The Achilleion Palace was built in 1890 for the Empress Elizabeth, better known as Sissy of Austria. She had visited Corfu often before, and met the previous owner of the estate, who eventually gave it to her. The Palace, named after the Greek Hero of the Trojan War, Achilles, was built and decorated under Sissy’s supervision and is a monument to Classical Greece. Everywhere there are statues and busts of Mythological gods and beings or Heroes and Philosophers as well as as paintings depicting mythical scenes and famous ancient battles. One of the most notable is the one depicting the triumph of Achilles in Troy. The Palace is surrounded by exquisitely landscaped and well tended gardens. Following Sissy’s untimely and unfortunate death at the hand of a revolutionary, it remained unoccupied for a few years, until Kaiser Wilhelm I bought it and proceeded to restore and remodel it. He added a building nearby for his Guards and replaced the statue of the “Dying Achilles” in the gardens with that of “Achilles Triumphant” standing over 11 meters tall. He also had the gardens extensively landscaped and filled with rare plants and trees that are still there to this day. The Achilleion Palace has been a public building since 1919, and was once quite famously home to Corfu’s Casino. It was at this time, that it was used as one of the locations where a Bond film was made, “For Your eyes Only”. The views from the gardens are amazing, and the whole place is ideal for those interested in photography and history.
By car make your way towards the airport, and follow the signs leading to Benitses, Perama and then Gastouri, the village next to the Palace. By bus, first take the number 8 bus into town, stopping at San rocco Square. Then from Mitropolitou Methodiou Street, which adjoins the square, you will need to take number 10 bus to Achilleion. Alternatively you can also use one of the Hop-on/Hop-off bus lines, enjoying other sites and a multilingual audio commentary.