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(Corfu), an island in the Ionian Sea; one of the Ionian Islands, which belong to Greece. Area, 592 sq km. Its surface consists of a hilly plain in the south and low hills, composed chiefly of limestones and shales, in the north. Elevations reach 906 m. Subtropical fruit is cultivated, and there are winter health resorts. The principal city and port is Kerkira.
(Italian, Corfu), a city and port in Greece, on the Channel of Kerkira. It is the administrative center of the island and nome of Kerkira. Population, 26,700 (1971). The city is a trading center, exporting olive oil, grain, wines, and citrus fruits. Major industries include food processing, the production of textiles, soap, and paraffin, and fishing.
From the 14th to the 18th century the city was, with some interruptions, a Venetian fortress. In 1797 it was seized by France, and from 1797 to 1864 it was the capital of the Ionian Islands. On Oct. 24, 1798, during F. F. Ushakov’s Mediterranean campaign (1798–1800), a Russo-Turkish squadron under Admiral Ushakov’s direct command began a blockade of Kerkira. The city was garrisoned by a French force of about 4,000 men with 636 guns and protected by a squadron of two ships of the line, one frigate, and one bombardier. On November 9 the siege of Kerkira was begun, and in December 1798 and January 1799 the Russo-Turkish forces were strengthened to 12 ships of the line, 11 frigates, and two corvettes. On February 18, with artillery support, 2,000 men landed on the island of Vido, whose garrison surrendered. At the same time the troops besieging Kerkira seized the approaches to the fortress. General Chabot, the commanding officer, surrendered on February 19. Ushakov’s operations at Kerkira provide a classic example of successful cooperation between a landing force and naval artillery.