“The island of Corfu” was firstly described in Homer’s Odyssey. The long-suffering Odysseus was shipwrecked on the island where the daughter of King Alcinous, Nausicaa, found him on the shore and then the hospitable Pheakes helped him go back to his homeland Ithaca.
Corfu was occupied in 1836 by the Venetians. In 1537, the raid of the Turkish pirate Barbarossa on the town of Corfu had as a result the destruction of the island. Other Turkish attacks in 1571 and 1573 forced the Venetians to build the new fortress. The most threatening Turkish attack took place in 1716, when a strong Turkish fleet came to the island and was defeated by the united front of the natives and the Venetians. According to legend, the attack was prevented by the patron saint of Corfu, Saint Spyridon and therefore a procession of his relics takes place on August 11th annually. On October 17th 1797, Corfu became a part of the French state and Napoleon Bonaparte came to the island as a liberator. In the central square of Corfu, he burned the “Libro d’ oro”, a golden book which included the names and privileges of the Nobles and planted a tree as a symbol of liberty.