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Palace of St. Michael and St. George

The Palace of  St. Michael and St George was built  by the architect G. Whitmore in the years 1819-1824 A.D. , when the British Commissioner Thomas Maitland was  in office. It is the most important monument of the British administration  and one of the first neoclassical buildings in Greece. It was built from Maltese stone.
The name "Palace of Saints Michael and George" was chosen because in the building  were not only offices and the residence of the British Commissioner,  but  also the headquarters of the namesake battalion. The facade  is decorated with a series of Doric columns, interrupted by two majestic   triumphal archways , and is curved at both sides defining the north end of the Espianada  square. The cornice is decorated with the prow of a stone ship symbolizing Corfu. Originally ,however, the statue of a woman symbolizing  the British Empire was placed here. The building is crowned with the seven emblems of the Ionian Islands.  Inside, the walls and ceilings of the main halls are rich in ornate bas-reliefs  and  paintings.
Before the islands were united with Greece (1864) the Palace housed the Senate as well as the Ionian Parlament. Afterwards it was used as a Royal summer residence, while the archeological collection of Corfu was also placed here for a short period. Nowadays it houses the Museum of Asian Art and the Municipal Art Gallery.


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