Achilles is one of the most famous royal mansions in Europe and perhaps the most important attraction in Corfu. It is located in the settlement of Gastouri, about 10 km from the city of Corfu. The mansion was designed by Italian architects Raffaele Caritto and Antonio Landi to oversee the Austrian consul in Corfu, Alexander Warssderg. 1890 at the expense of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, who, due to her poor health, requested its construction.
He dedicated the mansion to Achilles, hence its name, the precinct of which he enriched with statues from ancient Greek mythology.
Of these, the best-known works are The Nine Muses, some by Italian sculptor Domenico Morani and others bought by the Empress from Villa Borghese. Herther’s Achilles heel.
Elizabeth was assassinated in 1898. In 1904, in 1907, the German emperor William II (also known as “Kaiser”) bought Achilles, where he stayed during his regular spring visits to Corfu.
He was a very cultured man and a lover of ancient Greek culture.
He placed a colossal statue of Achilles with the inscription “To the maximum of the Greeks from the maximum of the Germans”.
After the First World War, the ownership of this mansion passed to the Greek state, when it was deserted, until in 1962 it was decided to transfer it to a then West German company to operate as a casino, at the urging of King Paul in order to become equal to Monaco that this would mean the parallel development of Corfu.
Eventually, the casino opened with some minor downtime until 1981, when then-political upheavals forced it to close. Its reopening, under the direction of EOT, began in 1984.
It is in the rhythm of a Pompeian mansion. Inside it has frescoes and decorations by important artists of the time of its construction, while on the second floor there is an Ionian peristyle.
Around the palace there are rich lush gardens, overlooking the North and South.
The walls are full of bougainvillea with bright colors and palm trees rise everywhere.
The gardens are adorned with many statues, especially of Achilles, the emperor’s favorite hero, from whom the palace took its name.
The Dead Achilles is a beautiful bronze statue by German sculptor Ernst Herter. Elizabeth of Austria may have been moved by the statue and bought it after the tragic suicide of her second son, Archduke Rodolfo, in Meyerling. A second impressive statue of Achilles, 15m tall, was commissioned by Kaiser William II.
Achilles can be visited at certain times of the day.