The Old Town (UNESCO)
The Old Town of Corfu is the only such large area in Greece to have retained almost intact its historical urban network, with buildings dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. This housing stock brings to the surface the unique historical conjuncture that formed its architectural and cultural character. The Old Town and its two forts are nowadays listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Monuments.
That listing is accompanied by a “Statement of Outstanding Universal Value,” parts of which follow: “The ensemble of the fortifications and the Old Town of Corfu lies at a strategic location on the entrance to the Adriatic Sea. Its roots go back to the 8th century BC and then to the Byzantine period. It has thus been subject to various influences and an admixture of different peoples and their ideas […] On various occasions it had to stand at the first line of defence of the Venetian maritime empire against Ottoman armies. Corfu was a well-considered example of fortification engineering, designed by the architect Sanmicheli, and proved its worth in practical warfare. Corfu retains a specific identity reflected in its system of fortifications, and in its neo-classical building stock. It can therefore be placed among other major Mediterranean fortified port cities.”