“Just half an hour away from Corfu Center, near a sea side village, I found a palace”, said my dad, and the next day we went all together at Achillion. And I can guarantee, when he said “Palace” that’s exactly what he meant. There, is situated the palace of princess Sissi of Austria.
Its beautiful location lead princess Sissi to choose to built there her summer residence, which, up to now is an ode to Achilles, thus the name Achillion. Influenced by her love for Greece and her admiration towards Achilles, she turned Achillion into a palace to honor his name.
Today, Achillion is a museum, permitting each and every one of us to have a small taste of the glory of that period. Passing through the main entrance, I was mesmerized by the greatness of the place, and I could only imagine what was next. On the left and on the right there are rooms used either as secondary rooms, or as rooms for pray. Straight ahead there is a pair of stairs in red carpet, and a mirror. And the magic of the place doesn’t stop here…I lift my head up and what I see is a ceiling full of beautiful murals of dancing muses and a painting in the middle (yes! There is a painting on the celling). When I climbed up the stairs I saw the most magnificent painting I ever laid eyes on. Achilles on his chariot, taming his horses.
The rest of the rooms follow the same pattern. Majestic rooms, where everyone would like to live, with extraordinary details, even on the ceiling. Then my way lead me at the outside of the palace.
In front, I saw the royal gardens, they were full of statues of Ancient Greek philosophers, and people that contributed to science and history, and of course the muses that were the source of inspiration for every artist of that period.
At this spot, I found a bar, perfect for a quick coffee, or a cold beverage, so that I got a chance to feel like a princess in my own palace. The view to the sea is superb. And at that time I closed my eyes, I enjoyed the sea breeze, and imagined myself the time that Achillion was the summer residence of princess Sissi.
But my trip at Achillion didn’t stop here. I browsed through the gardens, and admired the great statue of Achilles. It’s a huge statue, standing there through the years, causing awe to the visitors.
But shortly after that what I felt was sorrow and the weird sensation of the inevitable. Achilles, fallen down, beaten by an arrow on his only weak spot, his as known “Achilles heel”. This second statue provokes the visitor to think. Not only a man that was once unbeatable now is fallen dawn, but also he has fallen by something so small like an arrow on his heel. “What if no one is unbeatable in this life we live?”, again the voice of my dad, and tears started from my eyes.
The majestic view thankfully came, and in my mind now, I had only happy thoughts. Maybe that was the goal of the artist. To show us that no one is here to stay, and that we should enjoy each moment of our life. After all, after the rain the rainbow always comes!
And in that way our family trip to Achillion was over. Before leaving we enjoyed once more the view to the sea, and the shadow of the trees.
To conclude, speaking of Achillion, I couldn’t not mention the majestic spots where small tavernas and coffee shops are waiting to amaze even the most demanding visitor.