Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Roman Catholic Church of St. James and St Christopher, Corfu

The Roman Catholic Church of St. James and St. Christopher, situated on the eastern side of Municipal Square – in the Old Town of Corfu, is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Greece.

The church was built in 1588 following a licence given by Archibishop Martino to the Roman Catholic community of the island. More than a century before, in 1466, the Pope gave his permission to the Catholic fraternity of St. James and St. Christopher to build a church and a place where the members of the fraternity, returning from Jerusalem, could be hosted. In 1633 the holy relics of St. Arsenios were moved to the cathedral while in 1659, Archibishop Lavia added six little chapels. In 1709, the cathedral was renovated; however, in 1943 it was heavily damaged by the Nazi bombings. The building was restored by the 1970s but St. James’ holy relics had been moved to the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Theodora.

Corfu has a significant number of Roman Catholics, who live permanently on the Greek island. The church of St. James and St. Christopher is also a popular classical music venue due to its excellent acoustics. 

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