Sisi’s white marble palace, “Achilleion,” is located approximately seven kilometers from the city of Corfu on a hilltop in the village of Gastouri. From here, one has an extraordinary view of the landscape and sea. In the palace and in the surrounding flourishing gardens the feeling of peace for which Sisi always longed is tangible. Here she takes long walks and travels on the sea. The heroic tales of Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey, which were so meaningful to Sisi, are implemented in various forms throughout the palace and botanical gardens.
The steps into the garden are decorated with four statues of Olympic gods. The Italian architect Raffaele Carito designs the palace according to Elisabeth’s wishes in Pompeian style. It is furnished with frescoes, paintings and statues, including the sculpture of “Dying Achilles” and the fresco “The Triumph of Achilles.” Before the palace is built, the manor of the well-known Corfuan Petros Brailas-Armenis stands on this property and Sisi often comes here to visit his widow. Because Sisi would like to spend more time here, the house is eventually presented to her as a gift.
In order to have direct access to the sea, Sisi purchases all neighboring properties. The result is a forest of 80 hectares surrounding Achilleion. In 1907 heiress Valerie, Sisi’s daughter, sells Achilleion to Wilhelm II, German Emperor. He commissions a number of changes including the planting of exotic flowers and trees. In 1983, the Achilleion palace becomes the property of the National Greek Organization for Tourism and, after renovation in 1994, it is used as a museum and for hosting events.
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