Listed 9 sub titles with search on: History
for destination: "CORFU
Foundation/Settlement of the place
The city was built in 550 A.D. under the name Koryfo.
Catastrophes of the place
Bombings from German airplanes
There were many victims and catastrophes of many historical buildings, the Ionian Academy, the Parliament, the Public Library, the Public Theatre, the House of Solomos, many historical churches and other buildings.
Iovianos, bishop, 5th century
Within the area of Paleopolis, Iovianos destroyed the ancient temples, altars and other buildings of the ancient Greek civilization.
, 25/8/1537 - 11/9/1537
He failed to take the city but he plundered the island.
Raid of Turkish armada
, 5/8/1716 - 22/8/1716
Benefactors of the place
They installed the first printing press in Greece and thus established the use of the Greek language on the island of Corfu.
They established the Ionian Academy, the first alma Mater of the country, with the encouragement of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first Governor of Greece.
They established the great Agios Iakovos Theatre in Loggia.
The Municipal Theater of Corfu
At the end of the 19th century San Giacomo theatre, the first theatre
in South-Eastern Europe, was considered by the Municipality of Corfu that could
not accomplish his mission and satisfy the needs of a constantly increasing public
audience. The decision for the construction of a new municipal theatre was taken
in 1885, when the Mayor Georgios Theotokis was in office. The building started
in 1893 by the Mayor Michael Theotokis. Due to the exceedingly high cost, the
work was completed in 1902, on plans made by the architect Conrado Pergolesi,
who used as a prototype the Milanese "Teatro la Scalla". It was 39m in height
and in front of his entrance was a gallery decorated with 6 columns of the toscanic
order. Externally, the upper floor was decorated with 4 semi-columns of the corinthian
order and a gable. At the center of gable there was the shield of Corfu in relief,
engarlanded with a laurel wreath. The entrance of the Theater was decorated with
huge purple columns and the high walls were frescoed with the portraits of famous
composers, made by Italian artists.
The Municipal Theater had 64 theatre-boxes arranged in three tiers
and a gallery on the top. Each box was luxurious and individually decorated; it
had jalousies, a small compartment with valuable mirrors and screen, and each
bow was exclusively gaslit. The stalls area was luxurious and richly decorated,
with purple velvet armchairs. The No 1 box was reserved for the Theater Committee
and behind this box was the office of the Committee, where the valuable archive
of San Giacomo's Theater was neatly kept. The first box in the second row was
the specially looked-after Royal box, reserved for the members of the Greek Royal
family, when they were in Corfu. Above the third row of boxes was the gallery.
The popular classes of the city, of Mandouki, Garitsa and the suburbs made all
the necessary sacrifices in order to obtain their ticket to the opera. Besides,
they were the passionate judges of the performances and awarded the ovation to
the artists. This applause was very much wanted, because the certificate "Applaudito
a Corfu" was a first class passport for the Italian or European tours of the operas.
In front of the stalls area was the proscenium with the places for
the orchestra that accompanied the opera. The whole of the orchestra was comprised
of Corfiot performers and only one Harp was brought from abroad. The musicians
performed 10 operas per season, starting in September and ending the last Sunday
before the Ash Monday.
The stage was big and spacious in order to handle the special needs
of every performance. Behind the sage was the backstage, spacious and comfortable
for the personnel of every opera, with many offices and all the necessary stage-compartments
for the perfect execution of the performances. The stage-curtain was the old stage-curtain
of San Giacomo Theater. Inspirator and creator of that stage-curtain, was the
advisor of the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice,
Giovanni Buzatto, who made the stage-curtain of Teatro Fenice in Venice, or according
to some others Napoleone Genovesi. The painting showed the festivities during
the reception of Odysseus in the island of Phaeacian king Alcinoos and was originally
used for the scenographic needs of the first theatrical performance in Greek,
by the same name, in San Giacomo Theater. It remained there after the performance,
used as stage-curtain and later was transferred to the New Theater.
The Theater was considered as one of the best in Europe. The acoustics
were incomparable in any technical aspect and had the ability, like a sound box,
to amplify correctly even the faintest sound. Its capacity could be estimated
to about 1,000 and it had a large foyer, decorated on the ceilings with splendid
frescos made by Italian artists that represented ancient Greek gods and several
musical themes. The balls that were held in the theater's foyer have since remained
The Municipal Theatre was inaugurated on December 7th, 1902 and staged
Wagner's "Lohengrin". Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany attended one of the performances
when he was in Corfu visiting his 'Achillion' palace.
The mythology that the Corfiots developed about their theatre, in
every case shows that even in the first decades of the 20th century, the opera
was a spectacle that was capable of moving even the popular classes. The audience
was so much acquainted to the opera, that when in 1907 a symphonic performance
was given for the first time, by the Old Philharmonic, the public received it
with unprecedented astonishment for the Corfiot standards.
The performances continued regularly for the hole of the first quarter
of the 20th century and Italian operas were called in Corfu by the administrative
authorities of the Theatre.
After 1923, when Italy bombarded Corfu, the Italian operas ceased
to appear in Corfu. From that time on Greek operas were called under the direction
of the maestros Dionisius Lavrangas, Alexandros Kiparissis, Stefanos Valtetsiotis
and others. Since then, dramatic plays were also staged and artists like Marika
Kotopouli and Pelos Katselis appeared in Corfu, as well as many operettas of the
The Municipal Theatre was not only an Art-monument but also a historical
one. On its premises the exiled Serbian parliament, the Skoupsina, held up meetings
in 1916, which decided the creation of the new Unified Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
In 1923 the Theatre's boxes were used to accommodate the refugees from Asia
Minor, while during the Italian Fascist occupation of the island movies were
The building cost of the Municipal Theatre was raised to about 1,000,000
British golden sovereigns, a huge amount of money for that time, leaving the Municipality
of Corfu with no option than to borrow this amount, the quittance of which was
arranged for 1941. Unfortunately the Theater ceased to exit the night of September
13th 1943, blackletter night when German incendiary bombs burned to ashes a big
part of the city of Corfu. Together with many other monuments, the bombs incinerated
the Municipal Theatre with all the invaluable archive of the musical theatre of
Corfu. The only thing that escaped fire was the above-mentioned stage-curtain
that luckily was not in the Theater that night. Recently that stage-curtain was
restored by the Municipality
of Corfu and is again exposed to the Corfiots, precious treasure of the artistic
history of Corfu.
Unfortunately, in the postwar period, the destroyed building was considered
unworthy, "without any architectural and historical value", by the architect Ioannis
Kollas and the civil engineers Georgios Linardos and Renos Paipetis. Their opinion
was announced to the Mayor, Stamatis Desillas and to the Municipal Council of
that period, which unanimously decided the demolition of the Theatre at a meeting
held on March 31st, 1952. In short time the Municipal Theatre was demolished,
despite the intensive protestations of many Corfiots, which they were extended
even to the courtrooms. Many years latter another theatre was built at the same
spot, but the old-one never ceased to exist in the harts of the Corfiots. This
is testified by the hundreds of photographs that are hanged everywhere, from privet
offices to public buildings, expressing a romantic nostalgia for the lost glory.
This text is cited May 2003 from the Municipality of Kerkyra URL below, which contains images.