The imposing Old Fortress or elsewhere the “guard” of Corfu has its own history passing through the years by acquiring characteristics from the islands’ dominators. It is built from the ruins of the ancient city of Paleopolis during the 6th c., when the ancient city was destroyed by raids. The castle has 600m. length, 200.m wide and dates back to the Byzantine period besides the main fortification which was built during the 15th c. on the Venetian domination. According historians, the fortress enclosed the city of Corfu “Citadella” until the 15th century. In 1786 the Venetians built a prison that is still obvious as well as in 1850 two English barracks and a military chapel were added by the British and ten years earlier the Doric temple -church of St. George was constructed. The reuse of the edifice had also the form of the military hospital while today the musical department of the Ionian University and the Historical Archive of Corfu with over 6 centuries of historical documents, were hosted. It is also hosts a Byzantine collection with sculptures and the public library.
To enhance the security measures against raiders, an artificial moat is made to separate the fortress from the mainland. The fortress was connected to the land by a movable, wooden bridge. In 1819, the British replaced this bridge with the present stable pathway, which is 60 m long and stands 15 m above the moat locally known as “Conta Fossa”. Today, it is filled with fishing boats that find shelter there. The arched entrance to the fortress has a marble carved Venetian symbol above it, is available through Spianada square. A flatland, on the eastern side of the fortress, used today for cultural events such as music concerts and theatrical performances.