top of page
  • Writer's pictureShiny Greece

Achillion Palace | Corfu | The Opulent Neoclassical Home of Kaiserin Sisi

Updated: Mar 4

Authors

George P. Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


Achillion Palace in Corfu is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Greece. The palace was built in the late 19th century in Gastouri of Corfu by the Empress (German: Kaiserin) Elisabeth of Austria (Bavaria), also known as Sisi, after a suggestion by Austrian Consul Alexander von Warsberg. The palace and its beautiful gardens offer visitors a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Austrian royalty. The palace has played a significant role in the history of Greece and has been featured in several movies and books. This article explores the history, architecture, and significance of Achillion Palace in Corfu.


Terrace of the Achillion Palace Corfu  |  Shiny Greece

Terrace of the Achillion Palace | Photo by: iStock.com | wabeno


History of Achillion Corfu

Elisabeth was a woman obsessed with beauty, and very powerful, but tragically vulnerable since the loss of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in the Mayerling Incident in 1889. The construction of Achillion Palace began in 1890 when Empress Elisabeth of Austria purchased the land in Gastouri, Corfu, about ten kilometres to the south of the city of Corfu, as Corfu was Elizabeth's favorite vacation place and she admired Greece and its language and culture. Achilleion's location provides a panoramic view of Corfu city to the north, and across the whole southern part of the island.


Main Entrance of the Achillion Palace Corfu  |  Shiny Greece

Main Entrance of the Achillion Palace Corfu | Photo by: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR), Corfu Achilleion R02, CC BY 3.0


The palace was designed by the Italian architect Raffaele Caritto, with the mythical hero Achilles as its central theme, and was completed in 1892. It was intended to represent an ancient Phaeacian palace, with influences from the Italian Renaissance. Empress Elisabeth used Achillion Palace as a summer retreat and spent many summers in Corfu. She was known for her love of Greek mythology and culture, and the palace was decorated with many Greek-inspired artworks and sculptures. Elisabeth's tragic death in 1898 had a significant impact on the palace's history. The palace was sold to the German Kaiser Wilhelm II, who used it as his summer residence until the outbreak of World War I. The palace was then used as a military hospital during the war.


Statue of Achilles in the Gardens of Achillion Palace

Statue of Achilles in the Gardens of Achillion Palace | Photo by: Marc Ryckaert (MJJR), Corfu Achilleion R11, cropped by Shiny Greece, CC BY 3.0


Architecture

Achillion Palace is a beautiful example of neoclassical architecture. The palace has three floors, and the main entrance leads to a grand staircase that leads to the first floor. The palace's interior is decorated with murals and frescoes that depict Greek mythology and history. The palace's gardens are equally impressive and cover an area of about 200,000 square meters. The gardens are a mix of English and Italian-style gardens and feature many sculptures and fountains. The most famous sculpture in the gardens is the Dying Achilles, which depicts the Greek hero Achilles wounded in battle.


Inside Achillion Palace Corfu  |  Shiny Greece

Inside Achillion Palace Corfu | Photo by: Jean Housen, 20140416 corfu301, CC BY-SA 3.0


Significance

Achillion Palace has played a significant role in the history of Greece. The palace was built during a period of political instability in Greece, and Empress Elisabeth's interest in Greek culture helped to promote Greece's image as a cultural and historical destination. The palace has been visited by many famous personalities, including Winston Churchill, Lawrence Durrell, and Kaiser Wilhelm II. In addition to its historical significance, Achillion Palace has also been featured in several movies and books. The palace was used as a filming location for the James Bond movie For Your Eyes Only and has been mentioned in many books, including Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals.


Statue on the Top of Achillion Palace Corfu  |  Shiny Greece

Statue on the Top of Achillion Palace Corfu | Photo by: photosiotas, Achillio stin Kerkira ston oikismo Gastouriou (photosiotas) (2), CC BY-SA 4.0


A Testament of Royalty

Achillion Palace in Corfu is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture and a testament to the opulence and extravagance of the Austrian royalty. The palace's gardens are equally impressive and offer visitors a chance to enjoy the beauty of nature while admiring the palace's stunning architecture. The palace's significance in the history of Greece and its cultural importance have made it a must-visit destination for tourists from all over the world. A visit to Achillion Palace is a journey through time and a chance to experience the grandeur of a bygone era.


View from the Gardens of Achillion Corfu

View from the Gardens of Achillion Corfu | Photo by: Jean Housen, 20140416 corfu267, CC BY-SA 3.0


Tours & Activities


Tags:

356 views1 comment

1 Comment

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Guest
Apr 24
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

The view at the spot where the great statue of Achilles is located is unbelievable!

Like

Top Articles