Kassiopi is a coastal, picturesque village located on the North-East coast of Corfu.
Kassiopi was named after Cassius Zeus, a god worshipped mainly in the East (Syria and Egypt). To this day it has not been confirmed who the first inhabitants were, that transferred the idolatry of Cassius Zeus to Kassiopi. Some believe that this happened in 281BC from Piros, the king of Epirus. Others believe that this happened in 168BC when, Kassopi a town in Epirus was destroyed by the Romans and the inhabitants sought refuge in Corfu, where they built Kassiopi. Yet others believe that Kassiopi started flourishing from Homer’s time.
As proof of this, it is mentioned that during the Pre-Roman era, the island of Corfu was called Cassiopeia.
During the Roman period, Kassiopi was a renown town due to the existence of the temple of Cassius Zeus, patron of the island and thus developed into a famous tourist resort. Amongst its visitors were Cicero, Ptolemy, even the Emperor of Rome, Nero who had a summer villa here.
The temple was ruined by the early Christians and a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Kassiopi was built in its place. The Virgin Mary of Kassiopi was soon named patron of the seafarers and everyone passing by the Kassiopi straits would stop to pay their respects. Amongst the visitors were Richard Lionhearted, Cervantes even Casanova.
In 1530 Kassiopi became known to all Christianity when the miracle of restoring the eyesight of a boy called Stephanos (who was unjustly blinded by the Venetians), was attributed to the Virgin Mary of Kassiopi . The miraculous icon is still kept and worshipped in the church. This church was ruined in 1537 by Sultan Suleiman the great and was rebuilt from 1570 to 1590 by the Venetians.
Today the church still has in its possession icons dated to the 15-16th century as well as frescoes of the same period.
Another monument of great value in Kassiopi, is, the Byzantine fortress, the most ancient fort on the island, built to its current state during the 13th century. This site was used as a fortress from the Roman period due to Kassiopi’s unique strategic position.
It was destroyed in 1386 by the Venetians and later raided for its stones that were used to build the fortresses of Corfu town. The towers were recently restored by the Ministry of Culture.
Despite the tourist development, Kassiopi has not lost its character and its natural beauty, both of which have remained intact over time. An area full of unexplored beauty.
Amongst these celebrations is the “Run of Cassios Zeus” an athletic event whose aim is to combine athletics with our traditions and heritage. Apart form the message of fair play, the athletes are given the opportunity to explore our region. The route crosses the area of Erimitis, a unique ecosystem untouched by any human intervention, with its three lakes, natural habitat of otters (lutra lutra), unspoiled beaches and rare flora and fauna, then goes on round the Byzantine fortress and finishes down by the picturesque port of Kassiopi.
We hope to see and welcome you soon!
The Cultural Association of Kassiopi
Οδικώς μέχρι Ηγουμενίτσα (Λιμεναρχείου Ηγουμενίτσας τηλ. 26650 99460) και θα βρείτε συχνά δρομολόγια από καράβια. Προτιμήστε τα καράβια για το λιμάνι της Κέρκυρας και όχι της Λευκίμμης που είναι στο νότιο τμήμα του νησιού.
Αεροπορικώς μέσω πτήσεις της Ολυμπιακής (801 11 44444) και Aegean (801 11 20000) μέσω Αθήνας και Θεσσαλονίκης. ΚΤΕΛ (τηλ: 14505) http://www.ktelkerkyras.gr/