Gastouri & Achilleion

Distance from city of Corfu

9 Km.Driving time is about 15 min.

Nearby regions

village “Perama” is located 4 km northerly and the driving time is about 8 min. 4 km southerly is located the village “Benitses” and the driving time is about 8 min .

Public transportation

You can find analytically the itineraries of Green Buses on www.ktelkerkyras.gr from and to the City Of Corfu. The time with the bus is about 20 min.

Morphology of Sea and Beach

Fine sand and pebbles outside and inside the sea. The sea deepens smoothly.

The region provides the following:

view super-market sunbed restaurant castle bar apartment

Region’s origin of name

The love for Greek mythology and the admiration for Achilles gave the name to the palace, which is located in the area.

History of Region

The Empress of Austria, Elisabeth of Bavaria, also known as Sissy, visited the island of Corfu for first time in 1861.  She came in Corfu as a guest of the English Commissioner Herny Stoks and she stayed in “Mon repo”. A few years later, after the death of her son, Sissy was looking for haven away from her country. She was so fascinated by the natural beauty of the island, so she decided to live in Corfu building the palace Achilleion in 1890, which was designed by Italian architect Rafailo Caritas. However she did not enjoy the life in this palace because of her death in 1989 by an Italian anarchist who wanted to take revenge for the oppression of northern Italy during her empire.

It is worth visiting this palace of unique beauty and architecture. It is situated at 120 meters altitude from the sea level. On the ceiling of the lobby you will see the fresco depicting the four seasons of the year, while on the top of the stairs leading to the first floor of the palace it dominates the magnificent oil painting depicting the triumph of Achilles. It is the work of the Austrian painter Franz Matsch and it was created in 1892.

Sissy built inside the palace a small Catholic chapel for pray. It is also impressive the colonnade of 9 Muses, which is located outside the palace. A special place in the garden holds the famous sculpture “Dying Achilles”, which was created by the German sculptor Herter in 1884, depicting Achilles as a wounded trying to remove the arrow from his heel. The bronze statue of “Victorious Achilles’” is about 11 meters tall, depicting Achilles as an impressive and noble Homeric hero.

The German Kaiser Wilhelm II purchased Achilleion in 1907 and he used it as a summer residence. He also built a bridge to be named by the locals after him: “Kaiser’s bridge”. During the German occupation of World War II the bridge was destroyed by the Germans because they could not pass under the bridge their heavy weaponry.

 

During the First and Second World War the palace was used as a military hospital. In 1962 the Greek government hired a German company to renovate and create casino. It is noteworthy that Baron von Richtchofen managed to gather many of the remote objects and to restore the palace to its former luster. Since 1994 the Achilles became the property of the Greek state. From then on, serves as a museum. In 1962 the Achilleion was leased to a private German company that converted the upper level to a casino and the lower grounds to a museum. It is also remarkable the fact that Baron von Richtchofen managed to gather many of the remote objects and to restore the palace to its former luster. In 1994 Achilleion returned to the Greek state and it is used as museum until nowadays.

Population

During the winter time the residents are about 900 people. In contrast to winter time the residents are about 3000 people during the summer time including visitors.

Employment of population before and after the touristic development

The residents of the region formerly occupied professionally with olive groves, farming, agriculture and fisheries. Each family was autonomous and everything that was needed was home made. Today most people deal professionally with tourism during the summer months. During the winter time they deal amateur with agriculture and especially with the olive gathering and fishing.

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