Panoramas of Spianada & Liston

Spianada & Liston

The Spianada and Liston exhibit the diversity of Corfu Town's history and are still its cultural and tourism hub.

The Spianada was originally created for pure military reasons to open up an area for defence and military training between the Old Fortress of Corfu and the expanding town of Corfu as it spread inland.

But it thereby created an opportunity in particular to the British to build their palace for the Governor of the Ionian islands ; the Palace of St Michael & St. George (now the Asiatic Museum) with tranquil Gardens behind overlooking the Old Fortress.

They also built a number of monuments in the southern area of the Spianada celebrating the "great and the good" of the British civil service; such as the Maitland Monument; Thomas Maitland was Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands from 1816 until 1824 concurrent with being Governor of Malta. There is also the Monument of the Union of the Ionian Islands reflecting the final transfer of Corfu to modern day Greece in 1864. For a period the less formal northern area (adjoining the Liston) also housed a cricket pitch but nowadays additional parking in Corfu town is of greater importance.

The Liston is a reminder of the brief (second) period of French rule (1807-15) being constructed in a style said to mirror the Rue de Rivoli in Paris and named as similar areas in Italy including Venice. Those familiar with the term "passeggiata" (evening stroll) will appreciate that the Venetian equivalent is "andare al liston" (go to the liston) and this perfectly reflects how the Liston is still used. It is a place to be seen, to "people watch" and to enjoy a coffee, an aperitif or digestif. Although historically only the wealthy ( the nobles listed in the "Libra d'Oro") were allowed to stroll along the Liston, nowadays it is the playground for not just tourists but also Corfiots of all generations.

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