The Catholic Cathedral Duomo of Saints James and Christopher is the more formal position of Venetian Corfu few meters from the old theater of San Jiacomo ( St. James ) from which the theater takes its named in today's Town Hall Square and very close to Euaggelistria (Anuzziata ) . It is the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Corfu Zakynthos - Zakynthos .
The old cathedral was in the old fortress of Corfu and was dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul. This temple was one of the oldest monuments of the old fortress and was originally Orthodox Cathedral that from the 13th to the 17th century was the cathedral of the Catholics of the city . Originally the church was a basilica and beside him was a chapel dedicated to St. Arsenius first bishop of Corfu ( 876-952 ) who came from Bithynia Judean Temple was destroyed in 1718 by fire caused by explosion of gunpowder and the place was built a smaller temple was no longer Catholic Cathedral the Orthodox also built a small chapel within the fort dedicated to St. Arsenius . Today there is no trace of these temples
As regards the chronology of the establishment of the new cathedral , the information is not clear . In the place where is now the church of the 15th century was ruined church from 1431 to 1454 and between members of the brotherhood of Saints James and Christopher asked permission from the then archbishop Martinus Bernardini to build there hospice - hospital for the needy , the sick and travelers members brotherhood , would be built next to the church. The transaction was approved by the Archdiocese papal bull on July 7, 1466 which required the Brotherhood to recruit priest and administrator at the same time offered to the archbishop each year on February 2 liters a candle in remembrance of transfer of images of saints and Christopher James on that day the church of St. Francis where they were in the new temple . In another version would be built just two chapels dedicated to Saint Jason and Sosipatros . Joined on Dec. 31, 1533 , the Latin Archbishop Jacobus Cocco consecrated the temple.
During the second Turkish siege in 1571 suffered disasters . The Historical Archives of Venice survived the 1622 draft proposal showing extension of the building because it was too small for the needs of a cathedral. The 1658 was completely renovated by the Latin Archbishop Carclus Labia his own expense . It should be noted that in the days of Labia added by the archbishop of Corfu the official celebration of the memory of St. Spyridon. After rebuilding the temple was declared a cathedral of the Catholics in August 1632 . By command of General Philip Thoughtfully Pasqualligo to the then Latin Bishop Benodictus Bragadinus (1620-1623) transferred to the Cathedral of St. Arsenius bones and which remained until 1944 when he returned to the Orthodox Church .
Joined October 23, 1709 was renovated again by the Latin Archbishop Augustinus Zacco (1706-1723) and was the center of Catholic worship events on the island . The last surgery was done before the war by the Engineer Serpieri who reformed in 1905 outside the Temple .
On the night of Sept. 13, 1943 after German bombardment completely destroyed the exterior of the church.
The final form of the monument after the additional extensions is that of a wooden roof aisled basilica with three side chapels on each side (covered with monastic domes and communicate with the main aisle with arched openings ) and polygonal sanctuary particularly imposing size . Before repairing the Church seems that the main altar was formerly located in the Sacred depth and covered with a housing that is configured as mentioned in parts , with architectural elements and sculptures from the Temple of the Annunciation . The total area of the Temple ( Sanctuary and aisles ) to exceed 600 sq.m.
The access to the temple is from the West side close three doorways , a major center and two symmetrical ] arranged this. Inner side is shaped narrow balcony on the body ( has been rebuilt with reinforced concrete) . The floor of which was based before the destruction of the monument, four marble columns with paliotatous logs came as reports either Cathedral or Old Guard of an ancient temple and the capitals which were later 17th century . The roof of the main temple is situated at a height of 9.20 meters from the floor , around the base of the gable of the roof , where there are nests in the beams framing plans , stated that even before the war was decorated with images of Christ, Mary and the Apostles .
The exterior of the church was reformed in the early 20th century . The central part of the face , which is tripartite , organized by rhythms ( Tuscan pilasters ) in two-storey layout and results in a triangular pediment . Curved blades connect the ends and lower parts of the central . The layout reminds some example ysteromparok , churches of Venice are based on the solution of the Church of the Iisy Viniola . The view from Tower accompanied with Gothic morphology , while the bell tower , a relatively small amount and pyramidal ending, at the back next to the Sanctuary .
The evening of Holy Saturday is the Catholic Sequence of the Resurrection Catholic Duomo with organ accompaniment , which ends at 11:00 pm to prevent the congregation to attend and the Orthodox Resurrection .
From here begins the Epitaph Church Saints James and Christopher ( Roman Catholic Cathedral / Duomo) and M. Friday at 21:00 in the evening
photos: Basilis Metallinos, Μπαιραμιδου Τριανταφυλλιά