Saint Spyridon church or Aghios Spyridonas is the most famous Corfu church. Once you arrive in the old town square the red bell tower of the church stands above the roofs of the buildings like a light house while the area around it is always busy. If the Esplanade is the heart of the town, St Spyridon is defenetaly the soul of Corfu.
Although Saint Spyridon lived and died in Cyprus, his reputation is connected with the history and the traditions of Corfu.
When Cyprus was attacked, they opened his grave and they found the body preserved and the grave smelling basel. Soon, he was pronounced Saint by the Orthodox church and 400 years after his relic moved to Istanbul. When Instabul was sieged by the Turks, a monk escaped on donkeys with a strange cargo: the boddies of Santa Theodora and Saint Spyridon in rattan bags! He arrived Corfu after a while where the people welcomed him. Santa Theodora was given to the community church but the well preserved body of Saint Spyridon was given to Voulgari family as part of dowry.
Voulgari family built in 1589 a single declinable basilica church. Saint Spyridon , the patron Saint of Corfu, lies in a glistening silver coffin in the church which was created in Vienna in 1867 from hard wood with silver exterior decorations. Twelve small icons made of enamel decorate the chest which is placed in a small room inside the church, frequently open for the public.
It is believed that he saved the town four times by his miraculous intervention (from plague and famine, from a Turk siege and from cholera) and these occasions are commemorated by services in the church and processions in Corfu old town. Furthermore many say he responds to their prays, others that they have seen him walking in town at nights wearing his sleepers (a woman every year makes a new pair for the coffin which is afterwards broken to pieces and given to believers as talisman) and there has been some stories of castaways who were saved from storms in the area insisting that they saw his face in the storm. This could explain why half the population of the island is called Spyros or Spyridoula.
The church of St. Spyridon is in the old town, behind the "Liston". It is in the most famous "kantouni" of Corfu old town where you will find many souvenir and gift shops with local products. The church is open every day but it's better to visit after the morning service (ends around 10:00am). Parking for your car in the main square - 400 m away.
Men are advised to wear trousers and ladies must have their shoulders covered while visiting the church.