Achilleon Palace

Achilleion Travel Blog

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Full view of lobby entrance

This was the main highlight of shore excursion we did on the cruise.  Achilleon Palace was built by Empress of Austria, Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sissi.  The theme behind the palace design was Achilles.  She was fluent in Greek and determined to immerse herself into the Greek culture after she lost her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria in the Mayerling affair, in 1889. 

Achilleon was designed by the Italian architect, Rafaelo Carito.  Ernst Herter was a famous German sculptor and was commissioned to create works inspired by Greek mythology.  The Dying Achilles was created in Berlin in 1884, and is the centerpiece of the Achilleon Gardens.  It was constructed in a neoclassical fashion and has two stories above the ground level which are said to be beautifully decorated and furnished with a number of paintings and statues (the tour only allows access to the ground floor and the gardens).

Franz Matt painting -Achilles dragging a dead Hector behind his chariot before the walls of Troy
 

The gardens extend far to the coastal roads and provide panoramic views of the entire island of Corfu.  Unfortunately, Sissi did not live long enough to enjoy her masterpiece as she was assassinated in Geneva in 1898.  The palace then remained empty until 1907 when Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany bought it.  He removed the two large statues of Achilles and built the House of Knights for his battalion.  He rearranged the gardens as well.  During both World Wars, the palace was used as both a hospital and headquarters.  After WWII, it became a public estate. 

Being the art history geek, this was the most enjoyable stop on our tour of Corfu. And for those who are movie geeks, the talked about how the James Bond movie, "For Your Eyes Only" was filmed at the palace.  The giant Fresco of Achilles carrying Hector after the battle is one of the signature locations in the movie.  I am not a James Bond movie buff but perhaps I should be as this is the second place in the world I've been which is more well known due to a James Bond movie! LOL. 

paul_gr says:
Nice blog. I've always wanted to visit Corfu. The Achilleon Palace would be on a "must see" list for sure.
Posted on: Sep 06, 2008
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Full view of lobby entrance
Full view of lobby entrance
Franz Matt painting -Achilles drag…
Franz Matt painting -Achilles dra…
Achilleon Palace Gate
Achilleon Palace Gate
Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace
View from entrance
View from entrance
Along side the Palace
Along side the Palace
Empress Elisabeth of Austria
Empress Elisabeth of Austria
Muses above Dionysus - famous pain…
Muses above Dionysus - famous pai…
Left Chamber Room
Left Chamber Room
Left chamber room
Left chamber room
Left chamber room
Left chamber room
Entrance lobby
Entrance lobby
Detail of ceilings in lobby and st…
Detail of ceilings in lobby and s…
Detail of lobby staircase
Detail of lobby staircase
Portrait of Sissy
Portrait of Sissy
Oratory - where Empress Elizabeth …
Oratory - where Empress Elizabeth…
Closer view of the oratory
Closer view of the oratory
Statues on the ceilings of the ent…
Statues on the ceilings of the en…
Hand carved details
Hand carved details
Another view of the wardrobe
Another view of the wardrobe
Ashtray in one of the rooms
Ashtray in one of the rooms
carving detail on wardrobe
carving detail on wardrobe
wardrobe
wardrobe
Sissis mirror
Sissi's mirror
View from Palace
View from Palace
Giant statue of Achilles
Giant statue of Achilles
View from the Palace back into Cor…
View from the Palace back into Co…
Another angle of the view from the…
Another angle of the view from th…
Different view from the palace gar…
Different view from the palace ga…
Different view from the gardens
Different view from the gardens
marble statue of Achilles death
marble statue of Achilles death
Another view of Achilles
Another view of Achilles
Outside the gardens at Achilleion
Outside the gardens at Achilleion
Palace grounds
Palace grounds
Courtyard of the Muses
Courtyard of the Muses
Another view of the Courtyard of t…
Another view of the Courtyard of …
Boy with dolphin statue
Boy with dolphin statue
Palace Gardens and statue of Achil…
Palace Gardens and statue of Achi…
Courtyard of the Muses
Courtyard of the Muses
Achilleion entrance
Achilleion entrance
Just inside the palace
Just inside the palace
more staircase detail
more staircase detail
Second floor in palace
Second floor in palace
View of the gardens
View of the gardens
Another view back into Corfu Town
Another view back into Corfu Town
Another pic on palace grounds
Another pic on palace grounds
Courtyard of the Muses
Courtyard of the Muses
Garden again with marble Achilles …
Garden again with marble Achilles…
Achilleion Palace
Achilleion Palace
Achilleion
photo by: bluesilver84