Situated in the heart of the old town, in the Town Hall Square, near the also impressive town hall building, it dominates. One of the most beautiful churches of Corfu dedicated to Saints James and Christopher; it stands out as the layout is reminiscent of examples of churches in Venice with Baroque features.
If you are in the square, you will definitely notice the relatively small tower-like bell tower with the pyramidal end.
There is no clear information about the dating of the new temple. It is alleged that in the place of the present church, in the 15th century, there was a ruined church and during the period 1431-1454 the members of the fraternity of St. James and Christopher asked permission from the then Archbishop, Martinus Bernardini, to build a hostel cum hospital, adjacent to a church, for the needy, the sick and for travelers.
According to Mr. Sourginos, in his book “Corfu: time travel”, it was built in 1632 in the name of St. James “SAN-GIACOMO“. By order of the Venetian General Provident, Filippos Paschaligos, in 1633 the Relics of Agios Arsenios, Bishop of Corfu, were transferred to the newly built Latin Diocese and the majestic celebration of the memory of Agios Orthos took place with the participation of Orthos. Today his relics rest in the Orthodox Diocese and in churches in the villages of Lefkimmi and Valanio. In 1659 Archbishop Karolos Lavia added six small chapels to the church and took care of the decoration of the chapel of Agios Arsenios.
In 1709 Archbishop Zcco renovated the church, retaining its original façade. Also, the Relics of Saints Jason and Sosipater were transferred to the Catholic Diocese, remaining there until 1944, when they were transferred to Metropolitan Methodius of Constantine, again in the church of the same name. The Diocese was bombed on the night of September 13, 1943 during World War II and restored in 1969.
The “Washbasin Ceremony” at Easter
Easter in Corfu is a unique experience that, no matter how many times you experience it, will always be special. The Catholic Cathedral participates in the events with a ritual. On Holy Thursday (Maundy Thursday) in Corfu, the “Washbasin Ceremony” is revived at the Duomo.
It is the representation of the “washing of the feet of the Apostles by the Lord”. The Catholic Archbishop, after the end of the 12 Gospels, washes the feet of twelve believers, usually small children, thus representing the religious tradition of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. The ritual is completed with the ceremony of Holy Hera, the blessing of the Eucharist commemorating the Last Supper and the Holy Passion.
ΣΟΥΡΤΖΙΝΟΣ, Γιώργος Χ. (2006). “Κέρκυρα: ταξίδι στο χρόνο“, Ιστορική – Λαογραφική Εταιρεία Κέρκυρας, γ’ έκδοση, Κέρκυρα, σελ. 65
ΔΗΜΟΣ ΚΕΡΚΥΡΑΣ. “Πάσχα στην Κέρκυρα”, σελ. 32