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Corfu, Wrong Turn #2: The New Town
My AirBnB was around the corner from San Rocco square, which itself is just outside the Old Town. The fact that the square had corners was enough to repeatedly defeat me.
One block away from San Rocco square, and I am already in Anytown, Greece, with nondescript apartment buildings. Which immediately tells me that yet again, I have gone the wrong way, and I’m heading away from the medieval city.
Once you get back on (George) Theotokis St on the way to the Old Town, you notice that the landscape changes somewhat abruptly around Belisarius St: the houses start to look noticeably older. And that’s because there are no city walls anymore, separating the old from the new city, although the occasional remnant of the walls surfaces.
Specifically, this was the site of the Porta Reale, the Royal Gate. Levelled by the city council in 1893, at a time when cities throughout Europe were getting rid of their medieval walls. Already by then people started to think levelling mediaeval things was a bad idea; a furious protest at the barbarism of the demolition was one of the first published writings by Konstantinos Theotokas, on whom more anon.
The foundations of the gate were recently discovered in maintenance work, and are now marked onto the cobblestone.