At the top of Moustoxydi Street, on the street known by the place name “Plati Kantouni”, the imposing building of the Ionian Parliament dominates.

The stone, neoclassical building was built in 1855 by Ioannis Chronis and stands out like all the works of this unique architect with the important contribution to the historical monuments of the island. Although at first glance, the building resembles the facades of the palace of Saint Michael and Saint George , it is nevertheless a unique architectural edifice in Greece.

At the main entrance of the Ionian Parliament are the characteristic very high, Doric style columns. Inside the building, which is constructed of stone and wood, there is a huge dome covered by a wooden roof. A series of columns support a semicircular balcony, which is located in an elliptical Peristyle and allows citizens to watch the meetings. The long, oversized windows on the sides of the building reach the height of the dome, allowing plenty of light to “radiate” throughout the space. The construction of the building began in 1854 and was completed in one year.

The marble inscriptions at the entrance, written on the right in Greek and on the left in English, are a reference point for the rise of democracy and the housing of the Ionian Parliament.

Ionian Parliament, chronology

The Ionian Parliament met for the first time in 1817 at the residence of the English commissioner, inside the Old Fortress. In 1818 – 1823 it was housed in the palace of Vailos. From 1823 to 1849 it operated in the east wing of the palace.

In 1849 it was relocated to its current site, in another Venetian building which burned down in 1852. In 1855 the new boulevard was founded.

In 1863, in the building of the Ionian Parliament, the union of the Ionian Islands with Greece was voted for and signed by the 40 deputies of the 13th Parliament.

In 1869 it was given by the Greek government to the English community, to be utilized as a church.

With the burning of Corfu by the Germans in 1943, most of it was destroyed. In 1943 the British Embassy granted it to the Greek State. In 1962 it was restored under the supervision of the architect Ioannis Kollas.

Since 1978, it has existed in its current form, also functioning as a Museum dedicated to the struggles for freedom of the Ionian Islands.

Today, in the building of the Ionian Parliament

state events of honour, meetings and political weddings are held. The Parliament is an attraction for visitors to the island. Past guests include the President of the Republic, various party leaders, members of Parliament and politicians.

Source “Ιόνιος Βουλή: Ένα αρχιτεκτονικό αριστούργημα της δημοκρατίας“, (ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ (Α. Ταπάσκου))

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


Text Composing: Ada Kiriazi
Photography: Ada Kiriazi
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