Avliotes, the northwest village on the island of Corfu, is built on a hillside and crossed by a central road. From its heights, we see the Diapantia islands with the Adriatic in the background, we look at the opposite continental shores and the calm relief of the interior of the island.
The name of the village is found in documents of the Historical Archives of Corfu since the end of the 15th century.
The Aulliotes were originally built on the outskirts of the hill over which the church of Y. Panagia Odigitrias, in the present neighborhoods of Merovigli, Fano and Kalavria, near the area that was called until a few years ago Courtyard. Probably this small courtyard is probably due to the name of today's big village.
At the same time, there was the nearby village of Exokastrins, built at the height of the iconic Archangel Michael (now Taxiarches), and was spread in the present neighborhoods of Mouganatika, Koukouli, Capoditsantatika, Kapantonatika and Pera Banda. The name Exokastrini is of late Byzantine origin and concerns a special category of inhabitants of the Corfiot countryside who enjoyed special privileges and taxation because they were guarding their area.
It is certain that the wider area of our villages is inhabited since prehistoric times. They document the findings brought to light by the archaeologist Davidfer in 1913 at St. Stephen, as well as the surface research of Professor Augustus Sordina, which took place in the 1970s.
Remnants of the classical period are also testified in the local literature: I. Bounia notes that the Pope Mouzakitis had informed him that in the place of Kampella Aulito, there were found ancient columns and marbles with the inscriptions "Kallistratos" and "Menelaos".
However, the perishable building material of the area did not leave other material impressions in the area since the Roman and Byzantine years or at least have not been identified so far ...
However, since the 15th century, a great deal has been saved in the Historical Archive of Corfu and Venice for the two villages, as well as for Corfu. They concern the population composition, the social stratification, the names of the inhabitants, their cultivation care, their relationship with the sea, the place names of the region and, more generally, the social and economic life. And although some adjectives we find in the papers have now disappeared, it is striking that the mainstream families have been living constantly in the same place for over five centuries. The adjectives Avlonitis, Lambiris, Lucerou, Kouvaras, Mouzakitis, Perros, Prisma and others, are already in the 15th century contracts.
Peripherally from these two central settlements, other smaller ones developed: the Koukounikades, the Tambourlades and the Bunioti (now lost), Garnades, Stoussa, Agia Pelagia, Agios Stefanos.
The first, so far known, depiction of the village is a 1744 level, which records the land of the "fern" Corner. The main streets, the temples, the most important residences, and the parcels of Baroness Corner, have been engraved, with many names of owners. Another feature of the strong link to the place is that many of today's families keep their homes exactly at the same point as the homes of their ancestors, for at least three centuries.
During the long period of Venetian domination, our villages belonged to "Bantiera", the Magouladon's Apartment, in the District of Gyros. In the general census of 1759, the total number of the inhabitants of Avliontes amounts to only 135, while in the Exokastrins 244. A great increase is recorded seventy-five years later, when in the years of the Ionian State (1824) the inhabitants of the two villages were recorded for the first time: the population then reached 698 people. Nowadays it has more than double.
The two villages with the two collegiate temples, Panagia and Taxiarchis, were mentioned separately in all administrative documents until the 1830s. Since then the name Aulioti has been consolidated and prevailed, probably for the sake of convenience. They were now a single community with a school that since then had several students. And today, the Aulliot School School is bustling with life with over a hundred students.
After the Union of the Eptanissus with Greece, in 1864, the Municipality of Esperion was first formed, with the capital Aulioti (1866-1869), but then merged with the Municipality of Amphipaya, with the capital Magoulades. From 1914 to 1998 the village was the large community of Aulito with the settlements of Kouknikon, Garnadon, Staousas, Agia Pelagia and Agios Stefanos. It was only in the years of the Italian-German occupation that the Municipality of Esperion (1941-1944) was restored. During the period (1998-2010) Avliotes were forced to join forces with other communities in the Municipality of Esperion, while today is a Municipal District of Corfu.
A Snapshot of local history
"The first seal of the Community of Avliotes"
The coastal area of Agios Stefanos, along with its church which was established in Byzantine Era has always been closely connected with our village and is considered as the harbor of Avliotes.
In the beginning of the 20th century, archaeologist Dailpferd, with the support of Kaiser Wilhelm II, inspired both by the boat sculpture which can be seen in front of the Island Diaplos and also by the river which flows into the shore of Agios Stefanos, carried out excavations in the area, hoping to find the palace of Alkinoos, king of Phaeacia.
This fact was considered of great importance for the village. The first Municipal Council expressed immediately its intention to combine it with the establishment of the Municipality: it introduced Odysseus on his raft as the emblem on its official seal. It is quite interesting that the Council didn’t choose to use King Alkinoos on its seal, but rather the resourceful traveler Odysseus…
Below you will find the transcript of the abovementioned meeting:
Third public hearing Act 5
Concerning the official seal
The Municipal Council of Avliotes composed of its President Dimitrios A. Mouzakitis, and members Dimitrios I. Mouzakitis, Leonidas N. Mouzakitis, Aristides N. Mouzakitis, Spyridon C. Mouzakitis and Ioannis Loissios.
Meeting upon the President’s request, this 20th day of April 1914, at 12:00, in the Elementary School of Avliotes, in order to reach a decision on the matter of the Municipality’s official Seal, having taken into consideration the proposal of City Counselor Spyridon C. Mouzakitis, according to which “in keeping with tradition, after the excavation which tends to prove that in that area Odysseus has arrived on his raft, the seal of Avliotes Municipality should have a relative symbolism”.
We are officially declaring according to the low that:
The seal will use the words Municipality of Avliotes and as an emblem the figure of Odysseus on his raft, looking to the shady mountain, having in the middle the element Δ, picturing the land of Corfu; below the emblem, there will be the initial element O-Σ, as of Odysseus and raft in Greek.
This present document has been composed in order to be confirmed and signed
The President Members
Dimitrios A. Mouzakitis Spyridon C. Mouzakitis
Dimitrios I. Mouzakitis,
Aristides N. Mouzakitis
Leonidas N. Mouzakitis