Sunday, September 18, 2011

Achilleion Palace Corfu

In Greek mythology, Achilles was a Greek hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad.

Achilleion Palace
Corfu, Greece

Achilleion Palace was built in 1889-1891 for Princess Elisabeth von Witelsbach of Austria, and paid homage to Greek mythology. Upon her death, Kaiser Wilhelm II made the palace his summer home until WWII. 

Departing by motorcoach from the port of Corfu, we embarked on a scenic 30-minute drive to the Achilleion Palace. En route, we passed through olive, lemon and orange groves interspersed with cypress trees, and the Old Fortress that stands guard over the harbor and Corfu.

In this photo: Achilles as guardian of the palace in the gardens of the Achilleion. He gazes northward, toward the city. The inscription in Greek reads: ΑΧΙΛΛΕΥΣ i.e. Achilles. It was commissioned by Kaiser Wilhelm II.

As we approached the palace we were awestruck by the architecture of the building and the formal Italian garden with its trees and statuary.

Here statues of Achilles, both in the main hall and in the lavish gardens depicting the heroic and tragic scenes of the Trojan war can be seen. The architectural style is Pompeian and has many parallels to that of the Russian imperial residence in Crimea

Entering the palace murals, statues, and other artifacts abound, but none are more impressive than the primary mural seen here.

The Triumph of Achilles by Franz Matsch

Achilles is seen dragging Hector's lifeless body in front of the Gates of Troy. (From a panoramic fresco on the upper level of the main hall.

Achilleion Palace was featured in the James Bond classic, "For Your Eyes Only".

These few images are just the beginning of what you will see during your visit to Achilleion Palace in Corfu.  We have posted several more images for you enjoyment on our Facebook Fan Page:  Achilleion Palace

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