Achilleon Palace, Corfu, Greece

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

The Palace

The Achilleon Palace was built in 1890 for Empress Elizabeth of Austria, whose nickname was Sissi. She was assassinated in 1898 in Geneva. In 1907 the Palace was purchased by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, who lost it after World War I. Prince Philip of England was born here, and the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only was filmed here.


Sissi was enthralled by Greek mythology and found the story of Achilles' death especially poignant. The next tenant, Kaiser Wilhelm, preferred undefeated warriors and erected the bronze statue of Achilles in his prime.
Achilles' mother dipped him in the River Styx to make him invulnerable, except for his heel, which she used to hold him. Why she didn't dunk her hand in all the way, I've never figured out. It would come in handy chopping vegetables. Anyway, during the final battle for Troy, Achilles was predictably shot in the heel with a poisoned arrow.

The Gardens

View toward Corfu town.

Inside the Palace

Empress Elizabeth of Austria (Sissi). She was a marginal historical figure but a fashion icon in her day. She was assassinated in Geneva in 1898 by an Italian anarchist who was merely looking for a member of royalty - anyone at all - to kill.
Somewhat scandalously for the time, Sissi was a heavy smoker. This was an ashtray.

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Created 11 March 2009, Last Update 03 June 2020