Old Fortress of Corfu, Greece (with Map & Photos)

The Old Fortress of Corfu is one of the oldest attractions of Corfu, it is a historical and architectural monument of the times of the Byzantine Empire. The fortress was built on an island of artificial origin, and it is separated from the urban settlements by the deep protective canal Contra Fossa.

Old Fortress of Corfu
Old Fortress of Corfu

Opening hours of the Old Fort in Corfu

For quite a long time, the Old Fortress of Corfu was closed to tourists, but then, having lost its military significance, it became fully accessible to everyone. Currently, the fortress is open daily from 8 am to 8 pm. The best time to visit it is early morning or late evening, as it is quite hot during the daytime. Entrance to the territory of the Old Fortress in Corfu is free.


The old fortress was founded approximately in the 7th-8th century AD in a strategically convenient place - a cape protruding deep into the sea. The first buildings, according to archaeologists, were made by the hands of the Byzantines, and later the construction was carried out by the British and the Venetians, who decorated many of the fortress buildings with their traditional coats of arms - winged lions. The most ancient buildings on the territory of the Old Fortress of Corfu include the defensive fortifications of the fortress, the protective fortress wall, and the first deep ditch.

Old Fortress of Corfu
Old Fortress of Corfu

Later, around 1550-59, the existing walls were strengthened in the defensive complex, and an even deeper ditch was dug, which then became the Contra Fossa canal. Thus, the island cape itself became a real island of artificial origin, access to which was carried out only with the help of a special drawbridge.

At the same time, pirates and the Ottoman Empire besieged Kerkyra, trying to take control of the Venetians ruling here, so the latter actively began to strengthen the defensive structures. Several new bastions were erected in the city, a gate was built in its western part, and the width of the moat was further increased. For additional protection, a second ditch was also dug, along the perimeter of which walls were built, and a third line of defense was built - high rocks, cleaned in such a way that their surfaces were absolutely smooth, which made access to the city in these places absolutely impossible.

This stage of construction was completed in 1546–1588, after which two more bastions were added to the Old Fortress of Corfu, on the walls of which you can still see the engraved names of their engineers - Martinengo and Savorgnan from Italy, as well as a prison and a hospital for prisoners, storerooms and other utility rooms. In 1840, the church of St. George considered the patron saint of warriors, appeared on the territory of Old Fortress of Corfu, famous for its classical Doric columns. Many fortifications of that time, including ancient temples and palaces of rulers, have not survived our time.

The last buildings on the territory of the Old Fortress of Corfu in Corfu date back to the 19th century, for the most part, these are fortified ancient buildings and administrative premises. During the Second World War, many buildings of the fortress were destroyed, but by 1956 they were completely restored. Currently, the Old Fortress of Kerkyra hosts daily performances with the participation of Ionian folk dancers, light and sound shows, various exhibitions, as well as performances and concerts.

Old Fortress of Corfu
Old Fortress of Corfu


The main entrance to the Old Fortress of Kerkyra is located on the territory of the large city square Spianada, where specialized paid parking for cars is also equipped. Behind the entrance there is a small cozy park with monuments to various famous personalities and stone paths, Passing by the Clock Tower, you can go up to the observation deck of the fortress.

The Old Fortress of Corfu observation deck offers a beautiful view of Kerkyra, the blue Ionian Sea and high mountains, the windmill located at the farthest tip of the peninsula, the old town and port, as well as the bell tower of the local church of St. Spyridon. It is impossible not to pay attention here to the highest point of the island - Mount Pantokrator, as well as to the New Fortress, adjacent to the Old Fortress of Corfu, founded by the Venetians back in 1577.

On the same observation deck of the Old Fortress of Corfu, there is also an old lighthouse and an impressive cross. The bridge connecting the city with the fortress is now stationary. On the premises of the Old Fortress, there is currently a museum of ceramic art, souvenir shops, snack bars, and cafes. On the right side of the entrance to the fortress is a small chapel named after Madonna Carmini, next to the historical archive of the island with its famous collection of such Byzantine relics as paintings, sculptures, and icons. In the building of the former military barracks of the 18th century, a public library is now open, where valuable historical manuscripts and publications are carefully stored. And in the former infirmary, a music school is successfully functioning.

Old Fortress of Corfu
Old Fortress of Corfu

How to get to Paleo Frurio

Paleo Frurio Fortress is located in the eastern part of Corfu, its buildings are the first thing that catches the eye of all tourists who arrive at the port of the island on the Igoumenitsa-Kerkira ferry route (departs 1 time per hour) or a cruise liner.

For tourists coming to the Old Fortress of Kerkyra by car, there is paid parking near the main entrance, the cost of which is about 3 euros per day. You can leave the car for free in the parking lot after driving a little further - towards the old seaport.

The distance from Corfu International Airport "Ioannis Kapodistrias" to the fortress is about 3 kilometers. It can be overcome by bus, the closest public transport stop to the attraction is called "San Rocco Square".

You can also use taxi services in Corfu: Corfu Taxi Company, Spiros Kritikos, Manos Taxi, Taxi Tours, Corfu Exclusive, Piatsa Taxi Sarroko, Corfu Private Taxi, Corfu Harbor, British Taxi, Roda Taxi, and many others.

Old Fortress of Corfu Map