Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Sarocco square: A photographic tour (few days before the renovation works commence)

 Sarocco square could be considered as the very heart of modern Corfu Town. It is a hub for many streets which lead to the villages. It is also a meeting point for people and a place to relax, especially for elder people. The square had to be renovated for 40 years, so it's design already looks outdated and unattractive to many Corfiots, as it is a meeting point for immigrants (looking for work) and a place without greenery and character. Some say it is the Omonoia square of Corfu because of its shape and central location, while others ironically compare it with Skenderbej square in Tirana as, like already said it is a place where Albanian people gather. Apart from that, there are some touristy  and awful restaurants in the square, which in my opinion are completely out of place and lack of character.

Sarocco square, as seen from the satellite- it is the confluence of no less than seven roads!

 Let's have a quick look at its history: The square has been there for many centuries, as the centre of Sarocco suburb (it took its name from  the San Rocco's church which was nearby, now defunct). It used to be a simply empty space where the villagers sold their products (like milk, fruits, oil etc.). 

The square when Sarocco was a poor suburb outside the walls of Corfu Town (cerca 1840)

During Holy week, it was the place where lambs were slaughtered and during Christmas time it was full of turkeys to be sold. During the early 20th century, the square was used as a stop for carts and buses coming from every corner of the island and after the Second World War there was a farmer's market. The Sarocco square is also called as "Gheorghiu Theotoki square" to honour the famous corfiot politician.
 In a few days, the square will be fully renovated and an underground parking with 400 spaces will be created. It will took 22 months to be ready and plans of the renovated square have been already published.

 It's time for our little photographic tour. Soon it will be a huge under construction site and it will be so for a couple of years. 

Looking towards the southwest corner of the square from Methodiou street
Looking north from the blue bus station
A closer look from the south 
The fountain is almost always not working, I wonder why because when it's in use it helps make the square more attractive!
Towards the western side 
Towards the eastern side
Looking towards northeast
Walking towards the north of the square
The public toilets - they have been unreasonably locked for many years...why is that?
Looking towards south from the toilets - notice the awful cafe at the right
The blue bus station at the south side
The northern end of the square

 Keep these images in your memory (or even in your hard disk), because a huge change is about to come. Let's hope than in two years time, we will have a modern and attractive square with its underground parking helping to alleviate the huge parking problem that the town faces every day.

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