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Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George | Corfu | Neoclassical Splendor and Rich History

Updated: Mar 4

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George Papadellis | SG Head

with some good tips from AI


The Palace of St. Michael and St. George, located in the heart of Corfu, is a true architectural wonder. Built during the British rule of the island in the early 19th century (between 1819 and 1824) to serve as the residence of the British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, the palace is a testament to the rich history and culture of the island. It is also known as the first Greek Revival building to be built on the territory of modern Greece, the Royal Palace, the City Palace or Palea Anaktora "Old Palace". Today, it serves as a museum and a cultural center, showcasing the art and history of Corfu to the world. In this article, we take a closer look at the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, exploring its history, architecture, and cultural significance.


Palace of St. Michael and St. George Corfu

History of Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George

The Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George was named after the patron saints of the island, St. Michael and St. George. After the end of British rule in 1864, the palace served various purposes, including as a royal residence, a government building, and a museum. During World War II, the palace was used by the Axis powers as a headquarters, and it was damaged by bombing raids. However, it was later restored to its former glory and opened to the public as a museum in 1954.


Entrance of the Museum of Asian Art Corfu

Entrance of the Museum of Asian Art Corfu | Photo by: Piotrus, Museum of Asian Art of Corfu 007, CC BY-SA 3.0


Architecture

The palace is a prime example of neoclassical architecture. The building is a rectangular structure with a central courtyard, surrounded by a colonnade of ionic columns. The entrance to the palace is through a grand staircase, leading to the first floor. The interior of the palace is equally impressive, with spacious halls, ornate ceilings, and intricate decorations. The palace also houses a beautiful collection of furniture, paintings, and sculptures, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Corfu.


Throne Room of the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George

Throne Room of the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George | Photo by: Piotrus, Museum of Asian Art of Corfu 314, CC BY-SA 3.0


Cultural Significance

The Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George is not just a beautiful building, but also a cultural hub for the island of Corfu. The palace hosts a variety of exhibitions, events, and performances, showcasing the art and culture of the island to visitors from all over the world. One of the most popular events held at the palace is the Corfu Festival, a music festival that takes place every summer. The festival features performances by local and international artists, showcasing a wide range of musical genres, from classical to jazz and pop. Additionally, today the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George houses the Museum of Asian Art of Corfu. The collection of the museum started in 1927 and consists mostly of donations, the largest being from Gregorios Manos with 10,500 pieces.


Inside Entrance of the Palace of Saints Michael and George

Inside Entrance of the Palace of Saints Michael and George | Photo by: Jean Housen, 20140417 corfu167, CC BY-SA 3.0


Worth a Visit

The Palace of St. Michael and St. George is a true wonder of Corfu, showcasing the rich history and culture of the island to the world. Its neoclassical architecture, its beautiful interiors, and its rich collection of art and artifacts make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history and culture of the island. Whether you're a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a beautiful place to visit, the Palace of St. Michael and St. George is definitely worth a visit.


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Guest
Apr 07
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

The only museum of Asian Art in Greece and a bveautiful palace. The entrance for people over 25 years old is 6 euro, I think it is OK.

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