5 October 2020
Corfu, an island off Greece’s northwest coast in the Ionian Sea, is defined by rugged mountains and a resort-studded shoreline. Its cultural heritage reflects years spent under Venetian, French and British rule before it was united with Greece in 1864. Corfu Town (Kerkyra), flanked by 2 imposing Venetian fortresses, features winding medieval lanes full of tourist shops, a French-style arcade and the grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George.
Corfu has been portrayed as an idyll for centuries. Today this reputation has led to mass tourism along the resorts surrounding the island. Despite this, the Corfu of literature does still exist, but you have to actively look for it around the next corner, or over the next hill…
Make sure to hire a car to make the most of what the island has to offer, and don’t forget your insects repellent!
|Top Beaches||Top Lookouts||Top Cultural Sites|
|Agios Stefanos||Mt Pantokrator||The Achilleion Palace|
|Paleokastritsa||Kaiser’s Throne||Mon Repos Estate|
|Agios Gordios||Angelokastro||Corfu Museum of Asian Art|
[sources: LonelyPlanet. Best of Greece & The Greek Islands]
Summer palace of Austria’s Empress Elizabeth (Sisi), the niece of King Otto of Greece.
The Palace was built during the years 1889-1891 by the Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary Elizabeth, also known as Sisi. In addition to the Palace ground, Sisi bought all the neighbouring land leading down to the sea in order to have access to her estate when arriving by ship.
The Achilleion was built following the instructions of the Italian architect Raffaele Caritto in Pompeian style and the name “Achilleion” was given by the Empress herself, because of her great admiration for a hero of Greek mythology Achilles.
Sisi used to visit the Achilleion twice a year until 1898, when she was assassinated in Geneva. After her death, the Achilleion remained closed for nine years, until it was sold in 1907 to the German Emperor Willheim II, who made several additions and changes to the gardens.
During World War I, the Achilleion was used as a military hospital by the French and Serbian troops. By the end of the war and the defeat of Germany, the Achilleion came into the possession of the Greek State under the Treaty of Versailles. It was also used as military headquarters by the Italian and the German occupation forces during World War II and returned to the Greek State by the end of the war.
Since then, the Achilleion has been used as a museum and as venue for various events.