By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises
Throughout this cruise—indeed, throughout this region—the influence of the once-great Republic of Venice is everywhere to be seen.
It variously traded with and fought against the Venetians, the Ottomans, and other powers. It was also assaulted by pirates.
In 1386 the islanders placed themselves under the protection of Venice, which kept it for four hundred years; Kerkyra–one of the older versions of its name–was known as the “Door of Venice”.
Photos by Corey Sandler
The Siege of Corfu in 1537 landed 25,000 soldiers from the Turkish fleet of Suleiman the Magnificent. They pillaged parts of the island and took 20,000 hostages.
But in the city, the Venetian castle held and the Turks withdrew because of lack of supplies and an epidemic.
The second great siege of Corfu took place in 1716, during the last Turkish-Venetian War. On July 8 the Turkish fleet of 33,000 men was encountered by the Venetian fleet off the channel of Corfu and was defeated.
Despite repeated assaults and heavy fighting, the Turks were unable to breach the defenses and were forced to end the siege after 22 days.
The 5,000 Venetians and foreign mercenaries, together with 3,000 Corfiotes, were victorious.
Once again Venetian castle engineering had proven itself once again against considerable odds.
The repulse of the Ottomans was widely celebrated in Europe, Corfu being seen as a bastion of Western Civilization against the Ottoman tide.
Today, I went with guests to the Paleokastritsa Monastery outside of Corfu Town. It is frozen in time. Here is some of what I saw.
We were last here on June 4; see my blog entry for that day for more detail and photos.
Text and images copyright 2015 by Corey Sandler. All rights reserved. If you would like to purchase a high-resolution image, please contact me.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PURCHASE AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF ONE OF MY BOOKS, PLEASE CONTACT ME.
SEE THE “How to Order a Photo or Autographed Book” TAB ON THIS PAGE FOR INSTRUCTIONS