A charming park museum called The Bouas Village can be found in Danilia, which is situated 9 kilometers from Corfu Town and is a lovely recreation of a Corfiot village from the 19th century. Bouas village was a pioneer in both Corfu and Greece for this kind of attraction in the 1970s. The Bouas family funded the venture on their own. After their visit to Pueblo Espanyol in Spain, Corfiot merchants, Emilios and Dimitris Bouas returned to their home, intent on establishing a park museum comparable to the one they had just visited.
Danilia village, near Corfu town, yielded a potential building site. They took a loan from Pisteos Bank, which is why at the entrance of the village, you can find a branch of that bank. As soon as they arrived on the island, they began their quest for and subsequent purchase of completely locally sourced traditional items to be used in the village. With building materials such as bricks, tiles, arches, doors, windows, corbels, and repurposed household items, the architects and designers of this open-air museum aimed to capture the feeling of a typical Corfiot village by incorporating traditional architectural forms and features.
Tzanis Tzanetakis, who oversaw tourism at the time, laid the cornerstone on July 11, 1977. On July 11, 1978, exactly one year later, the opening ceremony was held in front of a large crowd and several representatives of the local government.
The distinct experience of Bouas Village, a charming setting with winding lanes and vibrant buildings, is like travelling through time!
Two rows of two-story structures in the town are reproductions of the typical 19th-century style. When the village had just opened, there were stores on the main road that offered local trades.
The businesses were rented out to leatherworkers, embroiderers, silversmiths, weavers, woodworkers, and clay workers, who together formed a tiny Corfiot market – a stunning environment with stores and remnants of bygone eras. The village has two outdoor squares, alleyways, steps with a walk at the home entrances, red and ochre walls adjacent to green windows, Venetian lanterns, orchards with fruit trees, vegetable gardens, and vineyards. The Holy Church of Saint Irini, with its distinctive Corfiot bell tower, stands out in the middle of the village. It is used for marriages and baptisms, as well as for Easter and on May 5.
There is a café right next to the church that has preserved its original wooden tables and benches, tiled flooring, and all of the original hardware from the time period. The little cafe provides the ideal setting for a refreshing beverage, Greek coffee, or a round of ouzo with snacks. There is both an outdoor tavern and an indoor space for those who want to try some traditional Corfiot dishes. It is possible to purchase wine made in the region at a traditional winery in the village. There’s an antique olive oil stone press behind the door adjacent to the wine cellar.
A contribution by Corfiot writer, journalist, and type designer Kostas Dafnis, which is kept in a dedicated location behind the café, is also significant. You also have the chance to visit a Folklore Museum that is a recreation of an old Corfiot mansion. The museum exhibits the Corfiot family home from a bygone era: furniture, appliances, and other items from the past that every home in Corfu used to contain for more than 300 years.
Locals and visitors who come to experience the magical atmosphere of this location adore the Bouas village. Danilia village has been a backdrop for a number of international movies and television shows, as well as commercials. A few of them include “My Big Fat Greek Wedding 3” from 2022, “The Greek Tycoon” with Antoni Quinn from 1978, the James Bond movie “For your eyes only” with Roger Moore, and several episodes of The Durrells.
This wildly popular show is based on Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical trilogy, which details the four years his family spent in Corfu during the Great Depression. The Durrells were an English family who made their home in India. The mother and her three children, after losing their father suddenly in 1928, joined their oldest son, Lawrence, in Bournemouth, England. The Durrell family uprooted their lives there in 1935 and headed for the warmer climes of the island of Corfu.
After four happy years on the island of Corfu, the mother, Louisa Durrell, her kids Gerald and Leslie, and the family’s maid were compelled to return to the United Kingdom in 1939 due to the outbreak of World War II. Before fleeing to Egypt in 1941 with their newborn daughter, Lawrence and his wife also resided on the island of Corfu.
They discovered bliss during their brief four years on this Ionian Island. The family made friends with the locals, they were inspired to write, and enjoyed a wonderful life amid Corfu’s natural beauty and friendly inhabitants. Later, Gerald and the Lawrence brothers continued to spread the word about this idyllic island. To support his conservation efforts, Gerald released the wildly successful book “My Family and Other Animals,” while Lawrence created the literary masterpiece “Prospero’s Cell” based on his experiences on the island.
In addition to Bouas Village, the TV show “The Durrells” was shot in Corfu Town, Kalami and Agni Bays, Kontokali Village, Mon Repos Palace, and countless other locations all throughout the island’s stunning, verdant landscape. In an online voting for the 2018 EUFCN Location Award, the European TV audience selected Corfu as the top global filming site.
Since its incorporation into Grecotel in 2000, the village of Bouas has served as the idyllic venue for private events that are planned exclusively for Grecotel. For those who are interested in the customs and history, walking through this location is a memorable and lifelong experience.
Photos: Corfu Perspectives Guided Tours