A headland jutting out into the waves, where between its two peaks the medieval town of Corypho developed (hence Corfu today), was to be transformed by engineers of the Venetian Republic into a fortress immune to siege. The impregnable walls of the Old Fortress were initially erected by the Byzantines and later reinforced by the Anjous. But it was the Venetians in the 1500s who turned it into a model of fortification engineering. Some of the best-known military engineers of the time worked on its plans. Among the first works was the excavation of the water-filled moat and creation of a wooden drawbridge for its communication with the town outside. The construction of towers and ramparts, artillery emplacements and tunnels, barracks, administration buildings, food stores, arsenals and cisterns further consolidated the fortifications. The British expanded some buildings and added new ones in the 19th century. The Old Fortress is nowadays a monument open to the public. It also houses the local Archaeological Service Ephorate, the General Archives of the Hellenic Republic, the Public Library, the Department of Music of the Ionian University, a local sailing club, and spaces for art exhibitions and cultural activities.
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