Corfu, Greece

Jewish Quarter And Synagogue

The original medieval Jewish settlement in the town of Corfu was in the Campiello, called at the time “Jewish mound”.  In the 16th century, under Venetian rule, it was transferred by decree to the actual quarter, called “Evraiki”, between Velissariou, Aghias Sofias and Paleologou streets. Because of lack of space it is characterized by very narrow streets with multistoried buildings, with hardly any open spaces. The houses and shops lack of exposure to the sun made it an extremely unhealthy place, with high mortality from consumption – a condition not exclusive to that part of the old town. The quarter was severely burned down during the German bombardment of September 1943, which gave the opportunity to design the new Town Plan of the old town with provision for wider streets and many squares. However, the quarter keeps its general, local characteristics. Some old Christian churches are also in this quarter.

After the first Synagogue, called “Poulieza”, was destroyed in 1537, a new one, called “Vecchia” (Old one) or “Misdrachi, was built on Paleologou street. Burned again in 1916, it was rebuilt to be burned yet again in 1943. The present Synagogue, the “Nuova”, was built on Velissariou street during the British Mandate. It houses the local Jewish community’s offices.

 

 

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