In the heart of the city of Corfu, at the intersection of Eugeniou Voulgareos and Vrachlioti streets, an impressive church was built around the end of the 14th century, the Catholic Church of Anoutsiata, Lontsiada or Evangelistria as its main name can be translated.

This church was dedicated to St. Lucia (Lotsia, associated with the name Lucia, from which Lotsiada is derived) and the Annunciation of the Virgin, while it is speculated that it is associated with the anniversary of the founding of the Venetian Republic celebrated on 25 Of March.

The construction of the temple was carried out by the house of Cepece, with its recording according to documents, on November 8, 1367.

The bell tower of the building, stands out with its towering shape,that one can admire even today. The church had a unique structure and, on the facade, next to the entrance there was a red marble staircase as well as three round windows on the facade and several sculptures, representations, and tomb inscriptions as well as the emblem of the island that completed the impressive decoration of the temple.

Miguel de Cervantes, the author that wrote the famous book character of Don Quixote, was a non-commissioned officer of the Marquesa galley in the naval battle of Nafpaktos and was hospitalized due to his serious injury in a rehabilitation unit that belonged to the temple of Anoutsiata.

It was 1571, when Anoutsiata was to be associated with one of the greatest naval battles in history, the naval battle of Nafpaktos. Many of the Latin nobles who lost their lives during the naval battle were buried in this church, the bones of which were later transferred to the Catholic cemetery. Among them, were also buried there, Christian soldiers from Corfu, like Petros Bouas, who was arrested and brutally tortured by the Turks.

The Corfiot soldiers that fought in the naval battle of Nafpaktos were honored with the concession of the Kontokali area was named after the soldier Kontokalis, and the Halikiopoulou lagoon was named after the soldier Halikiopoulos, names that are still valid for these areas till today. Among the important events connected to the temple of Anoutsiata is the hospitality of the wounded of the naval battle in buildings that belonged to the temple. Among them was also Miguel de Cervantes the writer that later wrote a book abou the character of the now famous and beloved Don Quixote.

Monuments like the one that were also lost in demolition were the main gate of the city of Corfu which was known as "Porta Reale", Porta Reale, but also the impressive building of the historic old Municipal Theater of Corfu.

Today one can admire the bell tower of Anoutsiata which is undoubtedly a special Monument of pan-European importance as it relates to the most important events of the world history.

Finally, the years may have passed, but such a monument still attracts the attention of locals and visitors, thus the positive outcome of things has led to a decision to restore and remodel the space where the monument and the bell tower are located.

Text Editor: Marilia Makri
Photography: Marilia Makri
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