... Museums in Corfu Greece

The Achilion Palace Achillion was built from 1888 to 1891 by the Italian architect Kardilo on behalf of Elisabeth, Empress of Austria. It is situated near the village of Gastouri, where, in former times the mansion of the philosopher Petros Armenis Vrailas stood. The construction was built in the architectural style of Pompeii, although it includes elements of the Ionic, Roman and Aeolic traditions. The castle was called "Achillion" in honour of Achilles, whom the Empress admired. After her death in 1898, Achillion was not inhabited for nine years, until its purchase by the Emperor of Germany Vilhelm II, in 1907. The Kaiser made several alterations inside and outside the palace. He removed the two statues of Achilles, built a building, which he named the House of the Knights, in order to house his battalion, and he rearranged the gardens. During the World Wars, the palace was used as a hospital and headquarters.
After World War II, Achillion became a public estate. Inside the palace, one can admire beautiful paintings by Italian and Austrian painters, the most impressive being the paintings of Aggelos Gialinas, a painter from Corfu. The most remarkable mural is the fresco of the reception chamber showing Achilles dragging the dead body of Hector in front of the Trojan walls. In the chambers, one can admire the personal belongings of Elisabeth and Vilhelm B', furniture, jewels etc. There are also exhibits of statues representing heroes from ancient Greek history and mythology, as well as portraits and pots. The decoration of the Catholic chapel housed in the palace is also of striking beauty. Scattered between the beautifully decorated gardens and the fountains stand the beautiful statues of the Nine Muses and ancient Greek philosophers, as well as, a large statue of Achilles, created in 1909 by the German sculptor Goetz, ordered by Vilhelm B'. The most impressive of all is the statue of "Achilles dying" created by the German sculptor Earnest Gustav Herter. Another building in Achillion was used to house the carriage drivers, the carriages and the horses.
The Archaeological Museum of Corfu
The Archaeological Museum of Corfu is located in Vraila str., near the seaside highway of Garitsa. The most significant archaeological findings of the island are kept here, which were exhibited in the Museum of the Palaces, in days gone by. The most interesting of these exhibits is the western stone pediment of Gorgo (17 m. wide and over 3 m. tall) and part of the temple of Diana (590-580 BC), constructed by a Corinthian artist. The oldest Greek pediment, still in existence, represents the winged Gorgo surrounded by snakes, her two children Pegasus and Chrysaor (according to myth, they were born from her blood after her decapitation by Perseus) and two lion-panthers, while on the sides one can see representations of the Battles of the Titans.
According to archaeologists, the pediment had vivid colours, while Gorgo was connected with Diana, the goddess who protected the animals and the beasts. Another exhibit is part of the left archaic pediment found during the excavation in the location of Figaretto (500 BC), which represents a scene of a bacchic symposium. One can also admire the findings of the Neo-Lithic Era, from Sidari, which include pots, utensils and the representations of the lionhead from the Temple of Hera (7th century BC). Other interesting exhibits are the archaic lion (7th century BC), discovered near the statue of Menekratis, as well as a livid sink from Attica (6th century BC). Among others, there are remarkable findings from the tombs of Garitsa (7th - 6th century BC), the Temple of Roses (5th century BC), the Temple of Diana at Kanoni (480 BC), Mon Repo, the Temple of Apollo, statuettes of typical ancient craftwork, objects made of copper and ivory, a tombstone praising the ancient hero Arnias, the capital of the column of Xembaros (6th century BC), as well as coins, the most significant being the one depicting a cow, released after the liberation of Corfu from the Corinthians.
The Museum of Asian Art
The Museum of Asian Art is housed in the Palace of St Michael and George, in the town of Kerkira. The Museum is unique throughout Greece and the exhibits were originally from China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Siam. Most of the current exhibits were collected by the diplomats Manou, Siniossoglou, Almonahou and the ambassador N. Hatzivassiliou. Among the exhibits there are chinese works of all chines eras:
The Sheang era (1,500-1,027 BC) the Chehou era (1,027-221 BC), the Han era (221 BC-220 AD), the Soung dynasty (960-1,279 AD), the Ming dynasty (1,368-1,644 AD) and from Kamakoura era (1,192-1,338 AD). The most significant exhibits are the infamous copper cauldron used for worshipping reasons, from the Ming dynasty, tombs statues from the Tang dynasty, a wooden japanese statues from japanese statue of a temple's guard and facades from the japanese theater Noh.
The Palace of St Michael and St George
These palaces, built in the architectural style popular during King George's reign, are situated near Spiniada square. They were built by the English major S. Whitmore. The English began the construction in 1819 and concluded it in 1823. The palaces were built to be used as residence for the English high commissioner. Later, here were the headquarters of the Monasterial Battalion of St Michael and St George, which was founded in 1818 by distinguished English employees of the colony on the Ionian islands. Later on, from 1864 to 1913, the palaces were used as a royal summer residence. Today the palaces house the Public Library, the Archaeological Service and the Museum of Asian Art which was donated by the Manou family. Inside the building, the chambers are decorated with carved mythological representations of the Ionian island, created by Prosalentis. There are also lavish chandeliers, and the windows exhibit the medals that St Michael and St George won. In the beautifully decorated gardens, the statue of the English high commissioner F. Adam is a dominating figure.

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