Religion is a very important part of Greek life and culture, as can easily be spotted from the hundreds of churches and monasteries that exist on the island of Corfu and in the Old town center.
Most of the churches in Corfu were built at XVII and XVIII centuries and many of them are constituted by a single nave, an imposing facade, a bell tower and ceilings decorated with frescoes.
The entire island of Corfu is filled with historic churches and beautiful religious monuments that mark the rich culture and history of the island through the ages. One of the churches that can literally take your breath away is the popular church of Agios Spyridon located in the heart of the town. Saint Spyridon or Agios Spyridon is the patron of Corfu island, according to the official website of Saint Spyridon’s church, because of saint Spyridon, many difficulties in the island were surpassed. Under the Venetian occupation, the Corfiots survived from illnesses, starvation and the Turkish raid four times. In particular, 1553, saint Spyridon saved the island from starvation. For this reason, the famous litany of Holy Saturday on Easter was established. In 1630, he discharged the island from the plague. As a result, the litany of Palm Sunday was established. There are a lot of small and big churches in the old town and scattered across the island so please find below a list of churches and monasteries in Corfu island with an interesting history or distinctive features so you can make the most of your religious holidays in Corfu.
The church of Saints Iasson and Sossipatros – Garitsa, Corfu town
This church is placed in the south of old town, exactly in Paleopoli area in one of the most sought neighborhoods in Corfu where there are many buildings of historical interest. It is dedicated to the two Saints Iasson and Sosipatros, both Paul’s disciples, who spread the Christianity on Corfu island.
The Vlaherna Monastery – Vlaherna, Kanoni, Corfu Town
The small monastery of Vlaherna is one of the most picturesque sceneries of the island and is located to the south of the city, in the more southern part of the Kanoni peninsula. The monastery is set on a tiny island connected to the mainland only with a narrow wharf that seems to be in the middle of the sea. This all-white architecture, dates back to the seventeenth century and stands out against the blue background of the sea and creates the perfect setting for a selfie.
The Pantocrator Church – Pontikonissi, Corfu
Just a few meters in front of the picturesque Vlaherna Monastery there is another tiny island called Pontikonissi on which there is only one building, that is the church of Pantocrator.
According to one interpretation of Homer’s Odyssey this island would be the ship of Ulysses that was turned into rock by Poseidon while, according to another legend would be the rock on which Ulysses’ ship crashed during a storm.
The Platytera Monastery – Corfu City
The emblematic monastery of Platytera is situated in the centre of Corfu and is few hundred meters away from the new port. It was built in 1743 but had a short life because during the French-Russian-Turk War (1799) it was destroyed. it was reconstructed and became one of the most important monasteries of the island for the mortal remains of Ioanni Capodistria, president of Greece, and Tsavellas, a hero of the revolution, which can be viewed inside. This monastery is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and, from the architectonic point of view, is constituted of a portico on three sides and a bell tower, with a domed top, that acts as an entrance.
The Ipapandi Church – Kommeno, Corfu
Similar to Pantokrator church as described above, the Ipapandi church is situated on a small islet connected to the mainland with a path, but this time a few kilometres away in the gulf of Gouvia, north of the city. This white-washed church is one of the most popular churches for weddings in Corfu. The view from this church is just breath taking because you can admire all the gulf and the old town.
The Palaiokastritsa Monastery – Palaiokastritsa, Corfu
The monastery takes its name from the name of the place, Palaiokastritsa where is situated and it is set on the top of the cape that sets the scenery of the entire area. The Palaiokastritsa monastery was built in 1225, then in the XVIII century the main church was dedicated to the Holy Virgin and the cells of monks were constructed. Inside the monastery is constituted of a courtyard with a portico and a modern building where there is a museum of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sacred books, saintly tools and formal dresses.
The Askitario Monastery- Nymfes, Corfu
The Askitario monastery is placed just 1 km from the village of Nymfes in the north of the island and is one of the most ancient Christian buildings in Corfu. The legend says, that the building was constructed from the parents of hermit Artemisios Paissios to commemorate their son who didn’t want to leave the place where he lived in seclusion.
Monasteries, churches, sacred places and pilgrimages tell of the long and enduring devotion to Orthodox Christianity in Corfu, so if you are planning religious holidays in Corfu, do not waste time, search for the right holiday accommodation on our website and book a holiday to remember.