Whether someone has visit the island of Corfu or not, it is certain that knows the existence of Achilleion Palace.

The story of the Empress of Austria, Elizabeth has made a huge impression through books and movies that have been made and are widly known to a range of ages.

The Achilleion Palace is associated with her, who went down in history as the sad Queen Sissy. Achilleion Palace is located 10 km outside the city of Corfu next to Gastouri village, in a landscape filled with olive groves and lush vegetation. It is a milestone in the history of the island.

The visit to the palace is definitely worth it as an experience as it is a treasure of cultural elements that one cannot but feel awe in front of the endless nobility of Ancient Greek inspired masterpieces that decorate the palace.

Empress Sissy

The Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, known as Sissy, was feeling devastated after the tragic loss of her son Rodolfo in 1889, who is said to have ended his life because he was in love with his half-sister, sought refuge in Greece and specifically in the island of Corfu.

Having visited the island for long periods of time while living in Mon Repo, she fell in love with the beauty of nature and the mythological references and wanted to build her own palace.

Thus, in the 19th century, she bought the villa of a Corfiot and built Achilleion in its place. She dedicated the palace to Achilles, with many speculations to associating it with her lost son, who like Achilles, seemed vulnerable in his own Achilles heel, his forbidden love.

The statues designed for the queen

Empress Sissy’s love for the ancient Greece and mythology is reflected from side to side at the Achilleion palace.  Decorated with imposing statues, with one of the most famous depicting Achilles “the Mortal Achilles” made in 1884. Additionally, the statues of the 9 muses were designed with elements of statues that existed in Ancient Greece. Also noteworthy is the mural on the roof of the building, a work by the Italian painter Galopi which depicts the four seasons.

The assassination of the queen, the Kaiser and the casino

Shortly after the assassination of Queen Elizabeth by an Italian anarchist, Luigi Luceni, in Geneva on September 10, 1898, German Emperor William II buys Achilles.

The philhellene and lover of ancient Greek culture, also known as “Kaiser”, adds another statue of Achilles to the palace with the inscription “To the greatest of the Greeks from the greatest of the Germans”.

The end of the First World War finds Achillion deserted under the ownership of the Greek state, while in the following years Achillion was turned into a casino after its transfer to a West German company in 1962. King Paul believed that Achillion would mark the development of of the island like another Monaco.

Achillion operated as a casino until 1981 and after it was closed due to political unrest in 1984 and reopened under the direction of EOT.

Today Achilleion Palace  is a great museum and one of the most famous royal villas in Europe that is worth visiting.


Μουσείο Αχίλλειο Το Αχίλλειο / Ιστορία   http://www.achillion-corfu.gr 

Αχίλλειο Αχίλλειο  https://el.wikipedia.org/

Μηχανή του Χρόνου Σίσι, η πανέμορφη πριγκίπισσα που αναζήτησε καταφύγιο στην Κέρκυρα https://www.mixanitouxronou.gr/

Text Composing: Marilia Makri
Photography: Hella Nijssen pixabay
Photography: Katarzyna Tyl pixabay
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