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The Achilleion on Corfu Ė Elisabethís flight into antiquity

By bliba  
Elisabeth herself claimed that her soul was already in Greece when her body followed on behind by ship. She enthusiastically and bluntly told her husband that she planned to emigrate there.

When Elisabeth, the emperorɬ‚s wife and indeed Empress of Austria, relocated to Greece, permanently turning her back on her consort and the Monarchy, this not surprisingly met with scant approval from Franz Joseph. But Elisabeth had decided in future to lead a life devoted only to quiet contemplation The ¬‚√‚screaming Greekthe hunchback, the perfumed one and stumpy pins, as the emperor scornfully referred to his wifeGreek teacher, prepared her for her new life through intensive studies of Greek language and culture. As a result of the fascinating excavations and publications of eminent German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, famous for his discovery of Troy, an interest in Greek antiquity became fashionable in the 1870s and 1880s, and this also triggered Elisabeth√ƒs enthusiasm for the ancient world.

And so Elisabeth had a palatial villa erected on Corfu an immense financial burden on the emperors private purse. Archaeological finds served as models for the architects. The furniture was modelled on specimens from antiquity in the style of Pompeii, and turned out to be extremely uncomfortable. Only the rooms planned for Franz Joseph were furnished with modern furniture. However, the emperor never visited his wife in Corfu. monument to Achilles, Elisabeths favourite hero of Greek mythology, and after whom the villa was named, was erected in front of the building. Other busts showed poets and philosophers revered by Elisabeth, including Homer, Shakespeare and Heine.

Scarcely had the Achilleion been completed than the empress, disenchanted, remarked: Our dreams are always lovelier when we do not realize them.And so, six years after completion of the construction work, she abandoned Corfu. She urged that the villa be sold, but Franz Joseph refused to part with it. Following her death, the estate passed to her daughter Gisela, who sold it to the German Emperor Wilhelm II. Thereafter, the building went through a variety of different uses, serving as a diplomatic centre under Wilhelm II, barracks in the First World War, seat of the German occupying forces in the Second World War before becoming a casino. Today, as a museum, the Achilleion is once more dedicated to the memory of Elisabeth.

Achilleion was a pure tourist rip-off for me

There was not much to see , 5 rooms on the ground floor and a small part of the park ..... that was it


But the area was very beautiful and the hike back to Corfu town was even nicer. why we began hitch hikking after approx. 4 km in the worst afternoon heat - see version 1 and 2


thanks for looking

oliver



Tags: Photo journalism Monochrome Greece Bnw photography

Voters: PhilT2, JohnDyer, chase and 52 more

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Comments


chase Plus
16 2.3k 591 England
21 Oct 2021 4:53PM
Very clever positioning Oliver.
I do hope you didn't choose to have a rest from the heat on that bench in V1, there may well have been a slight rock-fall Wink
21 Oct 2021 5:01PM
Stellar capture in V1 , superbly composed and focused Ollie Ödid you manage to hitch your ride ?
Cheers
Walt
LexEquine 15 1 19 United States
21 Oct 2021 5:08PM
Superlative Focus of this well-designed monochrome Image Composition, Oliver.

Regards, Peter 🌞
Fefe Plus
10 61 37 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2021 5:23PM
Makes a great image Oliver Smile
cooky Plus
17 6 5 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2021 6:02PM
Well written background to your lead Ollie, sometimes the grass is greener and Elisabeth was maybe seeking more than an Idyll?

Lovely focus on the lead.

What a walk back!

Kath
mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.0k 2465 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2021 6:25PM
A wonderfully evocative image, a wonderful story.
saltireblue Plus
11 12.4k 77 Norway
21 Oct 2021 6:40PM
My UA for the excellent lead image, Ollie....
woolybill1 Plus
15 38 78 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2021 7:05PM
Elisabeth's is a truly tragic story.

Your lead picture, on the other hand, is a masterpiece SmileWink

Bill
21 Oct 2021 7:27PM
echoing others: great image and story⭐
Chinga Plus
11 3 2 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2021 7:33PM
Enchanting Corfu... Love the set Oliver, particularly the lead. What a belter !!
Good imagery and write-up... Isabel GrinGrin
21 Oct 2021 8:15PM
Great lead shot Oliver and interesting story.Smile
franken Plus
19 5.3k 4 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2021 8:37PM
A wonderful image and write up, Oliver.
21 Oct 2021 10:13PM
I was there in casino times.. 34 years ago. It's good that it has been turned into a museum rather than staying a casino. Maybe with time furnishings will be recovere and it will be more worthwhile visiting. I used to be a great fan of Sisi.. Smile
I love your wonderful photo Oliver!
Viola
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 786 England
21 Oct 2021 10:46PM
An interesting narrative indeed Oliver, and a good image to go with it. Tourist rip off and a grotty bus stop are the sad and disappointing parts.
mac Plus
20 13 Scotland
21 Oct 2021 11:45PM
An interesting narrative of the story of Elisabeth, and her house. When you look forward to seeing something, it often does not live up to your expectations.
Ian
Daisymaye Plus
13 23 20 Canada
21 Oct 2021 11:57PM
What an interesting story. Love the lead image. The serious and the dreamer. And someone religious in between. Sometimes hitchhiking is necessary.
Superb!
22 Oct 2021 10:02AM
I really like the composition and processing, Ollie.

John Smile
TrevBatWCC Plus
13 13 19 England
22 Oct 2021 2:11PM
A fine close-up in the lead, and like how the shadows in the background mirror the main subject 👍 Those bus shelters look more interesting than around here! 😃
Trev 😀
capto Plus
9 6.8k 25 United Kingdom
22 Oct 2021 6:05PM
A fascinating read and goods images.Smile
ivor
23 Oct 2021 4:13AM
Fascinating story Oliver....and what a profile!

Peter

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