Palace of St. Michael and St. George

Corfu, Greece

The Palace of St. Michael and St. George originally served as the residence of the British Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. It was built between 1819 and 1824, to a neoclassical design of Colonel George Whitmore. 

The palace was designed in the Greek Revival style of neoclassical architecture, and it was the first building of that style to be constructed on Greek territory. It was designed by the British architect George Whitmore, who was a Colonel and later a Major-General in the Royal Engineers. The building primarily consists of limestone imported from Malta, and Maltese workers were employed in its construction. The sculptural elements of the palace are the work of the Maltese sculptors Vincenzo and Ferdinando Dimech, as well as the Corfiot sculptor Pavlos Prosalentis.

After the union of Corfu with the Kingdom of Greece in 1864, the palace served as a Royal residence until the Second World War. It survived the Italian bombardment of Corfu City during the Corfu Incident in 1923, but suffered greater damage from its use as a temporary housing for the refugees from Epirus during the Greek Civil War (1946–1949). The Greek state was only able to restore the palace interiors in 1954 with the help of a private trust organised by Sir Charles Peake, the then British Ambassador to Greece. Up to 1967, the Greek king occasionally used the palace on state occasions while in residence at his nearby villa, Mon Repos.

Today the palace houses the Museum of Asian art of Corfu. The collection of the museum started in 1927 and consists mostly of donations, the largest being from Gregorios Manos with 10,500 pieces.

The two gateways which flank the palace are the gate of St. Michael and the gate of St. George. The state rooms consist of a grand staircase, a rotunda in the centre leading to two large rooms, the Throne Room and the state dining room. The Palace was renovated for the European Union Summit meeting in 1994.

Gardens

The palace gardens, complete with old Venetian stone aquariums, exotic trees and flowers, overlook the bay through old Venetian fortifications and turrets. The local sea baths are at the foot of the fortifications surrounding the gardens. A café on the grounds includes its own art gallery, with exhibitions of both local and international artists.

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Address

Kapodistriou 114, Corfu, Greece
See all sites in Corfu

Details

Founded: 1819-1824
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Greece

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nerelito Jr Pascual (2 months ago)
Our tour guide brought us to this museum when Sun Princess stopped by Corfu last 22 March 2024. This was a old palace with lots of artifacts coming from different countries in Asia. Quite impressive.
Ana (4 months ago)
The Museum of Asian Art in Corfu has a very interesting permanent exhibition and also has a very interesting and ellegant gallery space inside of the beautiful old building, worth visiting. Since the museum is not very busy, you won't have to wait in line, and there is no need to buy tickets in advance.
elma sulaj (5 months ago)
Must visit during Corfu vacations! To be honest, the first time i visited Corfu i was a little bit sceptic about was an Asian museum would ofer in a greek island. That ws the reason i wouldnt bother to enter. During my next stay, i decided to give it a try, as the standart beach days become boring. We bought a museum pass, tha included 5 museums, for only 10 euros. At the moment we entered, we knew the choice was right. You discover a new world inside. The place is not to busy during the day( for obvious reason) and this makes the visit more pleasant. Nothing more to add, you have to see it yourself.
G Mac (8 months ago)
A beautiful building with two floors of interesting Asian artifact and art. It is a all collection but well displayed and the descriptions are in English as well as Greek and very informative. There were a few areas closed for install of new displays. The grounds are lovely too. Just near the old fort. I suggest you get the combo ticket for this , both forts and 3 other museums.
Miran Sarkissian (11 months ago)
A surprising array of Asian artifacts displayed unfortunately, in the worst possible lighting ! The museum itself, an old palace built for the British Governor in the early 1800s has some wonderful and regal rooms. It is a real pity that the local authorities do not pay attention to this place visited by tourists! It could really be a jewel in the Corfiote crown of places to visit.
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