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§erred in a richly ornamented ease. The annual offerings at this shrine amount to a considerable sum, and are the property of a noble Corfiot family, to whom the church belongs. Three limes a year the body of the Saint is carried in solemn procession around the esplanade, followed by the Greek rlergv and all the native authorities. The sick are sometimes brought out and laid where the Saint may be tarried over them. St. Spiridion was bishop of a see in Cyprus, and was one of the Fathers of the Council of Nice in A.d. 325. After his death his embalmed body was believed to have wrought many miracles. Various and contradictory accounts have been given of the cause and manner of its conveyance to Corfu.
The town underwent great improvements during the period of the British protectorate, but it is still cramped Mid confined. The main streets have t>«n widened, sanitary regulations We been enforced, markets havo Wn built, an efficient police organized hero (as throughout the islands), new roads and approaches have been constructed, especially the £tmdn Marina round the bay of Castries, which now forms one of the most charming public promenades in Europe. Above all, a copious supply of water, of which the town was formerly destitute, has been brought in pipes from a source above Benizzc—a distance of 7 m. The suburbs were formerly richly planted with olive and mulberry trees, but these were cut ilown by the French in order to clear a space before the fortifications, and their removal is supposed to have contributed in some degree to the improved salubrity; fevers, however, are stii] prevalent in autumn, though they are rarely of a malignant character.
The Bishop of Lincoln has remarked that Corfu is a sort of geographical nasaic to which many countries of Europe have contributed colours. The areeta are Italian in their style and lame; the arcades, by which some of th<-m an' flanked, might have come from Padua or Bologna; the winged Lk* of St. Mark is seen marching in
Btonc along the old Venetian bastions; a stranger will hear Italian from the native gentry, Greek from the peasants, Arabic from the Maltese grooms and gardeners, Albanian from the white-kilted mountaineers of the opposite coast. He may see Ionian venders haggling for how much they arc to receive for their wares in Greek obols, bearing the Venetian lion on one side and Britannia with her ajgis on the other—no bad epitome of the modem history of the island, and forming a curious addition to the silver records which tell what Corfu was in past ages. The prow of a ship, a Triton striking with his trident, a galley in full sail, the gardens of Alcinous, and a Bacchus crowned with ivy—these are some of the monetary memorials of the ancient power, commerce, and fertility of Corcyra.
We have the authority of Thucydides for the identity of Corcyra with the Scheria or Phreacia of Homer; but it is impossible to draw a map of the Homeric island which shall coincide with the existing localities. Ulysses was brought to the island by a north wind, which would seem to mark Fano as Calypso's isle. The only stream of any consequence is that which empties itself into the sea between Manduchio and Govino, while the tradition of the peasantry points to the Fountain of Cressida, a copious spring gushing out near the sea, 4 m. 8.W. of the modern town, as the spot where the nymph-like Nausieae ond her train of maidens received the suppliant Ulysses. She is perhaps the most interesting character in all ancient poetry; and wo gladly turn from the savage feuds and massacres of the Peloponnesian war to the contemplation of tho fair daughter of Alcinous.
But wherever may have been the Phoeaeia of Homer, there can be no doubt but that tho Corcyra of Thucydides occupied the peninsula between the channel and tho Lagoon, now called Lake Calichinpulo, after a noble family of Corfu; tho shores of which wore converted by the English into a race-course. Excavations in this direction everywhere produco sculptures, tombs (such as that of Menecrates, near the Stradii Marina), and other memorials of the past; and on a cliff overhanging the sea, behind the Casino, are the remains of a small Doric temple, with the ountain of Cardachio below it. The view from this spot is particularly beautiful; and a visit to it should by no means lxs omitted. It is about 2 m. from the town.
It is obvious from Thucydides (iii. 72) that Lake Calichiopulo is the HyUaic harbour, and the port of Castnides "that opposite Epims." As Scylax (Per. 29) mentions three ports at Corcyra, it may be presumed that the present harbour was also used in ancient times. Vido may have been the Ptychia of Thucydides, though that islet is identified by some antiquaries with the rock at tlio mouth of Lake Calichiopulo, and by others with the vast insulated crag on which the citadel is now built, and which was probably a stronghold in all ages.
Corfu is divided— for electoral purposes—into fourteen districts (Demos). Lefehimo, the southern extremity of the island, is so called from its white cliffs. All tlio prospects in Corfu present a union of a sea-view with u rich landscape, fur the water appears everywhere interlaced with the land. The roads are excellent, and all the principal villages can be renched in a carriogo; but tlio varied beauties of the island cannot be thoroughly appreciated except by those who have traced out on horseback some of the tliousand-and-one bridle-paths which wind through the olive-groves with the freedom of mountain streams. The general absence of hedges, and of almost all show of division of property gives the landscape a unity which is very pleasing to the eye. The olives of Corfu, it must be remembered, are not the pruned and trained fruit-trees of France and Italy, but picturesque and massive forest-trees; and their pale and quivering foliage is relieved by dark groups of tall and tufted cypresses, appearing at a little distance like the minarets of the East, or the spires of a Gothic cathedral.
The favourite and most frequented
drive, ride, and walk at Corfu, is to what is called the One-gun liatlerij (from a cannon having formerly been placed there), situated above the entrance to Luke Calichiopulo, 2J m. £. of the town, and commanding a charming prospect. In the centre of the strait below, and crowned with a small chapel of Byzantine architecture, is one of the islets (for there are two competitors) which claim to be the Slu'p of Ulysses, in allusion to the galley of the Phamcians, which on her return from having conveyed Ulysses to Ithncii was overtaken by the vengeance of Neptune, and changed into stone within sight of the port. (fid. xiii. 161.)
"Swift as the swallow sweeps Uie liquid way,
The other competitor for this honour is an isolated rock off the N.W. coast of Corfu, and which certainly at a distance resembles much a petrified ship in full sail. It is visible from the pass of San Pantaleone.
In the olive-groves, near the Chapil of (he Ascension, on the summit of a hill, about half-way between the town and the One-nun Battery is annually celebrated on Ascension-day a most interesting Greek fesla, which the traveller should stay to see, even at the expense of some inconvenience. It will afford him an excellent opportunity of witnessing the performance of the liomaika or Pyrrhic dance, and of becoming acquainted with the picturesque costumes of the peasantry.
There are three principal excursions, all over excellent carriage-roads, which will give a stranger a good general idea of the interior of Corfu.
]. To l'ateocattrizza, 10 m. from the capital: as the name imports, an ancient fortress doubtless stood here formerly, on the ground now occupied by a convent of the middle ages, strongly situated on a steep rock impending over the Adriatic Sea. The beauty, quiet, and coolness of this residence are all delightful. The seabathing is excellent, and many charming excursions may be made in the immediate vicinity, as to the ruins of tte Castle of St. Angela, a mediaeval fortress in a strong and romantic position. The road from the capital to Paleocastrizza crosses the centre of the island, passing (at 5 m. from the town) the bay of Govino, used by the Venetians as the harbour for their galleys and smaller craft. On the shore are the ruins of their arsenals, storehouses, &c. Thence the road strikes inland through a forest of venerable olives, until within two or three miles of the convent, when it is carried along the fuse of a hill covered with arbutus, myrtle, and evergreens of various kinds. Below a precipice falls sheer down to the Adriatic, studded with rocks and islets, and sparkling with those "countless smiles" (the norrluv KVfidrwv Av^ptBftav yi\aaiia of jEschylus), tho full charm of which cun be appreciated only by those who have seen southern waves flash up in a southern sun.
2. The Pass of Pantaleone (13 m. from the town) is the Simplon of Corfu, and the highest point of the road which is carried over the mountain-chain of San Salvador. It is the only carriage-road to, and commands a splendid prospect over the northern district of Corfu, the islands of Fano, Mtrlera, Salumtraki, and the lecond insulated rock which claims to be the ship of Ulysses. A favourite spot for pic-m'cs is under a huge oak-tree, 3 m. to the N. of the pass.
3. The Pass of Garuna (8 m.) affords a like view over the southern districts of the island; and is also very striking, though not so elevated as that of San Pantaleone.
These three excursions should by
no means be omitted; others almost
equally picturesque are—to Benizze (7
in.); to Pelleka (7 m.); and to the
village of Santa Decca (8 m.), situated
on the slope of the mountain of tho
Ten Saints (*A-yio< Ae'ica), corrupted
into Santa Decca), the second in height
in the island. Lord Carlisle, in his
'Diary in Turkish and Greek Waters'
(1854), writes as follows:—"I went
over the citadel, which comprises tho
two peaks from which tho town is
named; the view is very fine; but this and almost every view I ever saw in my life were eclipsed by those we saw in our afternoon ride on tho Santa Decca road, which turns the mountain that opens the southern district of the island; the snow-capped lines of the Acroccraunian hills on the Albanian shore, the unruffled sens which gleamed through four sets of ravines, the defined outline of the twopeaked citadel, the terraces of olive and vine that climb every hill, with scattered alleys of cypress, and tufts of orange, make the whole effect most transcendent. All this you see from excellent roads, admirably engineered. Any one who wishes to condense the attractions of southern scenery, and see it all in the utmost comfort and luxury, need only come to Corfu."
The raid to Lefchimo (the ancient Leueimne), the southern district of Corfu (2(5 m.), passes through Santa Decca. The island terminates in a white cliff, called Cavo Bianco by tho Italians, a translation of Leueimne. From Cape Bianco to the Sybota Islands, close to the coast of Epirus, the southern entrance to tho channel of Corfu is about 5 m. across.
The mountain of San Salvador (Istone) rises about 3000 ft. above tho sea, and is the highest point in the island, forming a striking object from the town. The best way to ascend it is to cross the bay (a distance of 8 or 10 re.) in a sailing or row-boat, and land either nt Karagol, or a little to the eastward of the village of Ipso, where horses or mules may be procured, and a guide to the Convent which crowns the summit. The path rises by a steep ascent through olivewoods, and then over the barren and rocky mountain side. Before reaching the small village of Signies, are passed several deep wells, round which the shepherds assemble their flocks. Hero too, as at the other fountains of Greece, may generally be seen groups of the peasant women, who givo on Oriental charm to the scene with their long flowing drapery, and ample folds of white linen, falling over their heads and shoulders. It is a toilsome ascent from Signies to the Convent, which is not inhabited by tho Monks, except at certain festivals. A pilgrimage is made to this shrine every year on the anniversary of the Transfiguration (August f5); and tho going up of tho people to the "high place '' is a very pretty sight. The view from the summit is magnificent. In clear weather the coast of Italy is just visible above the horizon to the N.W.; while to the E. the eye ranges along tho chain of tho Acroceraunian Mountains, and penetrates far into the interior of Albania commanding the castle and plain of Butrinto, with its two lnkes and river, and several villages picturesquely scattered over the hills. To the S., tho city and whole island of Corfu are stretched out like a map, with Paxo and Santa Maura in the distance.
Off the N.W. coast of Corfu are her three island dependencies of Fano (Othomis), Merlera (Ericiisa), and Salmatraki, containing altogether about 1800 inhabitants, a peaceful and industrious race, exporting annually olive-oil, honey, grapes, &o. A fine sea-cavern is of course pointed out as Calypso's Grotto by the islanders to every stranger: it is now frequented by seals and wild pigeons. Fano is visited by sportsmen chiefly in the spring, for the purpose of shooting quails, which abound thero during the annual migration.
Some account of the shooting at Corfu is required in this work, us so many Englishmen now visit tho island every winter in search of it. The season lasts from November to March, but December and January are the best months. Snipes and wild-fowl are found in considerable numbers during the winter in tho Vol di Soppa, a marshy valley 7 m. inland from the town. Woodcocks are also killed in all parts of the island, and are generally sold in the market for a few pence each. Hares are scarce, owing, partly, to the number of foxes and jackals. Santa Maura is the only one of the Ionian Islands whore wolves are 6till found.
But it is ou tho opposito coast of
Albania that the really good shooting is to be had. Butrinto, Kataito, and Livitazza (or rather La Vituzta at the mouth of the river Kalamas, or Thyamis) are the best grounds for snipes, woodcocks, and wild-fowl of all kinds; and Ptelii and Paqanid for deer and wild boars;—which latter aro also found on the Sybota (t. e., Swine Islands), two wooded and uninhabited rocks lit tho southern entrance of the channel. In Corfu they are now generally culled Murto, from an Albanian hamlet on the neighbouring shore; but they are celebrated under their classical name on account of the action between the Corcyrreans and Corinthians fought off their shores in tho year before the beginning of tho Peloponncsian war. Thero is a sheltered bay between the two principal Sybota, and another between the inner island and tho mainland. The neighbouring village occupies apparently the site of the place which Thucydides calls "the continental Sybota," and where the Corinthians erected a trophy after the sea-fight, while tho Corcyramns, who equally claimed the victory, set up their trophy at the *' insular Sybota" (Thucyd. i. 54): "whence," says Colonel Leake, "it would seem that thero were villages of that name on either Bide of the inner strait or harbour."
The places above mentioned are all on tho Epirot or Albanian coast of the channel of Corfu. Near Sand' Quaranta, outsido the N. channel, and about 18 m. from the harbour, there is also capital woodcock, wildfowl, as well as deer and wild-boar shooting. Further N, in tho Acroceraunian Mountains, above Port Palermo and the town of Chimara, chamois may be shot in summer, when the snowa have melted. S. of Corfu there is excellent shooting (cocks, snipes, <fec), at Port Phandri, on the banks of tho Acheron, and on the shores of the Gvlf of Aria.
Before 1856 the whole of the Turkish Empire was always held by the Christian Powers in that state which tho Health-Offices of the Levant call conkmacy (contumacia)—that is to say, sll intercourse with its coast was subject to a quarantine of greater or less dniation according to its reputed sanitary condition for the time being. This restriction never ceased entirely, filing to the former neglect of strict quarantine regulations by the Turks —« consequence of their ideas of fatalism. In ordinary times, however, oil persons from Corfu who secured the escort of a rpiardiano, or HealthOrHoer. answerable for their not coming into contact with the natives, nr with any "susceptible" substance, were allowed to disembark in Albania and range at liberty in tho open country. Except in periods of contagious diseases, even this restriction has now been removed. Thus in winter shooting-parties constantly cross over; nnd there is a great charm in tho wildnesB and variety of the sport and fenery. There is, as a general rule, little danger in these excursions. Tho shepherds occasionally fallen in with sometimes make urgent entreaties for baniii, or gunpowder—a present most acceptable to them; and stories are told of cases where petitions for such favours have been presented after the fashion of the beggar in 'Gil Bias,' with the cap in one hand and the musket in the other.
Sportsmen, before committing themselves to the care of tho Turkish authorities in Albania, should consult the English Consul at Corfu, and should be guided as to their conduct by hia advice. There may be times when it would be imprudent on their port to go far into the interior.
The beautiful scenery of the Lake of Butrinto is well worthy of a visit. It in connected with the bay (tho Pelixk/s Limen, or Muddy Harbour of Strabo and Ptolemy) by a river about 3 m. long, and can be reached in a loot from Corfu without disembarking, and in less than 3 hrs. The ruins of Buthrotum occupy a rocky hill at the southern extremity of the lake. It is said to have been founded by Helenas, the son of Priam; but the resemblance of the features of the surronnding country to those of tho
plain of Troy is a poetical invention of Virgil, and ns visionary as the likeness of Monmouth and Macedon. Buthrotum had become a Roman colony as enrly as the time of Strabo; and fragments of the Homan walls still exist mixed with remains both of later and of Hellenic masonry, showing that tho city always occupied tho sanio site. Two ruinous castles are the only relies of the. station maintained by the Venetians during so mony centuries at Butrinto. In one of them resides a ]>etty Turkish officer, with some dozen rugged Albanian soldiers. This outpost of Islam is separated by a channel, only 9 m. in breadth from Corfu.
2. Paxos (paxo).
This little island (divided into two districts) which is hardly mentioned by the ancient writers, seems to have always followed tho fortunes of its poworful neighlxiur Corcyra, from tho southern extremity of which it is only about 8 m. distant. Though less than 5 m. in length and 2 in breadth, and containing a population of 3582 souls, Paxo formed one of the "United States" composing tho Ionian confederacy. A subaltern's detachment from tho Corfu garrison was quartered here. Tho island is oval in shape, and mountainous; its soil being so stony and so destitute of moisture, that the inhabitants arc sometimes obliged to depend for their supply of water on rain kept in tanks, or even to procure it from tho neighbouring continent. The oil of Paxo is highly esteemed; and tho island produces little else than olives, almonds, and vines, tho quantity of com raised being altogether insignificant. Tho capital, or rather principal villngo, consists of a cluster of houses nt Port Gaio, on the E. side opposite Albania. The harbour is curiously formed by a small rocky islet, crowned with a fort, and sheltering a little creek which may be entered nt both extremities.
Immediately S. of Paxo, and separated from it by a narrow channel,