Achilleion – Our Name
Achilleion’s name is derived from the Greek hero Achilles.
According to mythology Achilles was the greatest warrior of all time, the hero of the Trojan War, and the central character of Homer's Iliad. In addition, the idea of the "Achilles heel" as a point of weakness guides our thinking about cybersecurity and defense.No matter how strong or perfect something is, there are always weaknesses. We're mindful of that concept in how we approach security everyday.
We also share a name with the Achilleion Palace in Corfu.
Nestled on a hilltop of the idyllic Ionian island of Corfu sits the grand structure of the Achilleion Palace.The commanding estate comes equipped with sweeping vistas that encompass the city of Corfu to the north and the Ionian Sea to the south. The palace was constructed in 1890 as a refuge for the empress Elisabeth of Austria following the death of her only son crown prince Rudolf. The empress was gifted the property by philosopher and diplomat Petros Vrailas Armenis after he came to learn of her sons death. Elisabeth loved the island and had the small villa that already existed torn down and replaced by the Achilleion palace. The structure was constructed to glorify Greek mythology and culture which she admired deeply. When describing what she wanted to the Italian architect Raffael Caritto, Elisabeth said "I want a palace with pillared colonnades and hanging gardens, protected from prying glances - a palace worthy of Achilles, who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods."This was to be a private place where the empress could hide from the world.
Raffael Caritto obliged his patrons wishes wherever possible and constructed the Achilleion to look like a palace taken straight out of the Illiad. Elisabeth herself oversaw the decoration of the estate, she had statues and sculptures of the greek gods, philosophers and muses adorn the columns and balconies of the estate. The empress would make use of the Achilleion often until her death at the hands of an assassin in 1898.
Following Elisabeth's death the palace passed to her daughter the Archduchess Gisela who sold the property to Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. The Kaiser used the palace as a summer residence and a place practice diplomacy. In addition to the royals from Prussia and members of the Greek royal family, Wilhelm also often invited scholars and philosophers to discuss the varied subjects that interested him. Among them was the famed botanist Carl Sprenger, who would live at the residence for several months of the year tending to the varies plants that resided in the gardens. For Wilhelm thePalace was not a retreat from sorrow but a destination for festivities. The Kaiser was a big fan of the local cultural festivals that would take place during the easter holidays. It is for this reason that the German royal family would most often be found at the palace around the month of April. This tradition would hold until the onset of World War I.
During the war the Achilleion was utilized by Serbian and French troops as a military hospital. Following the conclusion of the war the ownership of the Achilleion was transferred to the Greek state as part of the war reparations agreed upon in the treaty of Versailles. Following the sale the Achilleionwas used for a variety of things including an orphanage and a conference space for government functions. During World War II the palace was then used as military headquarters for the Axis powers.After the end of that conflict the property came under the management of the Hellenic Tourist Organization.
The HTO leased the property for a number of years in which the property was used as a casino, filming location, and museum. The casino of corfu was one of the first casinos in Greece to open in the post war period and functioned as a principle filming location for the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. The HTO again regained ownership of the property in 1983. Since then the grounds have again been renovated and used for several European governmental summits and meetings. The Palace is currently being utilized as a Museum and for less than 10 euro you can tour the grounds of the most iconic property the island of Corfu has to offer.
If you are looking for places to stay and other activities to keep you occupied the city of Corfu will keep you wined, dined, and entertained. Corfu City is the functioning capitol of both the Island of Corfu itself and that of the smaller Ionian islands that surround it. On the outskirts of the city lie the ruins of a more ancient site, the city of Korkyra. Here you can visit the ruins of Greek temples to Hera, Artemis and Kardaki. Walking amongst the crumbling edifices of these ancient structures can fire the imagination and send ones thoughts roaming through space and time, back to an era of myths and heroes.
The city of Corfu is also known for its unique cuisine, a unique fusion of Greek and Italian dishes that can only be found in the Ionian islands. Located amongst the narrow and winding cobblestone streets of the old town one will find the densest collection of restaurants the Island has to offer. From the budget friendly but delicious Taverna "Diporto" to the pricey and luxurious Pomo D'Oro you can spend as much or as little as you wish and still eat like an Ionian king or queen.
For those seeking a more modern diversion the Casino Corfu and hotel will provide you with all the modern flash and thrill that one would come to expect from a modern resort. The pool is large with plenty of space to stake a claim. The white Carrera marble staircase is draped with a large red carpet, welcoming the adventurous and the weary alike to avail themselves of the pleasures within. If your desire is to gamble the day away or to relax on the meticulously maintained grounds the Casino Corfu has got you covered.
No matter what you want to do on Corfu whether that is enjoy the gleaming marble floors and stoic greek statuary of the Achilleion palace, or sampling the fine Ionian cuisine and culture of the city of Corfu. The clear blue Ionian Sea will be there to keep you company twinkling on the periphery, reminding you that kings, queens, and paupers are all the same when staring out at such raw natural beauty.