Saint Spyridon Church
Welcome to St. Spyridon Church in Corfu! With its towering presence, this historic landmark boasts the tallest tower on the entire island. Steeped in rich history and revered for its spiritual significance, the church dates back to 1596 and holds within its walls the sacred body of St. Spyridon.
The original ceiling decorations, intricately carved from gold-plated wood by the skilled hands of P. Doxaras, adorned the church until 1727. However, due to the lack of proper preservation, these precious artworks were later replaced by the talented Nicolaos Aspiotis. Despite the changes, the church’s beauty and grandeur remain awe-inspiring.
St. Spyridon Church is not only a place of worship but also a center of vibrant traditions. Throughout the year, the church hosts four solemn processions, each with its own unique significance. The procession on August 11th commemorates the historic event when the Turks abandoned their siege of Corfu in 1716. Additionally, processions are held on Palm Sunday, Easter Saturday, and the first Sunday in November, where the revered body of St. Spyridon is carried along the traditional routes, evoking a sense of deep reverence and spiritual devotion.
The history of St. Spyridon himself is captivating. Born in the humble village of Askia, Cyprus, around 270 A.D., he lived a life of simplicity as a shepherd. After the passing of his wife, St. Spyridon dedicated his daughter Irene to the Church and chose the path of a monk. Renowned for his unwavering faith and numerous miracles, he became the bishop of Tremithous upon the death of his predecessor.
In death, St. Spyridon’s miracles continued to inspire devotion. His tomb emitted a sweet fragrance, captivating the faithful and affirming his sanctity. The saint’s body remained intact and preserved for over three centuries in Cyprus until an Arab raid prompted its relocation to Constantinople following the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453. Concealed in hay alongside the remains of Saint Theodora, St. Spyridon’s body was courageously carried by the priest George Kalochairetis, who disguised himself as a peasant to safely transport these precious relics. After a long and perilous journey, the saint’s body finally found its resting place in Corfu in 1456.
Experience the profound spirituality of St. Spyridon Church by attending the three annual occasions when the silver gilt case containing the saint’s body is reverently displayed for public worship. Lasting for three days and two nights (or three nights during Easter), this awe-inspiring event takes place in front of the chapel. Pilgrims from far and wide converge to pay their respects, day and night, gently kissing the saint’s slippered feet. Countless miraculous healings and blessings have been attributed to St. Spyridon, bringing solace to those afflicted by seemingly incurable ailments.
At our touristic services agency, we invite you to discover the captivating allure of St. Spyridon Church in Corfu. Immerse yourself in centuries of history, marvel at the intricate craftsmanship, and embrace the spiritual ambiance that continues to touch the hearts of all who visit. Join us on a journey of faith and exploration, where the past comes alive in the hallowed halls of this extraordinary landmark.