Corfu, Greece

The Achilleion – Sissi’s Palace

Landmark

The Achilleion palace and its grounds, near the village of Gastouri, offers beautiful views of the countryside and to the town of Corfu. It was built by the Empress of Austria Elisabeth, also known as Sissi, wife of Emperor Franz Joseph. The Empress, a strong-willed and independent personality, had often visited Corfu on her consecutive travels in the Mediterranean, loved it and its people and found there peace of mind to study Greek philosophy and literature. She bought the estate from an eminent Corfiot family to build the Palace, in an elaborate, Italianate style, naming it the “Achilleion” after her favorite hero of Homer’s “Iliad”, Achilles. Many statues from the Greek Mythology embellish the gardens. Few years after its completion the Empress decided to sell it and return to Vienna after the tragic loss of her son Rudolf in the Mayerling incident. It was bought by the Kaiser of Germany and, after the 1st World War, became a property of the Greek State and, subsequently, of the Municipality.

 

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