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Sissy's Palace Achilleion Corfu

The front facade of Sissy's Palace

The luxurious Sissy's Palace on Corfu makes an ideal movie set

Statues in the palace gardens
Impressive interior palace staircase

When movie director John Glen wanted some casino shots for the Bond spy classic 'For Your Eyes Only', the palace at Achilleion on Corfu seemed the perfect spot.

The luxurious palace, its beautiful gardens full of neoclassical Greek statues and the views over the surrounding Corfu landscape and the Ionian sea made it an ideal location for filming the glamorous movie.

One of the best-known tourist attractions on Corfu, the Achilleion or 'Sissy's Palace', located in the village of Gastouri near Corfu Town, attracts thousands of Corfu holiday visitors every year to savour the shady walks around the flowerbeds and inside the opulent palace itself.

The palace and museum have recently had a major revamp to protect and restore all four of the main buildings: the palace museum, the Regiment building, the Baron's building and Porter's building.

The restoration is in addition to cash awarded last year to help protect the palace buildings from the ravages of the climate and to mitigate some structural problems.

The Achilleion Palace was built in 1889-1892 by Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth (Sissy) who had a passion for all things Greek and not only named it in honour of the Greek mythical hero Achilles but filled the buildings and gardens with scores of statues of historical Greek and Roman figures.

The centrepiece of the gardens is a marble statue of the mortally wounded Achilles wearing a simple cloth and an ancient Greek hoplite helmet.

After her death, the palace was bought by Kaiser William II of Germany who built the unusual Kaiser bridge below, the stone-built jetty where the Kaiser moored his personal yacht.

Over two world wars the palace was occupied by foreign troops and stripped of many of its treasures but eventually restored by the Greek government.

The fictional Countess Lisl also came to a tragic end at Sissy's Palace in the movie For Your Eyes Only (1981), the twelfth Bond spy film and the fifth to star Roger Moore.

Scenes from the movie were filmed at the Achillion Palace casino and earlier at the Villa Sylva at Kanoni, above Corfu Town, which stood in as a Spanish villa.

Many of the village houses were painted white for the movie makers and local roads and hillside slopes were used in a car chase scene through olive groves.