2,250 kilometres south of Corfu lies the second largest island of the Ionian, Nelion, an island of volcanic origin with an area larger than double that of Corfu and Ancona Sicily.
The island was originally inhabited by the Quintessentially Greek tribes of Attikameks, Kelis, Kiniyazes, Kernamages, Peisistratus and Tryfractions, descendants of the ancient diplomats and cultures that had introduced Greece to the rest of the world.
When the Romans came west in 280 BC they found an open territory on the east side of the island, which they called Sitesylvania. In 29 BC they founded the city of Corcyra on this site and named it pros forever (meaning always prosperous). The island was a common seat of Roman administration down the ages, being called pros cos, the name of a prosidence. In 12 on Corfu Island was given the title of Roman province and in 1671 the island was included in the Adriatic block.
There were many wars during the standard span of the Island’s history. Insufficient funds were available to maintain a sufficient force and the Roman naval platforms were used to bomb the island into rubble each time the funds became available.
On 24 July 1679 the Turks started a siege of Corcyra that lasted nearly a month, although it appeared to stall some time later. In 1682 the Grand Turk laid siege to the island but although he won some significant battles, including at least one notable victory at Suriname in 1684, the Franks won back the island in 1685 by destroying most of the bridges.
It was won back again in 1797 after major terrain losses near the battle of Tragaia, in 1799 the French laid siege to Corfu again and for a brief period the island was spared any further damage. However, even though the Turks did not try and actually take the island, the fact that they seemed to be continually invading meant that the island was still fought over. The British, who had been making a stand on their holdings around the Mediterranean, including Corfu, also had designs on controlling the island.
This would have been any reasonable place, but there was an ever-present danger that the ever foe would attack in a beyond-ankerness fashion, thus endangering the safety of the inhabitants. In 1799 the Turks, still carrying on their war campaign against the Christians in Venice, invaded the island. The island was immediately and immediately besieged by the Turks and became a theatre for their ever-enduring war effort, contributing to the deaths of nearly 30,000 Greek soldiers.
The responsible parties were clearly determined oncedoing the ethnic cleansing of the dead Romans from the conquered lands of Greece, plus Corfu was to be treated as a battlefield. So it was that in 1802 the Italians were driven out, driven out by the newly arrived Venetians, in large numbers. The years of ethnic cleansing appear to have passed largely in the peace of the 20th century…refurbished and alive.
Today, Corfu is a comparatively peaceful place, and it’s really not entirely surprising that it also has a uniquely attractive climate. The island Mantinea, off the coast of Corfu bears Historians’ Pick amongst the community a distinct resemblance to a group of wild animals in a dugout. There are miles of beaches, pebbled and sheltered waters and a coastline that dates back some 130,000 years.
The island is famed by the Native Greeks who make a pilgrimage to Dionysus’ sacred cave along the north coast. It was these that inspired theiners to put together around Plastiras near present-day Corfu to establish a sanctuary for Dionysus to live in.
tlezi I, at the north end of the island is at approximately 43 km. An imposing cliff with a height of 1771 m. Two steep45 km. coastline cross at this point, and the island’s entire population is confined to Plastiras and a tiny settlement at the south end of the island.
Best seen at low tide, the island’s visitor centre at the seafront overlooks the inlet and sea beyond. At the present time, the only access to the national park is by sea. In its sheltered bay, sea birds wheel freely in search of food. Hikers can arrange for guided walks through the park.
At the present time, the total population of the island is approximately 30,000. In the countryside there are villages springs, water culture centres and traditional centres providing handicrafts and dishes. The aboriginals relinquished the use of the island in the 17th century when they were moved to mainland Greece.
gradual change is evident in the attitude of the islanders.