The possibility of establishing a cultural partnership between Corfu’s Achilleion Palace and Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace was discussed during a recent meeting between Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) President Angela Gerekou, Schönbrunn Managing Director Klaus Panholzer, and Head of Research and Documentation Elfiede Iby.
Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of Empress Elizabeth of Austria – also known as sad Queen Sissi – and Emperor Franz Joseph I. The 1,441-room Rococo palace is among Austria’s main tourism attractions.
The Achilleion Palace is linked to the history of Schönbrunn, as it was built by Queen Sissi in 1890, in a property originally owned by philosopher and diplomat Petros Vrailas Armenis in Gastouri. Today it operates as a museum.
“Achilleion is a strong brand for the ‘island of the Phaeacians*’ that needs to be supported by public and local stakeholders, as well as by the local community,” GNTO President Angela Gerekou said during the meeting.
She also spoke of the significance of cultural tourism for Greece and Austria and referred to Achilleion’s importance and recognition globally.
Gerekou invited Panholzer and his associates to visit the Achilleion, meet with local organizations, discuss ways of promoting the palace and share their know-how.
The meeting was held in Schönbrunn during Gerekou’s official visit to the Austrian capital on occasion of “FerienMesse 2020”, the annual international tourism exhibition that ran January 16-19. GNTO is participating in the exhibition along with 16 other co-exhibitors.
*Phaeacia (or Scheria) was a region in Greek mythology, first mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey as the home of the Phaeacians and the last destination of Odysseus in his 10-year journey before returning home to Ithaki. Many ancient and modern interpreters favor identification of Phaeacia with the island of Corfu. (Source: Wikipedia)