Today, the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George houses the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, the only one of its kind in Greece, solely dedicated to the art and antiquities of the Far East and India.
It was founded in 1928 as the Museum of Sino-Japanese Art, following the donation of Gregorios Manos’ Sino-Japanese collection to the Greek state. Since that time, the Museum has been a pole of attraction for many other donations, resulting in its collection currently comprising approximately 15.000 works of Asian art form private collections and individual item donations. The 1973 Hadjivassiliou donation, in particular, with the addition of 400 works from India, Pakistan, Tibet, Siam and southeast Asia, changed the Museum’s strictly Sino-Japanese profile and led to it being renamed to the Museum of Asian Art.
Today it enjoys worldwide recognition, with rare items from its collections being presented in international exhibitions. The most recent one was held in Tokyo, at the “Tokyo Metropolitan Edo – Tokyo Museum” in the summer of 2009.
The life of the leading figure of Corfiot Count Capodistrias, first Governor of Greece and senior European diplomat, unfolds here in a unique museum dedicated to his great Corfiot and Greek heritage, and impact on European politics of the 19th century. In “Koukouritsa”, the family estate of Kapodistrias in the middle of Corfu, we follow the path of his life, in a narration that starts from his childhood in Corfu and culminates in his assassination in Nafplio.
The museum was inaugurated in 1967 and hosts antiquities and exhibits
from the ancient city of Corcyra as well as from all over the island.
Through 1,600 exhibits, the museum narrates to its visitors the story of the island and its inhabitants, from the Prehistoric era up to the late antiquity.
Τhe most renowned exhibit of the museum, the monumental pediment from the temple of Artemis depicting Gorgo, a masterpiece of the Archaic art, constitutes the oldest preserved stone pediment of the ancient Greek architecture.
Achileion is a palace built in Gastouri (Γαστούρι) on the Island of Corfu for the Empress (German: Kaiserin) Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Sisi, after a suggestion by the Austrian consul Alexander von Warsberg. Elisabeth was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of her only son, Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria during the Mayerling Incident in 1889, and a year later she had this summer palace built, about ten kilometres to the south of the city of Corfu. Achilleion’s location provides a panoramic view of Corfu city to the north, and across the whole southern part of the island
The architectural style was intended to represent an ancient palace of mythical Phaeacia The palace was designed with the hero Achilles of Greek mythology as its central theme, and from which the name is derived. Corfu was Elisabeth’s favourite vacation place and she wanted a palace to gratify her admiration for Greece, its language and its culture.
Visit Achileion as part of our Grand Island Tour Excursion.