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Palace of St Michael and St George-Corfù

 

Palazzo San Michele Corfù

 

The "Palati tou Agìou Michaìl tou Georgìou" is the greatest remnant of British rule on Corfu. It was modern Greece’s first neo-classical building and remains one of the finest examples of the style. The sumptuous interior houses a fabulous collection of Asian art, while side wings contain two galleries of Greek art.
The palace was built between 1819 and 1824, when Sir Thomas Maitland served as the first British High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. The three-floor building has a long facade of Doric columns anchored at either end by two triumphal arches, each named after one of the saints. Fine landscaped gardens surround the palace and in front of it is a statue of Maitland’s successor.
This elaborate building also housed the Ionian Parliament and Senate. After 1864, when the British left Corfu, the palace became a summer residence for the Greek royal family. It was renovated for the European Union Summit meeting in 1994.
In the west wing there are temporary exhibitions and the Ionian Senate conference room. A monumental staircase leads to three ornate staterooms on the first floor, adorned with statues, crystal chandeliers, frescoes and the English Commissioner’s throne.
The east and west wings of the first floor house the Museum of Asiatic Art. Established in 1927, it contains more than 11,000 items that make it one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of oriental art. You can admire clay vessels, bronze wine vessels, stone Buddhas, beautiful glazed stoneware and Japanese art.
Housed in a separate part of the palace, Corfu’s Municipal Art Gallery, is reached via the shady gardens on the east side. It contains mostly 19th and 20th century works by Corfiot painters and sculptors. The Modern Art Museum, housed in a small gallery outside the palace, has changing exhibitions of contemporary Greek artists, with many of the artworks on sale.


Where: at the north end of the Esplanade
Open: Apr-Oct Tue-Sun 8.30-7; Nov-Mar Tue-Sun 8.30- 3 (ticket 3 euro, and only 2 euro for EU citizens and over 65)

 

Palazzo San Michele, Corfù

To see in the City of Corfù:

- Byzantine Museum

- Palace of St Michael and St George

- Campiéllo: Old Town

- Agios Spyridon

- Old Fortress

- Archaeological Museum

- Mon Repos

- Kanóni

- Mitrópoli

- New Fortress

- Esplanade and Liston