Culture & History

Famous Personalities

The most famous and important personalities of the the prefecture of Corfu are:

The first governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias.
The writer of the Hymn to Liberty (National Anthem of Greece) Dionysios Solomos and the composer of it and of the Olympic Hymn Nikolaos Chalikiopoulos Mantzaros and Spiros Samaras.


Dionysios Solomos was born in 1798 in Zakynthos, where he spent his childhood. At an early age he left his home for Venice, and went to Agia Ekaterini boarding lyceum where he studied. In 1815 he was enrolled at Pavia in Lombardy in order to study law. During his three year studies, he was acquainted with a lot of important personalities of his period. Solomos never stopped thinking the Greek fight for freedom during his absence from Greece, which he expresses through his lyrics, written in Italian. On his return from Italy he offered economic support to the fight and in 1821 he became member of the Filiki Eteria. He stopped writing in Italian and devoted himself to poetry. He took part in the fight and he wrote the Hymn to Liberty, which was set to music by Nikolaos Mantzaros in order to become the National Anthem of Greece.



Nikolaos Chalikiopoulos Mantzaros was born from noble descent, in 1795 in Corfu. He learned to play piano and violin from the Pojago brothers, and was taught composition by the Italian musician Barbati. Nikolaos studied music in Neapoli of Italy in the famous conservatoire “San Pietro Moyella”. Despite the fact that he was proposed to direct the Conservatoire “San Sebastián” of Neapoli and the Musical Faculty of Milan he chose to return to Corfu, in order to compose and teach music, but he visited Neapoli often.



Stefanos Sgouros was born in Poulades of Corfu in 1924 and was later settled in Ano Korakiana. He was son and student of the painter-iconpainter Dionysios Sgouros (1887-1977). He continued his study in painting at the Institute Volonta of Rome, where he graduated in 1952 with honorary titles and decorations.



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