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

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nigel J Russell (13 months ago)
Lovely palace.
Leszek Drabik (15 months ago)
The Palace of Saints Michael and George, a neoclassical, Regency style building, entirely constructed of Maltese stone, was built in the 19th century, during the English rule period in Ionian islands. In 1864, after the Reunification of in the Ionian Islands with Greece, the Palace was appropriated by the Hellenic state and since 1928 houses the Museum of Asian Art. The Corfu Museum of Asian Art occupies the largest part of the Palace. It is the only museum dedicated to Asian art and antiquities Greece and its collection consists of approximately 15.000 artefacts. [Tourist information]
Andreea Miron (2 years ago)
Amazing pottery and very nice descriptions and stories about each piece in the museum.
George Karanikas (2 years ago)
We saw and learn many things. I do recommend a visit. The personnel were very kind and helpful!
PETROS VELLIDIS (2 years ago)
Quite interesting museum, ideal for families and really useful to cool down from the heat
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