Sunday 23.06.2024 ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑ

Annunziata bell tower finally ready after a decade!

17 May 2024 / 15:43

CORFU. The scaffolding is being removed to reveal the impressive monument.

The long-awaited restoration and repair of the Annunziata bell tower has finally been completed. Over the past few days, they have started to remove the scaffolding and the tarp that covered it.

The project, which was carried out entirely by Corfu Ephorate of Antiquities, was funded by ESPA with a budget of 420,000 Euros. It faced difficulties with the contractors and took more than a decade to complete, during which time the beautiful bell tower was covered with scaffolding.

The result, however, compensates the people of Corfu - as well as the visitors - as its appearance has been radically renewed. More importantly, it has been restored, as neglect had made the risk of collapse visible - see this article in Enimerosi from 2018.

Although the bell tower is ready, there are still some works remaining on the floor and the frescoes, which are expected to be completed soon.

German bombing of 1943

The bell tower was part of a church dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and Saint Lucia; it was known to the people of Corfu as the Catholic Church of Lontsiada.

It was built in the late 14th century by the Neapolitan captain Petro Capece and was dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary because March 25th coincided with the founding date of the Venetian Republic.

Today the church no longer exists; it was first destroyed by the German bombings on September 14, 1943, and later demolished during the mayoralty of Stamatis Desyllas in 1953.

Today, only the characteristic bell tower of Annunziata remains standing, which is a historic monument due to its connection with one of the most significant events in world history, the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, between the fleets of the Holy League consisting of the fleets of Venice, Spain, Naples, Sicily, Genoa, and Malta against the until then undefeated fleet of the Ottomans.