turks in 1453, a certain person transported the power to Kerkira and gave them to, as they tell, one rich family with the condition that every generation will supply the churches of one priest. The relics were kept in the family church, while the city did not collect money and did not build a new, decent wonderworker.

Ornate her decoration. Marble iconostasis, arch in icons-medallions enclosed in gold frames, wooden carved chairs along the walls. The minister holds us to the silver cancer in the depths of the Church, decorated with enamel icons. The priest with singing-prayer opens two windows in the lid of canceli, in one of them you can see a dark brown, parchment.

People Guskom fit to cancer, kiss her, kill. Candles are burning.

Some miracles created the Holy Spiridon. Legends about them are transmitted from generation to generation, and Georgy willingly told them.

. In the XVII century, the terrible epidemic of the plague hit Kerkira. Nothing seemed to stop her. People walked to church and praying, standing on her knees, Holy Spiridon help them. And in one of the nights people saw over the temple of the saint shine. The epidemic went on. On the eastern wall of the old fortress there are deep scratches: the legend says that these are traces of claws of the old women, which Spiridon challenged.

. And in 1716, in August, during a long Turkish siege, the following happened. The city was exhausted, ready to give up. A terrible thunderstorm broke out – usually there is no thunderstorm at this time, and the Turks saw a huge monk at the walls of the fortress. In one hand he held a cross, in another – torch. Turks, frightened, removed the siege and gone.

— Facts confirm: Turks removed the siege for these days and left without visible reasons, – commented on George his story.

We sit with George in the kindergarten, before the building of the municipality, progging time in anticipation of the appointed hour of meeting with narch. And we are watching the calm life of the area that was in the distant times of the Venetian dominion by the public center of the city. The municipality building itself, built at the end of the XVII century, resembles Venetian Palaces. Yellowish stone, high rounded windows, wrought-iron grids and lonely splashing palm before entrance.

Children ride on the square on the rollers and bicycles, adults talk under the awn cafe, the sun plays on bright flower beds.

— Looks like Saint Spiridon today can rest, – I say I. George is smiling restrained.

My observations to some extent confirmed the words of Nararch Andreas Patratis. His knowledge is the island of Corfu and a number of small islets.

— We can have a good and calmly relax, – began talking about Corfu Mr. Patrais and added, remembering, apparently, from where we came from: – No crime, on the island of only 241 police officers.

Next, Narch touched tourism, which gives them 80 percent income. Tourist business is in private hands, but the state, of course, helps. Alone hotels, not counting private apartments, – forty thousand. Last year adopted a million guests, there were Russians, but so far a little, and so I would like them to discover an ionic necklace.

With these words, Mr. Patrais glanced at the Icon of St. Spiridon, hanging on the wall of the Cabinet, as if aspects to assist the miracle,.

Four times a year, Kerkira celebrates St. Spiridon’s Day. Silver Crayfish with the remains of the saint wear through the streets of the city, accompanied by Metropolitan and Orchestra. Interestingly, Litania is held in memory of those events about which ledges are told. And on August 10, on the eve of Litania, the holiday is held "Varkarola". Lighted boats come out of the Bay of Garits, and comes to the legend about how the holy of the walls of the precipitated fortress appeared, holding a torch in his hands.

Odyssey and ship Fea

Our path lies on the west coast of the island, to the place, squeezing.

About Tom distant time when Kerkirians worshiped Olymps’ gods, a lot of evidence was preserved. And, first of all, – archaeological finds: unique stone "Fronton Gorgon", Created probably in 585 BC. NS. and adorned by the temple of Artemis; fragment of the front of the temple with the image of Dionysius; Copper sculptures Aphrodite and T.NS.

Yes, and the name – Kerkira – also connected with Greek mythology. Nymph Kerkira, daughter of the river asopu, blinded his beauty of the god of the Sea of ​​Poseidon. He stole her, took to the island; Their Son Fao became the father of all Feaakov, the first inhabitants of the island. Only many centuries later, in Byzantine times, the island began to call Korifo (in Greek "vertex"), since two vertices rumped out over the Acropol. Then the Latin name of the island appeared – Corfu. But the Greeks, as already mentioned, is still true Nifor Kerkir.

The road runs through the spacious valley. Villages – houses under the red tiled roofs, whitewashed walls covered by foliage of olive trees, – follow one after another. This is the famous fertile meadow Ropa. The closer to the coast, the area becomes the terrain, and now the serpentine road circles on the slopes of the mountains.

One of the Western Points of Island is angelokastro ("The fortress of angels"). On the top of the rocks are preserved the ruins of the Byzantine fortress of the XIII century. Here, the day and night carried the guard of the guards, guarding the coast from the Venetian fleet. In case of danger, torches lit up, and their light was visible in Kerkira.

Not far from the angelokastro, a little south – Paleokastric ("Old small fortress"). This place built up today with hotels, very loved by tourists, because Paleokastric Beach around the six bays is one of the most beautiful on the island. And once the events unfolded here, the participant of which was the legendary Odysse.

Monastery Paleokastrian stands on the hill. His gate is open to all. I go to the marble stoves of the courtyard, admiring the blond walls, saw purple and red flowers, I unwittingly listen, then the German speech in different corners of the courtyard, I see how the coins are thrown into the well, covered with a metal grille, but I am too irresistible pulls me to the monastic wall which overlooks the sea.

. Rounded covered with greens. Foam strip of surf. Transparent blue bays. Away from the shores they are darker, poured blue, and this blue, like ships, plowing the rock islands.

Georgy came from somewhere. He also looked at the sea for a long time, and then, showing on an island, similar to ancient Greek Trier, said:

And immediately followed the legend. Returning home, Odyssey, King Ithaca, stopped on the island of Feakov. They hospitably accepted him, then the ship was equipped and delivered Odyssey to the native island. But on the way back, an angry Poseidon (Greek gods behave like people) turned the ship femakov in the rock.

— The most interesting thing, – noticed Georgy, – that Homer mentions "Odyssey" About the stay of his hero on the island of Feaakov and describes, it seems that exactly the picture that we now see: Bay, the Great Sea, Stone Islands.

"Insomnia. Homer. Tight sails. " — from somewhere from the depths of the memory pop up lines. Maybe it’s true all that was? And the gloss from the landscape is already falling, and the ancient city of Alkinos is seen on the site of Paleokastrics, and the daughter of Tsar Featakov, which here, at the stream, met the hero of Homer, and friendly swords of rowers on the Trier, whining Odyssey.

Maybe, from those times an ancient symbol of the island came – an image of tries, which is so often found on Corfu and today?

Master from Peritia

— Want to see the creation of the Master of the XII century? — Georgy asked and, without waiting for the answer, promised: – You will not regret.

The road was walking along the east coast, north. On the right – the seashore, cut off by bays, sunny blue; Left – low mountains covered, as, however, everywhere on the island, thick greens. I look at it to distinguish, what kind of plants form this green cover. And then I remember the word – McWis! So nerds call the formation of plants from evergreen shrubs and trees, which is found in countries with the Mediterranean climate. Yes, it was exactly McWis – the living riveting of juniper, myrta, wild pistachio and some other strangers and herbs. And nearby – gray-green foliage of olive trees, cut through dark peaks of cypresses.

Under the crowns of Olive, the mighty nodes of the trunks are laid out black networks with small cells. There was a harvest time, and no fetus had to disappear. After all, it is the wealth of a peasant – Greek olives and olive oil know all over the world.

Now there are about four million olive trees on the island – a serious sector of the economy, nothing to say. Meanwhile, – as it is neither paradoxical – the island of Oliva during the reign of Venetians. They obliged Kerkiri residents to breed Olives, and probably many mighty trees remember how it began: because Olives live four hundred years and longer.

However, with such paradoxes we will again meet on the island: war, blood, fires (what occupation costs without it?) and the good endeavors of the conquerors (dictated often with their interests) who went to the piggy bank of the culture of the wealth of the people.

The road led us to the town of Cassii, standing on the northern shore. Here, as in almost all the towns of the island, traces of long history are preserved: the church of the XVI century, built on the site of the temple of Zeus, the ruins of the fortresses on the hill, a small, lively port with white boats. But my attention was attracted by a modest obelisk from white marble, standing on the pier. On the sides it was two vintage, rusted guns.

— This is a monument to an unknown soldier, "explained Georgy. — Greek, Italian, Frenchman – everyone who died on this earth. And guns – with sunken nearby Venetian ships. You know, "Hard, he added," it is necessary to go through a century of suffering to climb up to all.

From Cassii we turned into the depths of the island, as if unscrewed from the sea. Also turned away from him once those who are now going to. They fled from the enemy into the depths of the island, looking for shelters in the high mountains. Machine hardly copes with lifting. More and less olive trees, round – nude gray stone. Do not drive further.

On the narrow trail go down to the houses of the village of Peritia. In the nose beats a sharp sheep smell, smells and heated in the sun by a stone, a bold grass. Circle – yellow-green mountains, they leave the chain to the horizon. Georgy shows one of them: this is a pantokrator, 906 meters, the highest on the island. White stone is extracted near this mountain.

Houses in Peritia are picked – large, built from roughly risen stones. Bridge, laid out by stone leads to a church, folded from the same stones. Village as if extinct – nor soul. Suddenly, because of the houses, a dog Lai heard. We go there and see the same stone house, but clearly inhabited. The porch has a car and several tables under the awning – tavern.

Sit for the table, and the owner, young more, brings a stale bottle of cola. He willingly comes with us in a conversation, talks about his village. Heorgy helps him.

— So we live here together with my wife, and two more shepherds hold a herd. But many comes many people, some walk through the mountains come – see how our ancestors lived. Therefore, we opened the tavern. Something like a museum under the open-air to create.

— And the state helps? — I ask the owner.

— Few. All houses are private, everyone must think about the repair and preservation of its "Fortress". Most of the owners live on the coast, just run here. Therefore, such ads appear – see at the next house? — "For sale".

— Churches are also private, each family has its own.

— There were a lot of churches in the village, "says George," therefore, they called Peritia’s village – Peritia Periia, which means translated "Oh Divine". Sometimes the name is translated as "Village surrounded by gods". The settlement existed already in the XII century.

— Where it is known?

George has already got used to our clarifying issues and therefore, delivering a notebook, quickly found the right page and read:

— "Master of Stone Konstantinos from the village of Peritia participated in the construction of the monastery". This entry is made in the manuscript, which was found in the nearby monastery. Dated manuscript XII century. Hence the output.

— And some details about the wizard are preserved?

— Alas, nothing else. But in front of you – the creation of his and his counterpart – at home, the church – see and judge themselves about their skills.

Raise the stone steps of one of the houses. Three rooms, kitchen. Height – Human Height. Well visible masonry walls – the stones are big, tightly fitted. Black, very smoked zev stove – how many centuries burned here. There are several windows, quite large. Hot light, pouring of them, warms the gray stone wall. In the window – Mountains, Mountains, Mountains.

In general, on this day, the patron of the island decided, it seems to convince us that hardworking and resourceful people live on Corfu. And convinced.

When we got out again to the sea, on the northern coast, in the place of Acharavi, we were accepted by Basil Harlaftis, the owner of a large hotel town "Gelina".

More precisely, we met him already sitting at the dinner table, under an awning, two steps from the edge of the surf. Somehow quietly approached a large elderly man in a baseball cap. He sat down to the edge of the table, lit a cigar, raised a glass of red wine and said:

It was where it turned out that this is Basil Harlaftis, in our opinion, Vasily, who is so happy to see Russian journalists at their table.

Word for the word, and a curious story surfaced. Vasily – a former sailor, and when the time came to leave the fleet, he bought a large plot of flat swampy earth by the sea and began to equip it. Now everything was here, as in a good resort.

— And a lot of people comes to you? — I asked the owner "Gelina".

Corfu Idyll on the History Volcano

— A lot, "he replied, caught off the cigar. — But mostly Germans. And I would like to see people from different countries. I miss communication with the whole world. Want to surprise? — Suddenly, I asked Vasily.

He called the waiter and whispered something to him. The young man who understood his head. A minute later on the table stood a bottle of yellow drink and a plate with yellow fruits. They were like large apricots or yellow plums.

— Kum-Kuat. Not tried?

— I did not even hear. And what is it?

— First try, – said the owner and filled the glasses.

The liqueur was thick, sweet, and fruits cooked in sugar, looked like a candied.

— This is a Chinese orange. Our island is the only place in Greece, where this Dikovinka is sleeping, – I gladly announced Vasily. — And brought it back in the last century from China a kind of diplomat who knew the natural conditions of the island well. Kum Kuat stuck. The tracker is small – a meter of a half of the height, and the fruits are glowing like sunshine. No, we have something to surprise guests, let them come.

South of Kerkira, not far from the city, there is a palace "Achillio". The shadow of Elizabeth, the Empress of Austria-Hungary, still wanders on his excellent chairs surrounded by marble heroes of Greek mythology.

Palace built for Elizabeth in 1890. The wife of Emperor Franz-Joseph, exhausted by captivity Schönbrunna – the Imperial Palace in Vienna, who had lost the children (her daughter died a little, son – Ezzduchod Ferdinand committed suicide), I was looking for a rest of the rest of the soul. And she found him on this island, on the shore of Illayko. Here, sad Sissi, as her Kerkirians called, lived in another, her most created world.

. White portico columns, high windows of three floors, filled with the sun and sea wind, spacious balconies – Italian architects that built the palace in the style of neoclassicism probably understood the state of Elizabeth, and therefore the building turned out to be strict and elegant at the same time; It looks windows and in the garden, and at sea, as if merging with nature.

The head of the high shore of Elizabeth put the sculpture of his most beloved hero – Achilla. That was "Achille dying" — Strong, beautiful young man whose face is distorted deadly flour. Wilhelm II, Kaiser Germany, who became the owner of the castle after the death of Elizabeth, pushed the sculpture into the depths of the garden, and appeared in her place "Achille winning". Wilhelm appreciated Fanfare Victory, Elizabeth – Movement of the Human Soul.

Though she spent in a chapel attached to the palace to the reception hall. There, in privacy, in front of the icon – the picture of the Virgin and the infant and the fresco "Court over Christ", Elizabeth, speaking by her words, "appealed to God without intermediaries". I see her adorable face, sad eyes, hair decorated with flowers. Invited Astra standing near the portrait on the table, before entering the chapel.

I see it in the garden – among the age-old olive, kicks, cypresses, among bright colors, Bust Bayron. Inclined above the book, like marble nymph.

Not long rested by Soul Elizabeth on this blessed island. In 1898, in Vienna, she was killed by the Italian anarchist Luigi Luchchini. His photos are preserved. The unshaven tricky young man in a hat-bowler, here he is conducted by gendarmes in the studied uniforms, so the murder tool – sharpening from a file on a wooden handle.

It seemed to me that Kerkirians consider Sissy. Apparently, her love for the island, moral purity and unhappy fate find a response in their souls. Otherwise, they would not return the palace former appearance (during the war there was a hospital in him, then casino), after setting in his walls, sad Sissi.

Golden Sword Admiral

The old fortress stands on a high hill with two vertices and facing its mighty walls to the sea. It was built by Venetians in the XVI century, although they began to build more Byzantines. A new fortress rows. This is also the work of Venetians, the XVII century. Between the fortresses there are old quarters of Kerkira – Old Town.

Both in the city and fasteners turned into museums today, there are always many people. Carefree bright crowd of tourists moving along a long bridge connecting the city and old fortress; Entering the fortress, the crowd breaks down, people hide in galleries and bastions.

. Powerful walls. Stairs cut down in stone. Underground moves. Stone tunnels. Cold and scary, but the turn behind the twist – above, above, and now at hand, the rough side of the wall, weeping flowing down. Before me – the sea.

From the height, the close green spot of the island of Vido is clear and near the spot is the island of Lazareto, then Sinya Strait and the mountains of close mainland. Looking at this panorama, you can really imagine what happened here, on a serene today blue-blue space, February 18, 1799. On this day, the Russian-Turkish squadron stormed the fortress Corfu. Led the operation from the board "St. Paul" Vice Admiral Fyodor Fedorovich Ushakov1.

This is the assault on his plan. Began with the battle for the island of Vido, which was the key to Corfu. Vido Pylal. Russian ships, lined up semi-windows, deployed guns towards the fortress. In the walls of it, the stairs rose. Natisk from the sea and sushi was so great that the next morning the French surrendered. Fortress Pala.

What did I think and what I felt after the victory of Ushakov, who prepared this storming about four months? Maybe that now, after the liberation of all the ionic islands and the last of them, the main thing – Corfu, the plans of Napoleon, rushing to the east, came the end? After all, it was precisely the successful military actions of Napoleon on the Mediterranean forced to unite recent enemies – Russia and Turkey, as well as join this union England.

But the joy of victory brought Admiral and new worries. Immediately after taking Corfu Ushakov – and the documents are talking about it – it was extremely concerned to restore order and calm on the liberated island. When after some time the squadron Ushakov went with Corfu, she left the shore of the newly born in the republic of seven islands. Grateful residents of Corfu presented to Ushakov Golden Sword, torn in diamonds.

And again down – on stone transitions and stairs. On one of the platforms I see two guns – obviously old, green from time. With difficulty distinguishing stamp – double-headed eagle! So, Ushakovsky.

Near the old fortress, the main square of the city was spread – the famous Spianada. Wide, spacious, green, she was once a test polygon for serfs. Now in the greenery of trees Be whiten monuments, on the street Dusmani, dividing the square to the upper and lower, rolled elegant equestrian carriages.

I go from the monument to the monument, I consider the buildings surrounding the square, and I opens the history of the city that was peaked after Ushakov.

Here is the monument of the Union of Ionic Islands with the rest of Greece. This event occurred on May 21, 1864, and every year on this day the Lower Square takes a festive procession.

Not far from this monument, across the street, stretch at two quarters of an amazing building – Liston. Lower floor it – High rounded arches with Venetian lamps. Warm sand color, elegant arches lines, glitter lanterns is the creation of the French architect Lessep, who built a similar building and in Paris, on the street Rivoli. By the way, it was the French that planted the trees of the Spianad, turning the area into a beautiful park.

The old palace with the triumphal arches of the entrance is adjacent to the square. In 1819, when the palace was built, the Senate of Ionian Islands was located, then the English rulers lived in it. The garden has a monument to one of them – Frederick Adam, the creator of the water supply network on the island. Monument put Kerkirians themselves. By the way, they are grateful to the British to this day and for beautiful roads.

I remember when St. George and I examined the square, he churbed: "We, Kerkiri, – People of the World. ", Bearing in mind the cultural influence that all historical events were on the inhabitants of the island. But, thinking, added: "And yet the Greeks".

. The monument to Johnis Capodistria is always crowded. Every Kerkirian knows the biography of John and proud of them. He was born on this island, but his fate was closely related to Russia: the long-year capodistria was in the Russian diplomatic service. And in 1827, he – in the course of the Greek national liberation revolution – became the first ruler of liberated Greece. But four years later, it was killed, perhaps those (there is such a version), who did not like his thrust to Russia, to good relations with her.

When Ushakov stood with the squadron at the walls of Corfu, John was 23 years old. Then the Ionic Islands acted a big "Russian Party" and the two-thousanded militia of Kerkiriy residents fought together with the Russians. Even before the assault, the delegation islanders climbed onto the board of the ship "Zahariya and Elizabeth" and tearfully praying Russian sailors do not land on the island of Turks. Kerkiri knew what a magnitude massacre. All these events probably could not pass unnoticed for young capsodistria and, perhaps, many of his subsequent cases and the invariable sympathy for Russia their origins go in those years.

But, it seems, I was somewhat lingered on Spianada Square. But after her – to the most new fortress – the streets of the old city-Kaduni will go. According to this Kadovnik, the Ushakovtsians began: the city was built still in Venetians, and he almost did not change since more long ago. Here you need to discard the card and go, following the bizarre twist. They bring down to the Byzantine Church, then to the square with a source dressed in a stone, then to the Venetian stairs.

And although the old city is protected, the museum silence is not here. Against. Tightening motorcycles, there is a brisk trade everywhere, the flow of pedestrians is poured into one, then in another street funnel.

It seems I have already gone there, where the motley wave is not sick. Raise my eyes on a sign and see – Ushakov Street! I go on it, touching the hands of the walls of houses on both sides. Houses mostly three-story; On the walls of other, fresh after the repair, the square of the old plaster is clearly seen. (I remember: Georgy said that the repair of the house is the case of each owner, but by repairing the building, the owner is obliged to leave a sample of old coating.) Between the houses, at the height, dries underwear. Elderly woman in black dragging bag with vegetables. Potted with heels on a stone bridge girl. And again quiet.

And somewhere near the voices of the big street. I go on them, and Ushakov’s street takes me to the street of the Capodistria.

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