If you are interested where the Greek king and his retinue went to rest, then Mon Repo is one of the sights of Corfu that you must visit…
A visit to Mont Repo begins at this gate.
What is Mon Repos?
Mont Repo is an impressive British colonial style palace surrounded by 100 acres of beautiful parkland.
Mon Repos is only 3 km from the center of Corfu. More precisely, it is located on the top of Analipsis Hill in the Kanoni area and is very near the very famous archaeological site from the 8th century BC, the city of Paleopolis, which is another reason to visit.
The entrance to Mont Repo is very easy for wheelers because they installed an excellent ramp.
The park is filled with over 2,000 species of exotic plants, flowers and trees, which stretches all the way to the coast with the swimming place of the same name.
You walk through the park along the paths shown on the map that awaits you at the very entrance to the property.
The palace offers a wonderful view of the surroundings, and the park is a true paradise for archeology, botany and photography lovers.
Mon Repos is easily accessible by car, bus and even wheelechair.
The house was built by the then governor of Corfu, the British Frederick Adams, in the period from 1824 to 1831. If the building style reminds you of something similar that you have already seen in Corfu, you are right, because the architect who designed this villa is also the author of the palace of Saint Michael and Saint George. Today, it is the well-known museum of Asian art located on Spianada Square in Corfu.
The house was built as a gift for the governor’s wife and great love, Nina Palatiana from Corfu. Adams wanted to fulfill her great desire to have a palace in the country.
However, the governor did not enjoy his new home for long, as he was transferred to India, and the palace was turned into a summer residence for incoming British governors.
Numerous parties and receptions were held here, which were widely heard in England as well as in Greece and India. Many famous people of that time visited the palace.
One of the visitors was Elizabeth of Bavaria, fondly called Sisi, who stayed there for a long period during 1863. The famous princess was so enchanted by Corfu that she built herself another palace, the well-known Achilleon, but that’s another story…
The palace often changed owners, and after the unification of the Ionian Islands with Greece, the palace was given to the Greek king Georgios I, who then gave it the name “Mon Repos”, which means “my rest” or “my refuge” in French.
The Greek royal family used this property as a summer residence until 1967. after which they were expelled from Greece. Today, the palace has been renovated and has regained its former glory to the delight of numerous visitors from all over the world. The original furniture is long gone, but the Palatinus family offered some pieces that were passed down from generation to generation, such as portraits, dresses, etc.
Several noble births have seen the walls of this palace. The most famous happened in 1921, when the future husband of the British Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was born on the kitchen table in the palace as the fifth child of his parents. Although he was registered in the Corfu birth book, by his own admission he never felt Greek, but was closer to his Danish heritage. His first painting was made right here at Mont Repos.
Not all guests were royalty. One of them was Josip Broz, the lifelong president of Yugoslavia. He visited the estate so often that one wing of the building was given the unofficial name, Tito.
During the decades that followed, the real owner of Mon Repos was not known. The dispute between the Greek King Constantine and the Greek government was resolved by international arbitration with rich compensation.
The Greek royal family is no longer the owner of this estate and today it houses the museum of Paleopolis, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Greece. There are fourteen galleries in total.
Parts of the history of ancient Paleopolis are presented through authentic objects and visual representations.
Considering when it was built and how many hands this building passed through, the last thing I expected to find was an elevator.
However, it is there, large and suitable for all types of wheelchairs, so I did not feel deprived at any time during the visit. It’s nice when you feel welcome at all points on the globe. Someone at Mon Repos figured it out and I enjoyed it. Mon Repos is fully wheelchair accessible.
Mon Repos would not be what it is without a park. You actually have to go through the park to get to the palace.
The entire park is criss-crossed with walking paths in the shade of old and very rare trees. It is recorded that numerous distinguished guests of this estate brought rare plants as gifts.
Although all the paths are in the shade, which is a special boon when you are walking on a sunny day, I must point out that the paths are under a climb which, with a little effort, can be overcome so that, people with wheelchairs can visit this location.
Experts say that the park is even more valuable than the palace itself. Today it is quite devastated, but they are trying to bring it back to life.
Certain paths in the park lead to archaeological sites that represent the remains of the ancient city.
What you need to know:
You need 1 to 2 hours to visit, you can walk around the park in the pleasant shade of century-old trees.
Since the palace is off the beaten tourist track, bring water with you as there is nowhere to buy it.
The palace is accessible for wheelchairs and the paths in the park have a slope that can be overcome.
Entrance is free on September 27, and additional information can be found here.
I am glad I visited this overlooked gem that is overshadowed by the opulent and much better known Achilleon. Scarred, Mon Repos, besides having a nicer name, has seen much more history than its competition. If he is not suffocated with the wrong intention, I foresee a bright future for him.
I visited Mon Repos in September, which, in my opinion, is the ideal month for such endeavors because it is not so warm. If you combine a visit to Mont Repos with a visit to Mouse Island and Vlaherna, then you have a completely fulfilled day that ends with a drink and the sunset on the Kannoni, which I wrote about here.
Have you been to Mon Repos?
Did I miss something?
Traveled and enjoyed,