Lazaretto is a small islet facing Kontokali of Corfu. It is at a distance of 2,5 miles from the coast and covers an area of 70 acres and has a long history.
In the beginning, during the Venetian occupation, a monastery was built on it but, soon it was turned into a quarantine station, Lazaretto as is the Italian name for these small islands that were situated in the ports of all the Venetian acquisitions in the Mediterranean. Their purpose was to host ships when they were in quarantine, for 40 days in order to avoid the contamination of epidemics to the locals.
During the period when various conquerors passed from Corfu, the former quarantine station was used as a leper-house and as a military hospital for Russians, French and English of the occupation forces.
During World War II, Lazaretto was turned into a concentration camp for prisoners of the National Resistance. That is when the dark history of the island begins as it became a place of torture and of executions. During the Greek civil war, in Lazaretto, it is estimated that more than 118 prisoners on death row of the prisons of Corfu were executed. The majority of them were political prisoners, communists. After they were executed by a firing squad during mass executions, the bodies of the prisoners were buried in mass, anonymous graves.
From that time in Lazaretto which ended in 1978 when the relatives of the deceased visited the place of their martyrdom, today are saved a two-floor edifice, a small church and the execution wall of the condemned.
Today Lazaretto has been declared as a historical place where, memorials and events of reconciliation take place.