sisiThe passage from Corfu of Elisabeth, the Empress of Austria, fondly named by her family as “Sisi” and her frequent stays on our island she loved so much, are undoubtedly a significant part of the local history that remains universally alive. It is not by chance that the Achilleion Palace she built in the village of Gastouri remains since then a point of attraction for a considerable number of visitors from around the world — the third, it is said, museum in Greece as to the number of visitors!

We considered therefore that, apart from the general and rather vague reference from the part of the majority of people to “Sisi” in the form of a romantic legend about the Empress’s repeated passages from Corfu, it was imperative to present the real, human story about her and her warm personal relationship with the island and its inhabitants. That is the reason why we decided to include this specific history in our series of events by the general title “Corfu remembers…”, so that both Corfu’s inhabitants and its visitors could acquire a more complete knowledge of the real events related to her, honoring her memory and her love for Corfu.

In the context of our events, we will present in a special exhibition titled: “Sisi in Corfu. Moments spent by an Empress on the Phaeacian Island”, objects related to her residence in Corfu, as well as paintings, photographs and other contemporary material, kindly lent for the exhibition by private collectioners.

As for all the important events we organize, we publish the present bilingual album in our basic intention for the local and foreign public’s more complete information on the subject that will also remain as a useful memento of this historic period. Apart from the texts of the speeches, it contains photos of the items presented, with the necessary information about them.

We wish to express our gratitude to our friend and member, Lady Marina Marks, PhD, OMKM, Chairman, The Michael Marks Charitable Trust, who, in full agreement with the whole idea for this project and the need to secure a document of this event, kindly accepted to cover the cost of the present publication.

We would also like to thank Mrs. Despina Zerniotis, Director of the Corfu Museum of Asian Art, and her associate, Dr. Stamatis Chondroyannis, for their invaluable support and scientific experience.

The cost of the whole project was also covered by the generous contribution of many of the Association’s friends, in Corfu and abroad, to all of whom we are grateful; their names are duly mentioned in the present album.

The whole, difficult and long months’ effort for organizing the event and the related activities was undertaken, as every time before, with voluntary devotion, primarily by the members of the Association’s board, as well as by some other members and friends.

We hope that the “Sisi, the Corfu years…” activities will remain as a useful memory to those present in the events, as a still live part of Corfu’s history.

Preview book: