Thursday, 12 May 2011

The "Pinia" intersection and its fake "pine cones"

    The so called "Pinia" intersection is one of the busiest points of Corfu Town. It is the point where Nikiforou Theotoki (previously known as "Calle d'Erbe") meets Filarmonikis (ex- "Calle Justiniani") and Michail Theotoki streets.
  The name "Pinia" is of italic origin. "Pigna" in english means "pine cone". But why it had been named like this? There are no pine trees somewhere near the place. The origin of the toponym has to do with the original St. Spyridon church which prior to 1590 was located in San Rocco, a then small suburb which was dotted with pine trees. When in 1577 when the walls around Corfu Town had started to be built, the old St. Spyridon church was among the list of buildings which had to be destructed in order to make way for the fortification works. So in 1590, the new St. Spyridon church was built inside the walled town. The pine trees near the old San Rocco church was a kind of a symbol so as sign of historical continuation,  fake pine cones had been placed near the new church.
  Two of them can be easily spotted at the intersection of "Pinia. On the second floor's facade of the building which is situated in the corner of Nikiforou Theotoki and Michail Theotoki streets a reddish painted pine cone can be seen.

Also, across Nikoforou Theotoki street, the most prominent pine cone among all is hanged on a metalic beam above a traditional lamppost. 


  The "Pinia" intersection is also the place where the traditional carnivalistic show called "Petegoletsa" take place every year. 

No comments: