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achilles-statueOn a mountain top on the island of Corfu in 1890, Empress Elizabeth of Austria built a magnificent marble palace called the Achilleion, dedicated to her hero, the legendary Achilles of Homer’s Iliad. Here she retreated from the world, amidst the palace’s gorgeous gardens overlooking the Mediterranean abundant with larger-than-life statues of her ideal man, “who despised all mortals and did not fear even the gods.”

All of Europe knew her as Sisi. Adored by her husband Emperor Franz Joseph I, renowned as the most beautiful – and most beloved — woman of her time, she was Austria’s Empress for 44 years. Her life ended tragically, murdered at random by an anarchist who wanted to “kill a royal.”

The Achilleion today is maintained immaculately in all its original glory as a museum you can visit. Don’t pass the chance to see it for yourself. (Glimpses of Our Breathtaking World #76 photo ©Jack Wheeler)