Summer.. Travelling is more than admiring nature. Snoring a bit of culture is always part of us!
The famous Austrian Empress Elisabeth, popularly and by the film of the same name known as Sisi, was completely captivated by the Greek myth about the hero Achilles.
After several visits to her beloved Greek island of Corfu, she decided to buy the house of Petros Vralias-Armenis, a prominent man from Corfu, who was about 10 km south of the capital.
She also bought the adjacent plots that reached the Ionian Sea, because she wanted to be able to leave from the ship to her own estate.
The huge house was built in the style of Pompeia. Like so many buildings there, it was drawn by an Italian architect.
Sisi gave it the name 'Achilleion', after her favorite hero full of courage and beauty, who, however, also awaited a tragic fate. This statue of the dying Achilles flaunts in the large adjoining garden.
She filled the house with art. With statues and paintings that you'll see right away when entering the entrance hall.
If you consider that she came to visit here only twice a year, it's a waste of the building, which also has 2 floors.
After her death (Sisi was murdered with a sort of dagger by an Italian anarchist), the house was empty for 9 years, after which she was sold to German Emperor Wilhelm II. He built a larger, more impressive sculpture of Achilles in bronze. This time he set up a triumphant Achilles, who looked out over the sea. The image is visible from afar.
Later, the building came into Greek hands. The top floor houses a casino, which also recorded the James Bond movie “For your eyes only”.
You can only partially visit the building and gardens (fees apply). There are renovations underway that are really needed. The large white statues in the garden are largely neglected, dirty and covered with green tarnishment.