Corfu Town Page 4
Corfu Town's Ancient Remains in Kanoni Quarter
Ancient Kerkyra's Capital, known as Chersoupolis was discovered during the demolition of the Venetian Fortress of San Salvadore in 1843, on the peninsula ending at Kanoni (named for its cannons) which the locals call Palaiopolis (old town). It was sacked by the Goths in the 6th century and abandoned. Greeks and Venetians used it as a quarry in the erection of modern Corfu Town.
A vestige of the ancient wall still remains near the present day cemetery in Corfu Town. The walls are thought to have surrounded the city on three sides protecting the port of Alkinoos (the current bay of Garitsa) in the North, the Lagoon of Chalkiopoulos, also known as the Bay of Chelaios, in the West, and the sea of Mon Repo, in the East. The market of the city was built north of the bay of Garitsa. The acropolis was erected on the site of today's Analipsi. The only existing tower of the wall was located at the entrance of the port of Alkinoos, while today it serves as the foundation of the Church of Agios Athanasios. Near the cemetery, one can see the Tower of Neratziha where once stood the Church of Virgin Mary.
The ancient aqueduct also passed through this section. In the area of Garitsa, (Mon Repo grounds) archaeologists have discovered traces of Archaic and Classical era tombs , which were part of the town’s ancient cemetery. The most significant funery find is the Statue of Menekratis.
When beset, the town’s fleet berthed in the well-protected (by 24 pounder cannon), port of the bay of Chelaios. The bay’s entrance is formed by two islets. One of which is the site of the Church of Vlaherna, and the other is green and picturesque Pontikonissi.
The ancient town had many temples of all sizes, built by the first inhabitants from Corinth and Evoia. The largest and most significant temples, built in the 7th and 6th century BC, are the Temple of Hera, Diana and Kardaki in honor of Apollo and the Temple of Dionysus. Findings are exhibited in the local Archaeological Museum.