One of the most beautiful villages of the Corfiot countryside, that can be found 8 kilometers south of the city of Corfu, Kynopiastes village attract the interest of visitors to the island for many reasons. Its history and the traditions that are kept alive, the buildings and the nature add to the experience for everyone that will have a walk through it.
We take a journey back in time, centuries ago. Thus we find the first references to the village to be made during the 13th to 14th century, the period of domination of the Frankish kingdom of the Andeans, Naples in Italy (1267 to 1386) on the island of Corfu.
At that time large estates, the manors, were ceded to families such as that of the Artavilla family and then to Halikiopoulos and Kartanos family, by the foreign rulers of the island. During this period, from feudalism until the beginning of the 20th century, many of the inhabitants took the lead, escaped from slavery and became active in various professions, but also as small-scale cultivators of the land.
The result of this was the emergence of the area and the differentiation of the settlement of Kynopiastes among the other villages of the island by that time.
A floor is added to many of the hitherto ground floor houses – huts where the poor peasants lived, thus achieving an increase in their quality of life, as they moved there (upstairs) their traditional wooden beds with the bases they called “tritselia” with mattresses made of wool, dry grass or corn leaves.
The new stone houses with ground floor and first floor, were also called “palaces”, thus emphasizing the impact that the evolution of their homes had on the lives of the inhabitants.
Today, you can walk through the narrow streets of the village and observe the old buildings that testify to the way of life of the inhabitants of that time and the gradual evolution of the settlement.
The new stone houses with ground floor and first floor, were also called "palaces", thus emphasizing the impact that the evolution of their homes had on the lives of the inhabitants.
The name of the settlement
Kynopiastes often monopolize visitors’ interest in the origin of the name of the village. One of them, and by far the most prevalent, associates the name with “Kyno” that means dogs from the ancient greek language, but recent research data reject this version.
It is associated with a native, perennial plant of the area, the dog onions (scilla maritima) which were hung on the front doors of the houses on New Year’s Eve so that the families would have good luck in the new year.
The central square of Kynopiastes
It is common for the Greek villages the fact that the central square is also the main point of reference that the locals gather for many reasons like celebrations, events etc., the same happens in the beautiful square of Kynopiastes. There you will also find the Church of the Virgin Mary and the building that houses the Philharmonic of Kynopiastes.
The Church of the Virgin Mary
There is a church in Kynopiastes, worth mentioning with a monumental building and its history goes back to the 13th century. The Church of the Virgin Mary is a three-aisled basilica with impressive marble main gate and very interesting frescoes – murals inside which dating from the 14th to the 18th century and belong to the Byzantine and Ionian School hagiography.
In the courtyard of the church rises its elaborate and imposing bell tower. There is also the building that since 1982 houses the Philharmonic of Kynopiaston.
One of the places worth visiting in Kynopiastes is the nunnery of the 17th century which is located a short distance from the center of the village and is dedicated to Agia Paraskeui.
In Kynopiastes there are also the churches of Agios Ioannis, Agios Nikolaos, Agios Dimitrios and Agios Spyridon.
The Olive Museum
Kynopiastes hosts the one of its kind for Corfu, the Olive Museum. A well preserved 19th century olive mill with a rich collection of tools that were used for the processing of olive fruit for the production of olive oil and a collection of tools and utensils of rural life.
The Philharmonic of Kynopiastes
The wounds of the civil war were not well closed when a group of progressive residents created in 1966, the Cultural Progressive Club with the main goal of founding a Philharmonic. From 1970, the Philharmonic Orchestra began its public appearances in national, religious and popular events, while from the 1980s, appearances outside Corfu began until 2001 with an appearance in the Manziana Town of Rome. Since 1982, the Philharmonic is housed in its own building in the village square, after previously wandering in 4 small and unsuitable buildings.
A remarkable event is the visits of great personalities that passed through the Cannibals. In particular, in 1858 the four-time Prime Minister of England William Gladstone visits the village. In 1861 the famous English painter – traveler Edward Lear who painted in the village three of his paintings, which are included in the album THE CORFU YEAR. French President François Mitterrand and Jackie have also visited the Cannibals
Kennedy – Onassis and the Prime Ministers of Greece Konstantinos Karamanlis, Andreas Papandreou,
Konstantinos Mitsotakis and George Papandreou.
Once in the area you can visit the neighboring villages such as Kastellanos Mesis, Agios Prokopios and Agios Deka, to explore the beauties of the village and try traditional Corfiot food in one of the taverns.
If you are thirsty, you should definitely try the table water of Kynopiastes that runs in 10 shared fountains of the village and comes from the source of Gouradon, inside the estate of the Paipeti family, on the slope of the mountain of Agioi Deka. The fountains were funded by this his family and as a result in 1927 the first aqueduct was created, thus solving a great social problem of the time.
Poulimenos Stefanos Penintarxou https://koinonkynopiaston.blogspot.com/
Kynopiastes Philharmonic http://www.kinopiastesband.gr/
The history of the olive tree through unique museums visitgreece / newsbeast.gr