Situated on the very center of the Mediterranean, the island of Corfu binds together vital sea routes. “Corcyra” was founded as a Greek colony by Corinthians in 700 BC, and came to be an independent city-state by defeating her own mother city in 664 BC, in the first recorded sea-battle in history.
Thucydides, in the Classic times, commemorated not only the Corcyraeans’ formidable fleet of 120 “triremes”, but also their bloody Civil war. During the thousand years of the Eastern Roman Empire, Corcyra erected imposing Christian basilicas, became the seat of a Byzantine general, and was eventually transferred in the fortified peninsula of “Coryfo” (Corfu).
In the Late Middle Ages, sea powers struggled for the island which became an essential part of the maritime Republic of Venice. The Venetians’ dominion lasted for 411 years and outlasted the Ottoman offensive. A byproduct was the heavily fortified town of Corfu as we know it. The growing city became the capital of the “Septinsular Republic” and the most influential cultural center of the reemerging Greek nation during the 19th century.