Brief history of the village of
The historic village of Saint Markos is located on the northern part of Corfu, on the southern slopes of mount Pantocrator (ancient Istoni). The highest point of the area is position Koutsou, at an elevation of 110m.
Initially it was attempted to be inhabited by local fishermen on its beach (Ipsos and Pirgi). At the same time though nomad breeders that had crossed over from the mainland, appear to have settled in further away from the coast eventually influencing all the coastal residents to move further inland. This movement provided increased protection from pirate and Turkish invasions, as well as the deadly diseases caused by the marshy areas that expanded from the meadows all the way to Pirgi.
And that is how the first rudimentary districts must have been created, starting with the one at Zervatika. There are also many indications such as old surnames and place names pointing to the fact that at an area called "Sokipia" a small district with a more organized social structure must have developed.
At the first settlement, apart from a common well and a street, there must have been a church ( older than the one still standing ) named Saint Markos from where the village also gets its name from. The oldest reference that uses that church name is dated back to 1340.
During the 11th century the monk brothers Droggari from the island of Crete, hunted for declaring their faith to the new religion of Christ, fled to a remote area near «Kampous» and in 1075 renovated the small church of Saint Mercurius and Prophet Elias. That church was later declared a rare monument of Byzantine art and still stands till this day.
During the Venetian period the village created its core at the area of Villa and evolved around there. It grew in range, acquired its own lords with mansions and olive oil presses, churches and monasteries. Many of those were destroyed by Turkish invasions, rebuilt, knew new conquerors that left their own mark on the village and the souls of the locals.
At times settlers came from the farthest corners of Greece and even from foreign countries.
Traditions were formed and dialects were created (our grandfathers weird way of speaking had words based on the knowledge of our many conquerors).
For many centuries the villagers of St. Markos lived their everyday lives in toil, mostly taking advantage of the earth and the sea, and were often faced with the hardships of wars and decimations caused by deadly epidemics. They found comfort and abided by Christianity, held their traditions and made the best of their festivals.
But in 1962 after a series of floods a landslide ruined the biggest part of the village. The homeless were accommodated in tents. It took eleven years and a great struggle to expropriate a new area and gradually build a new settlement and also proved arduous for people to move their households, especially for the elderly to let go of their memories.
Meanwhile there was an impressive increase in tourism. The new location of Saint Markos contributed to its prosperity and in a great increase in residents.
Today a large number of restored houses in the old traditional settlement with their unmatched view and melancholic history are inhabited once again.