Monday, 19 January 2009

Old Town of Corfu under UNESCO wing

The esplanade of Corfu is just one of the stunning landmarks that will benefit from UNESCO.

Corfu’s Old Town has just been named a World Heritage Center by UNESCO during the 31st meeting of the World Heritage Committee that took place in Christchurch, New Zealand, recently. It has been listed as a special architectural landmark which represents a significant historical period. The decision was made unanimously after a motion by the NGO International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).

The Ionian island’s Old Town is the 17th Greek monument to make it onto the list, the first being the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, which was included in 1986. The Delphi archaeological site and the Acropolis followed in 1987, then Mount Athos, Meteora, the early Christian monuments in Thessaloniki, the Epidaurus archaeological site and the medieval town of Rhodes in 1988. Mystras and ancient Olympia were added in 1989, then Delos, the monasteries of Dafni, Ossios Loukas and Chios in 1990, the Heraion and the Pythagoreion on Samos in 1992, Vergina in 1996, Mycenae in 1999 and the Grotto of the Revelation as well as the Monastery of St John on Patmos in the same year.

The architectural remains on Corfu cover a wide range of historical periods, from Venetian rule through to the 19th century, with highlights from the 16th and 17th centuries. According to archival

Butrint, Albania: A Microcosm of Mediterranean History

Of all the great classical ruins of the Mediterranean, Butrint, located on the coast of southern Albania near the border of Greece, is the least known. Despite this obscurity, Butrint is one of the most authentic and complete repositories of Mediterranean history and is Albania's one and only World Heritage site.

For centuries, layers of earth and vegetation have covered the ancient city from view and have protected it from the ravages of time. Since 1928, archaeologists have been carrying out excavations that are helping to recover this ancient city. They have uncovered historically significant structures, dating from ancient times to the nineteenth century, that testify to Butrint's long-lasting commercial and military importance.

In the process of discovering these architectural works, archaeologists have pieced together most of what is known about the city today. These archaeologists have come to regard Butrint as an extraordinary "microcosm of Mediterranean history"1 because their discoveries have made it possible to experience the city's continuous, almost 3000-year-long, evolution.

As early as the eighth century B.C.E., Corfiot merchants established Butrint as a base of trading operations between Epirus and Corfiot colonies in southern Italy. Founded less than ten kilometers from the island of Corfu and linked to the Mediterranean Sea, Butrint quickly developed into an important stop along the region's trade routes. By the fourth century B.C.E., Butrint had become one of the major maritime and commercial centers of the Greek world.

Under the successive rule of the Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottoman Turks, the city thrived as a center of trade and served as a strategic base for military campaigns in the east. Each of these conquering empires built structures to protect and extend Butrint's commercial ports. A few of these empires—most notably the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine—also built public monuments to enhance the culture of the city. The present archaeological site, therefore, contains structures that represent each period of the city's development, and bear witness to the city's past commercial and military power, as well as its thriving culture.

There are other classical sites with equally long histories in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, and elsewhere; yet Butrint stands alone as the most complete archaeological site of Mediterranean history since its hinterland remains intact. Within a century of the arrival of the Greeks, Butrint had become a fortified trading city, with its own acropolis and theater. In the first century B.C.E., the Romans extended the city to accommodate the population of the new colony. They established a new suburb, port facilities and built an aqueduct to provide the city's inhabitants with fresh water. In the late Roman period the city was divided in two by the construction of a defensive wall around the shores of the Vivari Channel and the spread of Christianity was marked by the construction of a magnificent baptistry and basilica.

By the end of the fourteenth century, progressive flooding forced Butrint's inhabitants to flee the original settlement. Butrint, however, did not lose its strategic importance. Until the end of the eighteenth century, military powers vied for control of the port, and occupiers constructed works of military architecture to protect the city.

During the sixteenth century, the Venetians erected a triangular fortress to safeguard the city. Nearly two hundred years later, the Turkish lord, Ali Pasha of Tepelene, erected a castle and new defensive walls to stand guard over the Bay of Butrint and the Straits of Corfu. Endowed with architectural remains representing various phases of its historical occupation, Butrint has become an important symbol of the region's most prominent cultures.

Although archaeologists hold up Butrint as an exemplary Mediterranean site, it holds a very important place within Albania's national identity as well. Since 1912, the year Albania gained its independence from Turkish rule, the archaeological site of Butrint has come to represent the resilience of Albania, which has survived thousands of years of conquest and occupation.

With many archaeological sites within the Mediterranean robbed and looted, Butrint stays remarkably well-respected with few instances of damage or theft. In the civil unrest in 1997 in Albania, however, a small amount of damage occurred on the site. The Albanian Ministry of Culture strongly condemned the action: "There has been both theft and vandalism, which is an outrage since Butrint is the most important archaeological site in Albania and of great international significance. The continuity of our culture since 800 B.C.E. is in evidence here as at no other location."2 UNESCO likewise reacted strongly and sent an assessment mission to the site as a response to the damage. As a result a new management structure was set up for Butrint and a buffer zone was created around the site.

Today the rediscovered city of Butrint is one of Albania's most cherished national treasures. From the ruins of Butrint, it is possible to learn about not only the powerful cultures that conquered the site, but also Albania's struggle to build a national identity out of its turbulent history.

Corfu Palace Hotel, Kerkyra town, Corfu, Greece

Corfu Palace Hotel offers a traditional and elegant atmosphere where each guest can experience the Greek Hospitality through personalized service and attention to detail in the tru Swiss tradition. Thanks to a long tradition and as a member of the world famous association "Hotels de Grande Classe Internationale", the Corfu Palace Hotel can justifiably be classed as one of the most elegant and ditinguished hotels in Greece

The Corfu Palace Hotel is an impressive and highly praised 5 star luxury establishment, based on the island of Corfu in Greece.

It is situated in the outskirts of the historic Corfu Town overlooking the pretty bay of Garitsa, the Greek mainland and is conveniently situated just 400 metres from the center of Corfu Town

Kontokali Bay Hotel, Corfu, Greece
Kontokali Bay Resort and Spa is a Hotel-Bungalow complex on the central eastern shoreline of the emerald Isle of Corfu, situated only 6 Km. from the island’s capital, Corfu Town.

Built on a densely wooded peninsula and on a natural incline, the Main Building of the Kontokali Bay overlooks both the sparkling blue waters of the Ionian Sea that separates Corfu from the taupe, coastal mountains of the Greek Mainland and the Gouvia Marina.

The bungalows are set in the midst of the verdant, pine and cypress-laden gardens, the vibrant reds and mauves of the rambling bougainvilleas add the artist’s final brushstroke to this perfect canvas.

Easyjet flights to Corfu, Greece:
easyJet launches 2 new routes to Corfu
easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, announced that it is opening 2 new routes to Corfu, for summer 2009. These new routes will operate from UK regional airports, giving travellers even more choice of popular destinations. Fares for the new routes will start from just £22.99 including tax. As part of the expansion, easyJet will base an additional aircraft at Liverpool from 1 June 2009 and at Manchester from 4 August 2009. Easyjet will fly from Bristol to Corfu starting as of Monday 22 May 2009 for £26.99. In addition Easyjet will fly from Manchester to Corfu staring as of 4 May 2009 for £33.99

Corfu Golf Club, Corfu, Greece

The Corfu Golf Club’s beautiful course has been praised by many as one of golf’s best kept secrets in Europe. It was designed by the famous Swiss based architect, Donald Harradine and he has blended the natural resources of the lovely Ropa Valley with man made hazards to make the course a good but fair test. It is as enjoyable for the scratch player as it is for the long handicap one.

The treelined fairways and the sandtraps combine with the several lakes and meandering streams, to make an attractive picture against a backcloth of high hills. A modern irrigation system keeps the course in perfect condition at all times.

From March to November and sometimes beyond, there is warm sunshine and blue skies in Corfu but even in high summer on the golf course there is a cooling breeze blowing in from the sea.

Golf is also played throughout the winter in Corfu, so anytime is golf time! There are three sets of tees thus providing enjoyment for all categories of players.

The turf is very good and easy to walk on and every hole on the course provides infinite variety - and it's own problems. Corfu is a great golf course and it's fame is spreading rapidly as golfers come from all over the world to test their skill at golf and to enjoy an island which offers spectacular scenery, fine hotels, good food and a warm welcome.

1 comment:

  1. I am very interested to know about the place Corfu.Is there more details with you?

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