Thursday, 10 June 2010

Corfu in detail 7: Marble slab bearing the venetian winged lion in Mouragia

  The symbol of Venice which we all know was the winged lion holding an opened book. This lion is the symbol of Venice's patron saint Saint Mark so it was adopted by the venetians as early as the 9th century. This symbol could be frequently found in Venice and its former colonies/ oversea territories. Corfu, being under venetian occupation since the late 14th century, has a loads of venetian monuments like its two fortresses and other old buildings. So, the winged lion could be easily found on the old walls surrounding the old city and inside the fortresses.

  But quite unexpectedly, I spotted this marbled slab on the façade of this old building in the Mouragia area of Corfu Town.
  It was placed right above the main entrance of the 3-story building which today it's still occupied by private lodgings.
  Having a closer look at the slab we can spot a lion with wings holding a shield with an ancient greek helmet on it. At the bottom right and left corners there are two cannons which point at the east and west respectively. At the right upper side something like a coat of arms could be seen.
So, judging from this slab, it is mostly likely that the building was used for military purposes. It may have been military headquarters, a place to store armory and ammunition. 
  It is also apparent that the slab is very clean, preserved and it doesn't show its age. There are lots and lots of this venetian slabs on the walls of the town (may one day I will cover them in one post) which are in urgent need of restoration, like the majority of Corfu's defences. It is about time to think about that!

No comments: