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Village Kalafationes

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  • The Village Kalafationes is located in the center of Corfu, 9 km away from Corfu town, with altitude of 182m. It belongs to the municipality of Achillion and it is surrounded by many villages; Viros, Varipatades, Kastelani Mesis and Kouramades. The area, like most Corfiot villages, is enclosed by rich olive groves and a dense forest full of chestnut trees that had been seriously damaged by fire in 2000.It is unknown when settlers first came to the village, however there is evidence that residence on the hill of Kalafationes existed since ancient times. We have further proof of this from archeological findings and book illustrations that were found in the areas of Kamara, Kouramades, Kastelani etc. In addition, it is also evident from works of Joseph Parts and Benza and from the limestone that had been used in ancient times in the hills of Kalafationes and Varipatades to construct columns and the architrave for the Doric Temple of Kardaki. Moreover, the reference of the term “ old village” in the 16th century, shows that Kalafatione was inhabited since ancient times. It is certain that the name “ Kalafationes” originates from the word “ caulking” which refers to ships and wooden barrels being made watertight. One other belief, is that the name came for the word “ Kalafatis” ( the person who makes barrels ) which dates back to the 16th century. It is believed that the Kalafati family, who first resided in the area, gave the name to the settlement. According to a more believable explanation, the name came from the occupation of a family and its members who had settled there. This was also common before and during Byzantine times. This can also be seen with the surname Meningos that was common during the Venetian empire, where the majority were sailors or had other marine related jobs. As for references to the village of “ Kalafationes ” date back from writings ( dated 24th November 1272 ) , found in Kastrofilaka, which means fortress keeper, where Kiparis and Vourlilas settlements were mistakenly taken as female because of the “ – la ” ending. Moustoxidhis also refers to Kalafationes, describing the reforms of a religious custom in 1346. On the outskirts of the village there are five churches: St. Ioannis in Gerama, Phrophet Ilias ( in the centre ) which is also the metropolitan church of the village, the Virgin Mary ( also in the village centre ), Saint Panton ( in the South – east ) where the cemetery has now been relocated and St. Marina ( in Kothoniki ).


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