... Corfu villages and its history

While the coast of Corfu has been prospering, the beautiful villages inland are losing their inhabitants who seek their fortune catering to the tourists. These villages were at one time the true heart of the island, providing food for the city of Corfu and safety from Pirates and invaders. An example is the Village of Macrades provided by Harry Tsoukalas.
The first documented evidence of the village of Macrades officially belongs to the 8th century AD. In 1200 AD, the Byzantine ruler Angelos Komninos built a fortress close by to provide a safe heaven for the locals.
The fortress was never conquered by invaders yet many locals lost their lives in pirate attacks.
Some areas around the village still carry names that remind people about different massacres, like Phonisha meaning the killing place or Five Adelfia meaning 5 brothers and reminding of the story of the brothers' resistance and death. The old village is mostly dilapidated but we can still observe fine examples of remarkable architecture with 2-, 3- and 4-storeyed stone homes dominating the village. They were build like small fortresses and you can see the small holes made for guns for defence purposes.

These days Makrades is, unfortunately, more like a ghost village with only a few older generation people left. Most houses are deserted and just about to collapse, and no one wants to do anything about them. Instead locals spend enormous amounts of money in nearby Paleokastritsa building there homes and tourist places. Don't get me wrong. Paleokastritsa is a magnificent place with great natural rock formations, crystal clear waters and narrow caves. It's just that all these concrete buildings have been built everywhere, and the aged gorgeous houses of villages like Makrades that survived many centuries and many invasions have been left these days to die.
Because of the number of people leaving these villages, houses can be bought very cheaply and Harry has started a company that finds houses for people who want to restore them. He also has a farm and provides room, board, hospitality and excursions for those people who want to see the side of Corfu most tourists don't get to experience.

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