Thomson Holidays

Agios Spiridon Church

The patron saint Agios Spiridon is the saviour of Corfu island

Agios Spiridon is the most prominent church in Corfu and it's dedicated to the island's patron saint, revered throughout Corfu and credited with having saved the island from disaster no less than four times.

Many miracles are also attributed to the holy man and many people suffering incurable diseases claim to have been relieved of their afflictions, thanks to Agios Spyridon.

The saint's bones, kept in a silver case made in Vienna in 1867, are carried around the streets of Corfu four times a year - on Palm Sunday, Good Friday, August 11th and the first Sunday in November.

The Easter Saturday procession celebrates the end of an island famine in 1553 when boats full of grain diverted to Corfu after their captains dreamt of the saint.

The Palm Sunday and November procession commemorate the deliverance of Corfu from deadly plagues in 1630 and 1673 after crowds prayed to the saint.

The August ceremony marks the end of a Turkish siege of Corfu in 1716 after the saint was reputed to have been seen surrounded by a heavenly host, flashing his sword and striking fear into the enemy.

Agios Spyridon, once a shepherd, lived in Cyprus in the 4th century AD and was declared a saint after his death. As Ottomans invaded, his remains were removed from Constantinople and taken to Corfu at the end of the 7th century where they are kept to this day.

The red-domed church of Agios Spyridon is the most important church on the island and its soaring bell tower can be seen from any part of the old town.

The highest belltower in Corfu, it emulates the tower the Greek church of San Giorgio dei Greci in Venice. Constructed in 1589 on the ruins of an older church, the interior of the church of Agios Spyridon on Corfu has several good frescos and many excellent icons.