Saroko, which is now united with the new city of Corfu, is no longer reminiscent of the once segregated, impoverished suburb of the past with its wooden shacks.
The toponym Saroko was established by the Latin church of San Rocco (Saint Charalambos), which covered the area between the suburbs of Garitsa and Mandouki and was situated approximately where the Psychiatric Hospital is today.
At Saroko today, you will find banks, ATM’s, various shops, cafes and eateries. It is also the central stop for city buses that serve the outer and north central areas such as Dassia and Gouvia.
Saroko, the history
The church, which also gave the name to the area, was demolished by the Venetians along with a majority of the houses of the homonymous suburb, when the walls and fortifications of the city were built with stone from these dwellings (1577 – 1588). The icon of the Saint of the church they demolished is still preserved today in the Church of Saint Francis, at 97 Nikiforou Theotokis Street, and is hung on one of the five altars of the Church. It is the work of an unknown painter and dates back to the end of the 16th Century.
In the place where the Psychiatric Hospital currently stands, a fort named Agios Roccos was built, which was located between the fortresses, Avramis and Sotiros, and was conjoined with them by underground tunnels.
in Saroko Square, at the end of Georgiou Theotokis Street and where Alexandras Avenue is extended, is an old Venetian style cannon, mounted on a wooden base. This type of cannon fired spherical projectiles called ‘bombarda’ derived from the Italian, therefore gunners at the time were called bombardiers.
The inhabitants, due to berevity, named this cannon “Bomba”, which became the place name of this well-known locale. The word ‘bomba’ also means a projectile with explosive material.
At the outer entrance of the Old Fortress, there are two identical bombards on the left and right, and bear the same date I.e. 1684.
ΣΟΥΡΤΖΙΝΟΣ, Γιώργος Χ. (2008). “Τοπωνύμια: γλωσσικές μαρτυρίες στην ιστορική διαδρομή της Κέρκυρας“, Ιστορική Λαογραφική Εταιρεία Κέρκυρας, σελ. 141, 192