The Academy, the higher education institution, of the United States of the Ionian Islands was established in Corfu in 1824, thanks to the generosity of the English philhellene Frederic North, earl of Guilford, and to the initiative of the Ionian State. It has been the first University in the history of Modern Greek education. It comprised four schools: Law, Theology, Medicine and Philosophy (courses of natural sciences and mathematics were also taught). Later, the technology institution, the school of obstetrics and the school of pharmacy were established. In the schools of Theology and Philosophy taught well-known scholars, like Andreas Kalvos, Christoforos Filitas, Konstantinos Asopios, Theoklitos Farmakidis, Neofytos Vamvas, Petros Vrailas-Armenis and more. From the beginning of the 19th century and until the union of the Ionian Islands with modern Greece in 1864, when the Academy closed, a notable literary movement has begun. This movement contributed a lot in the spiritual enlightenment of the modern Greeks. The Academy was housed in an imposing three-story building in south-western side of Spianada square, which used to serve as barracks. After the death of Frederic North in 1827, the financial resources became limited and the decline of the Academy began. In 1864 it closed to support the newly established University of Athens. Some of the professors were hired in Athens, where it moved the Academy’s library, too. Since 1941, the building was hosting only the Municipal Library and the Junior High school, while in 1943 was burnt down by German bombardments. Half a century later, it was rebuilt for the needs of the Ionian University and it operates this way until today. In that building is housed the International and Public Relations Department, in 1 Kapodistriou Street.
The will of the people of the Ionian Islands for their unification with Greece was developed and expressed in the Ionian Parliament. The unification with Greece was validated with a resolution of the Ionian Parliament on 23 September 1863. The building was designed by Ioannis Chronis and it was constructed in 1855. It is a neoclassical building with Doric columns that decorate its typical entrance. It was restored in 1978 and since then, it constitutes the seat of the Museum dedicated to the fight for freedom of the Ionian Islands.
The Art Café of the Municipality of Corfu is situated in the gardens of Old Palaces (Palaia Anaktora). It is a place where you can cool off and enjoy your coffee or drink in a pleasant environment with a wonderful view. The inside of the café is decorated with furniture that belonged to the former royal family while here is also housed the Gallerie where painting, photography and contemporary artists’ exhibitions are being held.
Τhe Municipal and Regional Theatre of Corfu (DI.PE.THE) was inaugurated on Christmas day of 1998. It has hosted many theatre productions in all of its stages (Central, Children’s, and Experimental). For its productions a great number of creators and artists came together of which many were Corfiots and students at the Ionian University. The productions mentioned above were attended by spectators from cities in Greece and in Italy, where scheduled tours took place.
The Department of Audiovisual Arts was founded in 2004 under the EPEAEK programme, in order to cover this lack for the first time in our country. It is a hybrid Department where emphasis is put on the convergence of art and technology in research and teaching. The result of this interaction is in line with current international research data of digital culture.