The Achilleion summer palace was built in the late 19th century on a lush green hill near the village of Gastouri, nine kilometers south of Corfu Town. It was commissioned by Empress Elizabeth of Austria (better known as Sissi), to be built in the neoclassical style on plans by the architects Raffaele Caritto and Antonio Landy. The building stands majestic and imposing amid extensive gardens. It is home to a large number of sculptures that depict personages from Greek mythology. Interior walls were painted with exquisite frescoes by famous artists of the time. One of the most impressive sculptures in the garden is that of “Achilles Dying”, a work of the German sculptor Herter. The largest piece is the eight-meter high bronze “Achilles Victorious”, commissioned later by Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. The grounds take up more than twenty acres, gently sloping to the seashore. The Achilleion is now a museum, and also hosts cultural events in summer.
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