Achilleion Palace

Achilleion Palace

Corfu is an island rich in history which offers plenty to see to those who don’t want just a beach holiday

Definitely worth a visit the Achilleion (in greek Αχίλλειο or Αχίλλειον), building constructed in 1890 by the Empress Elizabeth of Austria at the suggestion of the Austrian Consul Alexander von Watzberg. The summer home of Empress Sissi is situated in the region of Gastouri (Γαστούρι), currently the municipality of Achilleion, about ten kilometers south of Corfu Town. The palace was designed by the Neapolitan Raffaele Caritto and has as its central theme the mythological figure of the hero Achilles. Corfu was the favorite holiday spot for Elizabeth, who ordered the construction of his palace, enchanted by the Greek culture. The terraces of this magnificent residence offer to visitors dramatic views of Corfu Town, in the north, and of the entire southern part of the island. Later the palace was bought by William II of Germany, who used to go there every spring until 1914. During World War I it was occupied by French and Serbian troops, who turned it into a hospital. After the Treaty of Versailles, the palace was acquired by the greek state as a war reparation. During World War II it was occupied by the Axis troops; then returned to Greece with the liberation, it was leased to aGerman company, which between 1962 and 1992 made it the first greek casinos after the war, while the ground floor was used as a museum dedicated to his imperial former owners. Today the residence welcomes sporadically European summits, such as the Corfu Treaty signed in 1994, but it is mostly used as a museum.