The Corfu Reading Society is located at 120 Kapodistriou Street and, after the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George, is one of the most distinctive and well-known buildings of the Old Town.

The building is the work of the Corfiot architect Ioannis Chronis. The ground floor formerly housed the branch of the National Bank, while later the first branch of the Bank of Athens operated there. This institution is the oldest intellectual institution in Greece. It was founded in 1836 on the initiative of young intellectuals of Corfu and with the first president of Corfu, Petros Vrailas – Armenis, professor of philosophy of the Ionian Academy.

It was originally called the “Philosophical Club” and it was a secular – philological centre, modeled on the Geneva Reading Society. It was formerly called Gabinetto from the Italian gabinetto di lettura: reading room.

Its flag had the colours of the Ionian State.

The Corfu Reading Society has the emblem of an owl and is a member of the European Federation of Associations and Foundations "Europa Nostra".

A product of the liberal Western European ideas of the early 19th century and the emerging common European perception, it developed a social, educational, political and patriotic character, occupying an important place in the intellectual and social life of the Ionian area.

This beautiful building was used, in the summer of 1972, in the shooting of the film "The Countess of Corfu", as the house of the protagonist, "Siora Agiolina" played by the unforgettable Greek actress Rena Vlachopoulou.

Members of the Reading Society were the most important personalities who lived in Corfu during the last two centuries, including Dionysios Solomos, Andreas Kalvos, Iakovos Polylas, Lorentzos Mavilis, Konstantinos Theotokis and many others.

In addition to the museum rooms, it also has a rich specialized and constantly enriched library (over 35,000 volumes, including rare editions of the 16th-19th century), as well as unique collections of various archival items (manuscripts, maps, newspapers, photos).

 

Information:

Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κέρκυρας, https://anagnostiki-etairia-kerkyras.eu/arxiki/h-etairia/istoriko-skopoi/

Source

ΣΟΥΡΤΖΙΝΟΣ, Γιώργος Χ. (2006). “Κέρκυρα: ταξίδι στο χρόνο“, Ιστορική – Λαογραφική Εταιρεία Κέρκυρας, γ’ έκδοση, Κέρκυρα, σελ. 50

Αναγνωστική Εταιρία Κέρκυραςhttps://anagnostiki-etairia-kerkyras.eu/arxiki/h-etairia/istoriko-skopoi/

Colleagues
Text Editor: Ada Kiriazi
Photography: Ada Kiriazi
Translation - Text Editor: Adelia Cook
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