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A guide for visitors

T H E GREEK MUSEUMS ΥΟUR FREE COPY


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS A guide for visitors


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS Chief Editors Michalis Michael Tasos Brekoulakis Creative Director Yiannis Karlopoulos

The Sphinx of Naxos in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. Photo: Shutterstock

Greek Texts Yiannis Constantinides Design Christos Tzovaras Vanessa Ferle English Translation Myrto Athanasopoulou Copy Editor Maria Droukopoulou Photo Editor Paris Tavitian Sales Penelope Moula Yota Athanasopoulou Kostas Mantas Coordination Xenia Stasinopoulou Produced By Dyo Deka Publishing SA 22 Voulis str. ATHENS 105 61 Greece

www.lifo.gr For queries or comments email us at info@lifo.gr

ÎĽ Î&#x; U R

F R E E

C O P Y


Museum of Cycladic Art. Photo: Paris Tavitian

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T H E GREEK MUSEUMS


National Archaeological Museum. Photo: Paris Tavitian


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Acropolis Museum. Photo: Paris Tavitian


Welcome note In the unusual and difficult summer of 2020, when Covid-19 imposed new facts on our way of life, Greek museums are open and fully prepared to welcome visitors from all over the world. The successful management of the pandemic by the government made Greece one of the safest countries in the world. A country whose visitors feel that they can safely travel, enjoy the Greek summer, and the richness of Greek culture. Our museums have adapted their health protocols with great responsibility. Our first concern is safety. Safety at the archaeological sites, at museums, at monuments, safety for visitors, Greeks and foreigners, safety for employees. The museum guide of LiFO, a publication that continually supports and promotes all aspects of culture, presents in an exceptional way the wealth of Greek museums, with visual material and all the information that the visitor needs to be informed about the exhibits and their history. Greek museums are not just buildings that host exhibits. They are the houses of our memory, of our history. They are the places in which our cultural heritage communicates with today, they are the places that entertain and educate the citizens of the world. Culture, in addition to human rights and social goods, is now proven to be, according to valid statistics and studies adopted by international organizations, a key pillar of sustainable development with a crucial contribution to the European Gross Domestic Product. The high investment and full utilization of cultural capital gives high added value and multiple effects to the external economies related to culture. In a wider “economy of experiences”, culture is able to offer exactly those “experiences” that enrich and differentiate the tourism product. Because the ever-increasing international competition between tourist destinations makes the diversification, enrichment and renewal of the tourism product an insurmountable need and a necessary condition for sustainability 10  SUMMER 2020

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T H E GREEK MUSEUMS and development. Attracting and maintaining tourism flows requires the creation, continuous development and upgrading, and long-term management of particular attractions. The government and the Ministry of Culture and Sports view the culture sector as a strategic development resource. When the protection of heritage is combined with development, the necessary resources are secured for the research, the maintenance, the promotion of the cultural reserve. Culture is the strongest representative of the country internationally. The rebranding of Greece is directly related to cultural diplomacy and the strengthening of cultural tourism. That is why we are developing a wide program of modernization of the museums and their services, in order to meet the requirements of the visitor. Our biggest project is the creation of the new National Archaeological Museum. Its expansion will triple the exhibition spaces, will highlight the treasures of the most important museum of ancient Greek art in the world and will remodel an important part of downtown Athens. At the same time, we are modernizing the services, by expanding the special actions for vulnerable groups, for people with mobility problems, the expansion of e-ticketing, digital applications in cultural products, museum stores with new products and e-shops, but also new, modern cafes and restaurants in museums and archaeological sites. Museums are not just exhibition spaces. Each one offers a different experience, a journey through time, to art, to our relationship with nature, to the materials it offers us, to the imprint that humanity has left on history. The Ministry of Culture and Sports wholeheartedly supports the publication of LiFO. I hope it will reach the hands of many readers and offer the opportunity to many visitors to discover the treasures of Greek museums.

Dr Lina Mendoni Minister of Culture and Sports 11 LiFOINTRODUCTION


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS

Index ATTICA

01 National Archaeological Museum [ ] 02 Acropolis Museum [ ] 03 The Benaki Museum [ ] 04 Museum of Cycladic Art [ ] 05 Byzantine and Christian Museum [ ] 06 Athens City Museum [ ] 07 National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) [ 08 The Athens War Museum [ ] 09 Numismatic Museum of Athens [ ] 10 Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation [ ] 11 Archaeological Museum of Piraeus [ ] 12 Archaeological Museum of Vravrona [ ]

NORTHERN GREECE

]

33 Museum of the Royal Tombs at Aigai [ ] 34 Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki [ ] 35 The Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki – MOMus [ ] 36 Archaeological Museum of Argos Orestiko [ ] 37 Silk Museum [ ]

WESTERN GREECE 38 Archaeological Museum of Arta [ ] 39 Archaeological Museum of Ioannina [ ] 40 Silversmithing Museum [ ] 41 Archaeological Museum of Corfu [ ]

PELOPONNESE

42 Achilleio [

NORTHERN AEGEAN

13 Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth [ ] 14 Archaeological Museum of Mycenae [ ] 15 Archaeological Museum of the Asclepeion [ ] 16 Archaeological Museum of Nafplio [ ] 17 Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation [ ] 18 Archaeological Museum of Aigion [ ] 19 Environment Museum of Stymphalia [ ] 20 Archaeological Museum of Patras [ ] 21 Archaeological Museum of Nemea [ ] 22 Open-Air Water Power Museum [ ] 23 Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil [ ] 24 Archaeological Museum of Olympia [ ] 25 Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity [ ] 26 Archaeological Museum of Sparta [ ]

43 Archaeological Museum of Mytilene [ ] 44 Archaeological Museum of Phythagorion, Samos [ 45 Archaeological Museum of Lemnos at Myrina [ ] 46 Archaeological Museum of Vathy, Samos [ ] 47 Chios Mastic Museum [ ] 48 Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos [ ]

]

CYCLADES 49 Delos – Archaeological Site and Museum [ 50 Archaeological Museum of Paros [ ] 51 Archaeological Museum of Sifnos [ ] 52 Archaeological Museum of Syros [ ] 53 Museum of Prehistoric Thira [ ] 54 Museum of Marble Crafts [ ]

CENTRAL GREECE 27 Delphi Archaeological Museum [ ] 28 Archaeological Museum of Thebes [ ] 29 Archaeological Museum of Eretria [ ] 30 Archaeological Museum of Schimatari [ ] 31 Museum of Geological Formations of Meteora [ 32 Rooftile and Brickworks Museum N. & S. Tsalapatas [ ]

]

]

]

DODECANESE 55 Archaeological Museum of Rhodes [ 56 Palace of the Grand Masters [ ]

]

CRETE 57 Archaeological Museum of Heraklion [ ] 58 Eleutherna Archaeological Museum [ ] 59 Archaeological Museum of Rethymno [ ]   Archaelogical

  Contemporary

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  Specific topic

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Athens Piraeus Vravrona

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West side of the Agora, section Ε, on the afternoon of May 25, 1931, the first day of excavations in the section. Photo: American School of Classical Studies

I C A

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ATTICA


01→National Archaeological Museum the country’s oldest museum is considered to be one of the most important in the entire world. Its collection includes some of the most famous and popular works of Ancient Greek Art. This fact, in a way, overshadows another great truth: there is not a single exhibit in its collection that is not admirable, charming and impressive. This is no exaggeration: the museum’s permanently exhibited collection has been set up after a very rigorous screening, from a huge number of important finds that emerged during at least two centuries of excavations across the country. For this reason it is a pity that visitors only observe the highlights of the Museum and pass by what, at first glance, seems not famous enough. The museum is hosted in a really beautiful building. It was designed by Ludvig Lange, professor of architecture at the Munich Academy and creator of the Leipzig Museum. However, due to political unrest and empty state coffers, the museum was built much later and after Lange’s design was modified by Ernst Ziller. The foundation stone was laid in 1866 and it took another 23 years until its construction was completed. Small-scale “modernizing redevelopments” of a museological nature in its permanent collection never ceased. Nevertheless, its spaces have never ceased to exude a more “romantic” idea of ​​what a museum is, which would be considered somewhat more characteristic of the 19th century. At the same time, the density with which the exhibits are presented, which makes a famous one stand just a few

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The spring fresco (detail). Akrotiri, Thera, 16th cent BC. Photo: Paris Tavitian

The “Jockey” of Artemision (detail), Hellenistic period, ca. 140 BC. Photo: Paris Tavitian

centimeters next to a “completely unknown” one, creates a sense of “democratic equality” among them, still moving in our times, because it proves that the museum does not cultivate an over-aesthetic illusion, but wants to give full account of the reality of the times to which it refers and were very important, because they were the great root from which the whole of Western Civilization flourished. A visitor in a hurry, who would not have the time to carefully study the more than 11.000 exhibits, should at least not consider leaving

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NATIONAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM 44 Patision Str. (the street is officially named “October 28 Str.”), Athens 106 82 www.namuseum.gr

Opening Hours: (until October 31) Tuesday: 13:00-20:00, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 08:00-20:00

Tickets: General admission (until 31/10): €12

the museum without having seen up close: the golden burial mask of “Agamemnon” of Mycenae, the two musicians of Keros, the flying fish of the fresco from Phylakopi in Melos, all the Santorini frescoes, the Kouros of Sounio, Zeus (or Poseidon – still unclear) of Artemisio, the Grave Stele of Hegeso, the “jockey” of Artemisio, the teenager of Antikythera, the Antikythera mechanism and the marble group of Aphrodite, Pan and Eros, depicting the goddess attempting to hit Pan with her sandal.

Bronze statue of a young athlete, found in the sea off Marathon, Attica. ca. 340330 BC. Photo: Paris Tavitian

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02→The Acropolis Museum it was created with the ambition to be ranked among the best museums in the world. It took about 40 years of planning before it was finally materialized. Its construction plans were canceled, then others were made, right from the start every once in a while. Of course, it would be unfair not to emphasize that a serious reason for the delays was the excavations on the plot on which the museum was finally erected, which lasted about 13 years. They are considered the most extensive and efficient ever made in the center of Athens. These excavations also led to the choice of glass floors in various parts of what is considered to be the ground floor, in order to make their imprint visible and to symbolically confirm the continuity of construction and habitation of the Acropolis area from ancient times until today. The new Acropolis Museum is a creation of the Swiss-American architect Bernard Tschumi. This is not a building that could easily be associated with a well-known architectural style. One would rather characterize it as completely “idiosyncratic” or rather, one could say that its architecture was determined by a very basic and essential pursuit: that the Parthenon marbles it will host, if they are ever to return home, face the sun and are bathed in its light, exactly the way it would be if they were in their original location, on the temple. For this reason, the top floor, which is surrounded by glass, turns and deviates from the main axis of the building in order to obtain a complete parallel with the ancient temple at the top of the Acropolis

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East pediment. The exhibition combines original sculptures with plaster copies of those now in the British Museum © Acropolis Museum. Photo: Nikos Daniilidis

rock. Indeed visitors can see up close the frieze and the fronts or at least the pieces of these parts of the ancient temple that remained in Greece along with plaster replicas of those in the British Museum and elsewhere. This way they see this breathtaking sculptural complex in the exact same natural shadows that would exist if its parts had never been removed from their place on the ancient monument. However, there are also inventive architectural solutions in the rest of the museum that serve important museological functions.

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ACROPOLIS MUSEUM 15 Dionysiou Areopagitou Str., Athens 11742 / Tel.: +30 210 9000 900 e-mail: info@theacropolismuseum.gr www.theacropolismuseum.gr/en

Opening Hours: Until October 31: Monday: 8:00-16:00, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: 8:00-20:00, Friday: 8:00-22:00 (last entrance 30 minutes before closing time) / Annual Holidays: January 1st, May 1, Easter Sunday & Monday, December 25 & 26 /

Tickets: Full price: €5. Reduced price: €3 / Free admission: May 18 – International Museum Day, March 25, October 28 / Infrastructure for persons with disabilities.

For example, the floor acquires an upward slope as a reference to the slopes of the sacred rock and the ritual process of ascent to the Parthenon that was followed in ancient times by the Athenians. Also extremely interesting is the idea of a ​​ “forest of votive offerings”, which consists of statues that the faithful offered to the goddess as a sign of gratitude because she listened and fulfilled some of their wishes. These were excavated at the site of the Acropolis and are presented in an irregular manner, just as one would see them in their time, placed almost randomly on the sacred rock. Furthermore, the Caryatids are the superstars of the museum. They are standing in a prominent position where visitors can see them up close and effortlessly express their admiration.

One of the largest and best preserved Korai, with sophisticated hairstyle and elaborately folded attire. Around 520 BC (Acr. 682) © Acropolis Museum. Photo: Socratis Mavrommatis

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03→The Benaki Museum one of the most important and active cultural organizations in Greece. To be precise, after a series of great legacies it has received over the last twenty years, it is now a “system of museums”, if such a description can be used for the 5 main exhibition / museum spaces it owns: the original Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, the Ghika Gallery, the Museum of Islamic Art, The Studio of sculptor (and painter) Yannis Pappas, and the always considered "new" Benaki Museum – an impressive modern building on Piraeus Str., hosting important periodic exhibitions. But the list doesn’t end here, because the museum also has: a Toy Museum, a Fiber Manufactory, the Delta House, hosting the incomparable Historical Archives of the museum, the Patrick & Joan Leigh Fermor house in Mani, and a respectable number of archives of great artists. The Benaki Museum was founded in 1931 by a prominent member of the Greek community in Alexandria, Egypt, Antonis Benakis, who was an important collector of ancient Greek and Islamic art. Continuing the tradition of the great benefactors of the 19th century, he bequeathed his collection to the nation, together with his family home, at 1 Koumbari Street, in Kolonaki, as well as the art collections that it contained. It is important to note that his sisters agreed to all of this. One could say that with the continuous enrichment of his collection, Antonis Benakis sought to create the Greek equivalent of the “Victoria & Albert Museum” and indeed his collection

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Exhibition view at the museum.

Embroidered detail from a dress. Crete, 17th-18th century.

reached about 500,000 objects of impressive beauty of all kinds. An incredible universe of diverse exhibits that all share a very important feature: they are objects with character. They thus create a magnificent panorama of art in Greece, in the Mediterranean basin and in Europe, from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Visitors stand ecstatic both in front of the beautifully decorated wooden interiors of traditional houses from NW Greece that are hosted in the museum intact, as well as in front of the microcosm of dazzling jewelry from all eras. And of course they will discover a very charming collection of traditional costumes. The museum cafe on Koumbari Street has a privileged view from above to the National Garden and the buildings of the Presidential Guard. This view –without exaggeration– more than anywhere else in Athens conveys an image of the city and the mildness that characterized it in the 19th century, that is when it had just assumed its role as the capital of the country and still had the disposition of an ingénue. The shop of the museum, in addition to reproductions of exhibits from its collection, hosts the best modern jewelry designers, ceramists of the country.

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→ MUSEUM OF GREEK CULTURE – 1 Koumbari Str. & Vas. Sofias, Athens 106 74 / Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 10:0018:00, Thursday: 10:00-00:00, Sunday: 10:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday. → 138 PIRAEUS STR. - 138 Piraeus Str. & Andronikou, Athens 118 54 – Closed to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic, until September 2020. → MUSEUM OF ISLAMIC ART – 22 Ag. Asomaton & 12 Dipylou, Athens 105 53 / Opening hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10:00-18:00, Closed: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. → THE GHIKA GALLERY – 3 Kriezotou Str., Athens 106 71 / Opening Hours: Friday, Saturday: 10:00-18:00 / Periodic Exhibition: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00-18:00, Closed: Sunday, Monday to Thursday and in August. → THE YANNIS PAPPAS STUDIO - 38 Anakreontos Str., Zografou 157 72 / Opening Hours: Thursday, Friday, Sunday: 10:00-14:00, Closed: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and in August. → NEMA – 6 Polyfimou Str., Athens 118 54 / Opening Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00-15:00, Closed: Sunday and Monday. → TOY MUSEUM – 14 Poseidonos Ave. & 1 Tritonos Str., Palaio Faliro 175 61 / Opening Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 10:00-18:00, Closed: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and in August. → PATRICK ΚΑΙ JOAN LEIGH FERMOR HOUSE – During the summer months, visits every Monday at 11:00. Reservations required at Leighfermorhouse@benaki.gr. All museum spaces and buildings observe the following annual holidays: January 1 & 6, Clean Monday, March 25, Easter Sunday and Monday, May 1st, Holly Spirit Monday, August 15, October 28, December 25 & 26

ATTICA


04→Museum of Cycladic Art it was founded in 1986 to house the collection of Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris who, starting in 1962, collected a “marble treasure” of Cycladic figurines and other antiquities handed down to us by the culture of the Aegean Sea, from the deepest prehistoric centuries until the end of the Roman era. It is a museum of human dimensions which creates an evocative presentation of the exhibits on each of its exhibition floors, so that visitors can feel at once and to the fullest the awe caused by the purity, simplicity and perfection of the Cycladic marble figurines’ forms. The main building of the museum was erected in 1985, in Kolonaki, the most elegant area in the center of ​​Athens. In 1991, the Stathatos Mansion, a beautiful neighboring large neoclassical house, designed in 1895 by the architect Ernst Ziller, was added to the museum. The two buildings were connected by a closed external corridor. The Stathatos Mansion is used for periodic exhibitions. The permanent collection of the museum is exhibited in the main building. On its first floor there are about 350 objects

In the center: Basket-shaped vase, Early Cypriot. 2500 BC - 2300 BC. Photo: Paris Tavitian

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MUSEUM OF CYCLADIC ART 4 Neofytou Douka Str., Athens / Tel.: +302107228321-3) / cycladic.gr / e-mail: museum@cycladic.gr

Opening Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10:00-17:00, Sunday: 11:00-17:00 – Closed: Tuesday / Tours of the permanent collections’ highlights every Monday, Wednesday and Friday / Last entrance allowed: 15 minutes before the closing time of the museum. Annual Holidays: December 25 & 26, January 1st, Clean Monday, March 25,

Easter Sunday & Monday, May 1st, Holy Spirit Monday, August 15. Tickets – General Admission: €7 / Monday admission and reduced entrance fee for persons over 65, persons 19-26 years old and students: €3,5 / Group tickets (groups of 15 or more): €5/person

from the 3rd millennium BC and of course the older marble figurines. On the second floor of the building there are objects from the Bronze Age, that is from the 2nd millennium BC, until the late Roman period, in the 4th century AD. The fourth floor houses the collection of antiquities of Karolos and Rita Politis, which they donated to the N.P. Goulandris Foundation in 1989. Among its acquisitions, the metal helmets of ancient warriors are particularly impressive. The Museum of Cycladic Art has a very fine shop with souvenirs and replicas of exhibits, with a great variety and the highest quality materials.

Head of figurine of the Spedos variety, Early Cycladic II - Syros Phase 2800 BC - 2300 BC. Photo: Paris Tavitian

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05→Byzantine and Christian Museum a museum founded in 1914 with the ambition to become the “essential national museum of Greece” and a “model” for the museums of the East. Besides, Byzantine art, which is so closely connected to the Hellenized eastern side of the Mediterranean basin, seemed -and still seemsmuch more intertwined with the living tradition of Greece than ancient art. In 1930 the museum received its current main location: Villa Ilissia, which was built in 1848, with designs by the great architect of the time Stamatis Cleanthis. It was the residence of the famous Duchess of Placentia, from France, who settled in Athens so that her daughter’s fragile health could benefit from the mild climate, and also for her own leisure. The building, whose style is reminiscent of renaissance villas, is beautiful and conveys a sense of peace to the visitor. The particularly spacious galleries of the Museum host m o r e t h a n 3 ,0 0 0 e x h i b i t s , which, in addition to important portable icons of high historical and aesthetic value, include ceramics, handicrafts, but also larger exhibits such as mosaics, architectural parts of temples, sculptures, etc. The exhibition spaces give the impression that

The beautiful courtyard of the Byzantine and Christian Museum

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BYZANTINE AND CHRISTIAN MUSEUM 22 Vas. Sofias Ave, 106 75, Athens / Calling center-Information: 213 213 9517 / www.byzantinemuseum.gr

Opening hours: Monday: 08:00-20:00, Tuesday: 13:00-20:00, Wednesday-Sunday: 8:00-20:00 / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, Good Friday (open 12:00-17:00), Easter Sunday, May 1st, December 25 & 26 /

Tickets: Full price: €8, Reduced: €4, Special Ticket Package: €15, Free admission for children and youths under 25 / Visitors are required to leave museum galleries 20 minutes before closing time for security reasons / All visitors are required to wear a mask, in all museum indoors spaces / Maximum number of visitors in the exhibition spaces is 15 persons every 20 minutes and 8 persons every 20 minutes for the Mansion of the Duchess of Placentia.

SHUTTERSTºCK

Dome with Christ Pantokrator, prophets, angels and the Theotokos, Chapel of Saint Nicholas of Spilia Pendeli, Attica, 1233/1234

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they do not have enough light, but in reality their lighting reproduces the feeling of light in the “natural environment” of these objects, that is in the Byzantine churches. The gardens of the museum are an attraction in themselves and a real oasis in the center of Athens. In various places, clear water flows in artificial streams, enhancing the feeling that one is in the stillness of a heavenly environment. One can visit them regardless of whether they visit the Museum. The same goes for the museum coffee shop located in the gardens.

ATTICA


06→Athens City Museum

it could also be called “museum of creating the right atmosphere to discover pure dilettantism”. This is because, while it is a museum dedicated to the evolution of Athens in modern times and it achieves this goal, it simultaneously hosts so many diverse objects, which all together mainly highlight the enthusiasm of the art lover who collected them: Lambros Eftaxias, a nobleman and

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Jacques Carrey, The visit of Charles-Marie-François Olier, Marquis de Nointel in Athens, 1674. Oil on canvas (2,60 m. x 5,20 m.)

elected member of parliament for 35 years, starting in 1932. In other words, he was a politician, according to family tradition, who devoted himself to what he loved most: aesthetics. The museum occupies two neighboring buildings, the oldest of which, at No. 7, is of early neoclassical style and hosted for 7 years (1836-1843, as long as it took to build the palace where they

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


ATHENS CITY MUSEUM – VOUROSEUTAXIAS FOUNDATION 5-7 I. Paparigopoulou Str., Athens 105 61Ι. / Tel.: +302103231387 / info@athenscitymuseum.gr / athenscitymuseum.gr /

Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 09:00- 16:00, Saturday & Sunday: 10:00-15:00 – Closed: Tuesday

Konstantinos Parthenis, Annunciation, 1910

would live) the first royal couple of the newly formed Greek State. For this reason, one floor of the museum is dedicated to their memory. Here visitors can admire furniture and other domestic items that belonged to them. The rest of the furniture collection is also impressive, as the exhibited items reflect the decoration preferences of the wealthy upper-middle class in 19th century Athens.

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Also very interesting are the paintings and engravings that adorn the walls of the museum, depicting aspects of Athens from the establishment of the Greek State onwards. Among them, dominates a large painting of the 17th century by the French artist Jacques Carrey. It depicts an aristocratic traveler with the Parthenon in the background, appearing in its entirety, that is before it was destroyed by the explosion of the Turkish powder keg housed in it, caused by the deliberate bombardment of the temple by Venetian Doge Francesco Morosini in 1687, during the siege of Athens. The newest building, at No. 5 of the same street, was built in 1859 and is connected with the older one through a closed bridge that was built for this purpose in view of the two building’s conversion into a museum.

ATTICA


07→National Museum of Contemporary Art Athens  [EMST]

SPIROS REKOUNAS

this is the newest museum in athens. In fact, it operates without having been officially inaugurated at its permanent location – due to the unexpected circumstances brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. It is housed in an old brewery designed by the architect Takis Zenetos, which is a brilliant example of the second, post-war bloom of Modernism in Greece, from the late ’50s and for about 20 years. Zenetos’ original building has been radically renovated to serve its new function as a museum. The large elongated building, however, that seems to “float” lightly between two main avenues, retains its charm. The EMST aspires to shine on the world map of contemporary art very soon. Its collection hosts more than 1.400 works by Greek and foreign artists. These include works by Bill Viola, Shirin Neshat, Nan Goldin, Spencer Tunick, Ilya Kabakov, Kimsooja, Lucas Samaras, Stephen Antonakos, Kutlug Ataman, among others. Among the Greek artists, the best known to the international general public are two great representatives of arte povera, Jannis Kounellis and Vlassis Kaniaris. Among the 172 works that make up the permanent exhibition of the

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EMST Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi Str. (former FIX factory), Athens 117 43 Tel.: +302111019000 www.emst.gr

Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 11:00-19:00, Thursday: 11:00-22:00 – Closed: Monday. Access for persons with reduced mobility is from the Syngrou Avenue entrance. The museum is 280m from the “Syngrou-FIX” metro station (line 2) and 300m from the tram “FIX” station.

Official annual holidays: January 1 & 6, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, August 15, October 28, December 25 & 26

Museum’s collection, foreign visitors have the opportunity to appreciate very important Greek artists of the post-war period, such as: Nikos Kessanlis, Bia Davou, Chryssa, George Lappas, Chronis Botsoglou, Pavlos, Daniil, Michalis Katzourakis, younger artists Nikos Navridis and Alexandros Psychoulis, as well as many others who are being wronged here, as they are not mentioned by name, but whose key work is very easy for the visitor to discover on the spot.

Jannis Kounellis, Untitled, 2004. Photo: Paris Tavitian

Makis Faros, Suspect device, 2007. Photo: Agata Rucinska

Yorgos Gyparakis, Nocturnal Landscape, 1998. Photo: Agata Rucinska

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08→The Athens War Museum the museum is housed in a beautiful and imposing large building, designed in 1972. The architectural consultant of its study team was Thucydides Valentis, one of the most ardent Greek supporters of the principles of Modernism and International Style. While the charm of the building stems from the clean and simple forms of its architecture, in the courtyard there is a rather exuberant collection of the most unexpected things one may find in the center of a big city: warplanes and tanks. The courtyard exhibits just came back from a maintenance and painting workshop six months ago and, because they look so fancy again, they have caused a 40% increase in visitors, according to data triumphantly provided by the museum. Nevertheless, the War Museum is a place of rare and old-fashioned seriousness. One would say that visitors not only look at museum exhibits, but they simultaneously embark on a journey to an era of different morals. Of course, visitors can find all kinds of weapons displayed, from prehistoric axes to the advanced technology of today. It is estimated that the museum has in its collection about 25,000 items of this type, that is, weapons, uniforms, flags, medals, ammunition and everything else related to war history or considered a relic of war. Its photographic archive of 70,000 items is equally

Samurai Uniform, Japan, 14th century

rich, and so is its archive of correspondence and diaries of soldiers and officers. In addition, it has an archive of 500 film recordings of historical events. Its collection of maps and engravings is also considered remarkable. Among the most interesting exhibits of the museum are the battle plans of Alexander the Great, the Saroglou Collection which includes swords, medieval armor, duel pistols, katana swords, which have always been considered the soul of the samurai, and other similar items. The section of exhibits related to the Greek Expeditionary Force in the Korean War in 1950 and 1953 is of particular interest. The War Museum has branches in other Greek cities that are considered important to the military history of the country (Thessaloniki, Chania, Tripoli, Nafplio).

WAR MUSEUM – 2 Rizari Str., Athens 10675 (near “Evangelismos” metro station) / Tel.: +302107252974-5-6 / warmuseum.gr / e-mail: info@warmuseum.gr / Summer Opening Hours: April – October: 10:00-17:00 / Tickets: €6, reduced tickets for persons over 65 years old and students from EU countries €3, free admission for the registered unemployed, children and teenagers up to 18 years old, students / Closed: New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Good Saturday, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, May 1st, Christmas Day and the day after Christmas / For the best possible service to groups and for free group tours it is necessary to contact the museum in advance on the following number: 2107239692 / All museum spaces are accessible to persons with physical disabilities.

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09→Numismatic Museum of Athens the museum is housed in one of the most beautiful surviving 19th century buildings in Athens, which was designed by German architect Ernst Ziller as the majestic residence of the great archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. The building is named “Iliou Melathron”, which means “Palace of Troy”. It is an ideal environment for anyone who wishes to enter the vast microcosm of coins, even if they are not at all inspired by coins. The National Numismatic Collection of Greece, housed in the museum, was created in 1829, almost immediately after the establishment of the Greek state. It has since grown and today includes about 500,000 coins and similar items, dating from the 14th century BC and reaching to the present day. Of course, it keeps being enriched, mainly by a large number of donations received every year. In addition to Greek coins, which make up its main body, the collection also includes coins from other countries. As they make their way through the exhibition, visitors gradually discover special thematic units for the drachma, which was the oldest European currency, for medals, as well as for the complex connection of money with society. In addition, the museum has a very nice cafe in its elegant and peaceful garden, as well as a shop

Τhe museum's lavish interior. Photo: Paris Tavitian

where important publications on coins and their collection, and replicas of rare exhibits of the museum are available.

NUMISMATIC MUSEUM – 12 El. Venizelou (Panepistimiou) Str., Athens 10671/ Tel.: +302103612519 / www.nummus.gr / e-mail: nm@culture.gr / Opening hours (summer): Wednesday-Monday: 09:00-16:00 / Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: Full: €6. Reduced for persons over 65: €3. Free admission for the unemployed, youths under 25 from all EU countries, students / The Numismatic Museum is part of the special ticket package for 4 public museums: The Byzantine and Christian Museum, the National Archaeological Museum, the Epigraphic Museum, the Numismatic Museum - €15 / Free admission days: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri / April 18 – International Monuments Day / May 18 - International Museums Day / The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days) / October 28 / Every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st. / Annual holidays: January 1st / March 25 / May 1st / Easter Sunday / December 25 & 26. The arrival of visitors is allowed up to twenty (20) minutes before the end of the museum’s opening hours. There is an elevator for people with mobility issues, for access to the 2nd floor.

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10→Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation not even a year has passed since its inauguration and yet its fame has spread worldwide. It houses one of the most important private art collections created in the second half of the 20th century. The two collectors personally dealt with the collection’s establishment, aiming from the beginning to create a museum where it would be exhibited. This also explains how all their choices have this vague and fluid quality that makes them “museum quality”. We could describe them as works of art with “star quality”, if one is allowed to use this pop-culture term for wonderful samples of high art. The collection covers a period of mainly European painting extending from 1880 to 1980. But it also includes some exceptions, like El Greco’s “The veil of Saint Veronica”, created circa 1580. So works by Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Gaugin, Rodin and Degas “co-star” alongside works by Picasso, Bacon, Giacometti and other artists of similar class, which make you think you are in a treasury. Together, next to each other, they are breathtaking. And as is often the case, as soon as visitors overcome the pleasant shock caused by this rich stimulus, they begin to focus on equally important works that seem less representative of their creators, such as Pierre Bonnard’s mysterious composition titled “La sortie de la baignoire” (“Getting out of the bath”), or the serenity that engulfs you in the expression of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s “Femme dans le jardin du monsieur Forest” (“Woman in monsieur Forest's garden”). The upper floors of the museum host paintings by Greek artists of

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Joan Miró, The Grasshopper, 1926. Oil on canvas© Successió Miró / Adagp, Paris, 2019 / OSDEETE Athens 2019. Photo: Christophoros Doulgeris

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


BASIL & ELISE GOULANDRIS FOUNDATION – 13 Eratosthenous Str., 116 35 Athens / goulandris.gr /

Opening hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00-18:00, Friday 10:00-22:00, Closed: Monday / Tickets: General admission €8 / Reduced ticket €6 (adults over 65 years old, children and teenagers aged 12-17 years old, students, registered unemployed, soldiers) / Free admission for members of the B&E Goulandris

Foundation, children up to 12 years old, persons with disabilities and their attendant, teachers accompanying schools, ICOM – ICOMOS card holders, qualified tour guides, journalists.

the period after the Second World War, which offer visitors a good overview of local contemporary painting. The portrait of the collectors Basil and Elise Goulandris painted by the Greek artist George Rorris is worth a special mention. Also on display is part of the Goulandris couple’s collection of jade objects, porcelain and 18th-century furniture.

Edgar Degas, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, c. 1878-1881 Bronze with brown patina, tulle skirt and satin ribbon on wooden base. Photo: Christophoros Doulgeris

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11→Archaeological Museum of Piraeus the collection of the museum started thanks to a collector and lover of antiquities named Ioannis Meletopoulos, who excavated antiquities from his house garden, because it was so close to the site of the northern cemetery of ancient Piraeus. Later on, the collection of the museum was enriched with findings from systematic excavations in Piraeus and throughout the coastal zone up to Varkiza, as well as by collectors’ donations. Findings from the islands of the Saronic Gulf and Kythira −which are now administratively part of Piraeus− were also added. It is a rather small museum, which is overlooked because it is in the shadow of the great Athenian museums. However, it is the only Greek museum that presents such a density of impressive and well-preserved exhibits with corresponding scientific value. Its exhibits cover a vast chronological range, but most are from the classical period (5th & 4th century BC). They offer a complete picture of the ancient course of Piraeus, which in antiquity was as important a port as it is today. A significant peculiarity of the visit to the museum is that visitors must start their tour from the upper floor and complete it on the ground floor. The collection is divided into thematic sections. Piraeus as a naval base and a commercial center is the object of one of them. Its most impressive exhibits are related to the most famous type of ancient ship: the trireme. These include a rare bronze piston used in attacks on other ships, a marble “ophthalmos” −the characteristic eye that adorned the bow of the ship−, and a stone anchor. Of great

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Bronze statue of Athena, Classical Period, Piraeus © Archaeological Museum of Piraeus

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF PIRAEUS 31 Harilaou Trikoupi Str., Piraeus 185 36 / Tel.: +302104521598 / e-mail: efapn@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-16:00. Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: General admission €4, Reduced €2 / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage

Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

interest are also the findings from the so-called “musician’s tomb”, found in Daphne, which are the musical instruments he used for his compositions, as well as plates on which he wrote his songs. However, the superstars of the museum are the four bronze statues found near the port of Piraeus in 1959. During the excavation it was understood that they were “hidden” in the place where they were found, along with a bronze theatrical mask, in order to be protected from an enemy invasion at the beginning of the 1st century BC. The most impressive of these is that of Apollo. Two others depict Artemis and one Athena. Finally, two findings from the area of ​​Moschato, very close to Piraeus, are of great interest. These are the famous colossal funerary lion from Moschato and part of a small temple, which has been reconstructed and in the center of which stands the statue of the goddess Cybele.

Bronze statue of Artemis, Classical Period, Piraeus © Archaeological Museum of Piraeus

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12→Archaeological Museum of Vravrona it is located about 200 meters from the archaeological site of the Temple of Artemis Brauronia, which was one of the most important temples of the goddess throughout antiquity. Artemis was a rather enigmatic and mostly dark and contradictory deity. However, her worship was widespread, culminating in Hellenistic and Roman times, when it acquired even greater importance in the motley pantheon that was forming at the time. In relation to the contradictions that characterize the goddess, it should be noted that in the famous myth of Iphigenia, Artemis demands Iphigenia as a sacrifice from the Greeks in order to release the winds so their ships can sail to Troy, but also at the very last moment she saves Iphigenia from slaughter and transports her to Tauris. There, the stunned royal child is introduced to the cult mysteries of Artemis and becomes her priestess. When Iphigenia was repatriated, it is believed that she sailed to Vravrona, where she immediately founded the Temple of Artemis, of which she became a high priestess and where she would be worshiped as a secondary deity. The Archaeological Museum of Vravrona was founded in 1962 and contains findings that come mainly from the excavations of the Temple. The reliefs offered to the goddess by the faithful are extremely interesting and a beautiful and small one, depicting the seizure of the weapons of Philoctetes, stands out among them. A relief depicting a procession of children during the most im-

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF VRAVRONA Markopoulo Mesogaias, Vravrona / Tel.: +302299027020 / e-mail: efaanat@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

Tickets: General Admission: €6. Reduced €3 / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st

portant ritual related to the worship of the goddess is also exceptional. Among her many other divine responsibilities, Artemis was also the protector of childbirth and children. In fact, in the Temple of Vravrona she was worshiped primarily for this quality. The children who took part in the procession were called “arktoi”, that is little bears. According to ancient tradition, they later dedicated their toys to the goddess as a gesture symbolizing that they had left their childhood behind. For these reasons, many of the museum’s exhibits are sculptures that depict boys and girls, as well as many ancient toys, including beautiful clay dolls called “plaggones”, fish vertebrae that served as toys, clay and glass marbles, dice and more. Among the other exhibits that also come from votive offerings pyxides have a special place, i.e. wooden or stone boxes that were used for the storage of cosmetics and jewelry offered to the goddess. For example, the inscribed bronze mirror of Ippyla is particularly impressive.

Statues of children, "Arktoi", at the Museum of Vravrona. Photo: Paris Tavitian

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Corinth Nemea Epidaurus Mycenae Nafplio Aigion Stymphalia Patras Sparta Olympia

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Temple of Apollo, Ancient Corinth, group of three on epistyle. 1901. Photo: American School of Classical Studies

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13→Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth it was built in 1932 by the american school of classical studies in greece, with a donation from Ada Small Moore, a great American collector of antiquities and works of art who had a special interest in Persian and Greek archaeology. To honor her, the city of Corinth declared her an honorary citizen and the state awarded her the Golden Cross of the Order of the Redeemer. The museum building was designed with the architectural standards of the “Chicago School” and is organized around two interior patios that resemble an ancient mansion. Its collection covers the history of ancient Corinth from the archaic period to Roman times. The exhibits from the workshops of Corinth show visitors the commitment of the ancient city to artistic and technical excellence. Especially in the 7th and 6th centuries BC, Corinth was a well-respected artistic center, the fame of which resonated throughout the Mediterranean, with great exports and the resulting wealth. Among other special exhibits, the clay offerings of the faithful to the important local Asclepeion in the form of human parts, in more or less natural size (4th and 3rd century BC), as well as the mosaics of local Roman villas stand out. In the galleries around the atriums,

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF ANCIENT CORINTH Ancient Corinth 20007 / www.corinth-museum.gr / Tel.: +302741031207 / e-mail: efakor@culture.gr

Mosaic floor (detail) from a Roman villa, decorated with a medal, bearing the head of the god Dionysos, 2nd c. AD

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Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00 (from October 1 until October 15: 08:0019:00, from October 16 until October 31: 08:00-18:00)

The Temple of Apollo at Corinth is one of the earliest Doric temples in the Peloponnese and the Greek mainland. Built around 560 B.C.E., of local oolithic limestone on top of an imposing, rocky hill to the north of Acrocorinth, the Archaic temple was an emblem for the Greek city of Corinth, reflecting its growth and prosperity. Photo: Paris Tavitian

Tickets: Full price: €8, Reduced: €4. There is one single ticket for the museum and the archaeological site.

visitors discover exhibits related to the important Jewish community the city had in the Roman period. The stars of the museum are the Kouroi of Klenia who were discovered only a decade ago, after the arrest of antiquity smugglers who meant to sell them. They were created at the end of the 6th century BC from Paros marble and were found in an ancient cemetery in Klenia, near their sarcophagi. The fact that in ancient times they stood in their place as a group of statues is a unique case for the archaic period in Greece.

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14→Archaeological Museum of Mycenae inaugurated in 2003, it is located inside the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Mycenae, at the foot of its hill. Its location, its architectural scale and its layout are crucial, because they help the visitor −perhaps as much as the collection of exhibits− to understand the “natural dimensions” of the grandeur of the ancient city and its palaces. The magnificent large windows of the museum overlook the landscape, where carefree goats swiftly and gracefully run up and down the slopes of the mountains and convince visitors that what they are looking at must not be too different than what Mycenaeans looked at millennia ago. Moreover, being inside the museum, visitors realize the scale of the ancient palaces of the “golden city” much better than when they are inside them, as there are no ceilings and masonry left. Only 1/4 of the museum’s surface is available fo r t h e p r e s e n t at i o n o f i t s permanent exhibits. The rest of its spaces are used for the storage of the collection of finds, which includes about 30,000 objects. Of these, 2,500 are exhibited, covering a period from the Bronze Age, during the 3rd millennium BC, to the Hellenistic period, at the end of the 2nd century BC. All exhibits come from the archaeological site of Mycenae and are divided into sections related to daily life in Mycenae, burial customs, the city in historical times and the activities of the Mycenaeans that made the Mycenaean civilization so unique.

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Opening Hours: Until August 31: 08:0020:00 (September 1-15: 08:00-19:30, September 16-30: 08:00-19:00, October 1-15 08:00-18:30, October 16-30: 08:0018:00

Tickets: Full price: €12, Reduced: €6 (the ticket is valid for the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Mycenae, the museum and the “Treasury of Atreus”)

ALAMY

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF MYCENAE Mycenae 21200 / Tel.: +302751076585, +302751076802 / e-mail: efaarg@culture.gr

The Tomb of Agamemnon

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15→Archaeological Museum of the Asclepeion at Epidaurus

l o c at e d i n s i d e t h e archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asclepius in Epidaurus, it is built between the temple of the god and the ancient theater. It is a small museum, which owes its charm to its age (it was founded in 1897 and its construction was completed in 1909) and to the characteristic density of the exhibits, which also bears signs of the time when its gates opened. An important peculiarity is that it hosts many architectural parts of the buildings that constituted the complex of the Asclepeion. More specifically, these pieces come from: the Propylaea, the temple of the god and the temple of Artemis and the Tholos (Dome) of Epidaurus, which was associated with the esoteric cult of Asclepius, was built at the end of the 4th century BC and is recognized as the most perfect circular edifice of ancient Greek architecture. Α Corinthian order capital of impressive finesse and beauty exhibited in the museum is considered to have been part of the inner colonnade of the Dome. It is probably a copy of a model used by Polycleitus the Younger. The collection of medical tools and small objects is also interesting. Furthermore, those who have a knowledge of ancient Greek can read a variety of exhibited inscriptions, among which they will find patients’ narratives of healing and hymns to the god for his healing powers.

Exhibition view at the museum

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Opening Hours: Until August 31: 08:0020:00 (September 1-15: 08:00-19:30, September 16-30: 08:00-19:00, October 1-15: 08:00-18:30, October 16-30: 08:00-18:00)

Tickets: Full price: €12, Reduced: €6 (the ticket is valid for entrance to the museum and the archaeological site)

SHUTTERSTOCK

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF THE ASKLEPEION AT EPIDAURUS Archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, Lygourio 21052 / Tel.: +30.2753022009 /

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SHUTTERSTOCK

16→Archaeological Museum of Nafplio

it is located in the renowned syntagma square in nafpio and housed in a building built by the Venetians in 1713. It is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved buildings of the Venetian Occupation era and it was decided to turn it into a museum when the Swedish Archaeological Institute donated to Greece the findings of its excavations in Asine and Dendra. For this reason the 2nd floor room of the museum has been named “Swedish Hall”. The Archaeological Museum of Nafplio is a museum of Argolida, therefore its exhibits come from all parts of the prefecture, except the 4 that have their own museum: Mycenae, Argos, Lerna and Epidaurus.

Τhe Archaeological Museum of Nafplio

The museum's collection includes finds from the depths o f p r e h i s t o r y, s u c h a s t h e Paleolithic finds of Prosymna (32,000-21,000 BC) and those of the Franchthi cave in Ermionida (6th millennium BC). A total of about 2,000 objects is exhibited, through which the entire period until late antiquity is represented. An impressive acquisition of the museum is the bronze Dendra panoply, an exceptionally well-preserved warrior full-body armor, which was found in a warrior’s tomb, along with his weaponry, bronze utensils and clay vessels.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF NAFPLIO – Plateia Syntagmatos, Nafplio 21 100 / Tel.: +30 2752027502 / e-mail: efaarg@ culture.gr / Opening Hours: (until the end of October) Daily: 09:00-16:00, Closed: every Tuesday. / Tickets: Full price: €6, Reduced: €3. / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (EU Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st until March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26

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17→Peloponnesian Folklore Foundation it was founded in 1974 by theater costume and set designer Ioanna Papantoniou. Its purpose is to study, to record, to reserve, but also to promote contemporary Greek culture. It is dedicated to the memory of her father, Vassilios Papantoniou, and is housed in his residence, which was modified into a museum in 1981. Very soon after its establishment, the museum began to be distinguished and awarded for its activities, but also to focus on additional research and collecting fields, such as modern fashion, everything related to childhood, as well as the connection of culture with education. Its collections, which began with the donation of 6,000 items from the personal collection of its founder, have now reached more than 45,000 items, the main volume of which is still related to the ethnographic purpose of the museum. In the museum, visitors usually stand ecstatic in front of the Greek costumes, because each one of the chosen exhibits is so elaborate, so rich and ultimately so amazing, it feels as if it exceeds reality and enters the sphere of dreams and fairy tales, enchanting the viewer. Apart from this great power of the exhibits themselves, the context of their presentation is also evocative, because most of the costumes stand integrated in an environment shaped as the interior of a home, with furniture and other elements, whose atmosphere

Exhibition view at the museum

seems so warm and true that it eliminates the chronological distance between today and the time when these garments were worn in everyday life. In a way, this element makes the exhibits come alive and seem familiar, as if they go through the eras untouched by time. It is as if elegance, no matter how vague and malleable a quality, comes from the spectrum of incorruptibility and stability of values.

PELOPONNESIAN FOLKLORE FOUNDATION “VASILEIOS PAPANTONIOU” - 1 Vas. Alexandrou and Sofroni Strs, Nafplio 21 100 / Tel.: +302752028379, +302752028947 / www.pli.gr / e-mail: pff@otenet.gr / Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-14:30, Sunday: 09:30-15:00. / Annual Holidays: January 1 & 6, February 1st, Easter, May 1st, December 25 / Tickets: General admission: €5, Reduced €3 (for children under 12 years old and adults over 65 years old, students. Free admission for: ICOM card holders, supporters of the Vasileios Papantoniou Foundation, persons with disabilities, qualified tour guide, registered unemployed / Tours (for groups of at least 15 persons) €7/person

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18→Archaeological Museum of Aigion it is housed in a wonderful, perfectly restored neoclassical building. The building is considered to be the work of Ernst Ziller and was built in 1890 as the city’s central Municipal Market. It has a very nice inner patio, around which the shops of the market operated and today it is used as an open sculpture gallery. The collection of the museum includes findings from the whole area of Aigialeia, ​​ that is from the city of Aigio itself, from Aigeira, Kyrenia, Rypes, as well as from smaller ancient settlements that have not been identified as specific cities. The chronological range recorded by the collection covers the period from the Neolithic era (6th millennium BC) until late antiquity. However, the period during which Aigialeia experienced its greatest prosperity was the Hellenistic one, starting from 280 BC, when the Achaean League or Achaean Confederacy was established − a federation of the cities of the region, which started from Dymi and Patras and was then joined by most of the neighboring cities.

Marble statue of Zeus or young man with aigida (Aigiochos) of the first century AD

The collection of the museum includes very interesting exhibits of the Hellenistic period, which are mainly pottery and jewelry, as well as a 1st century BC statue of impressive size thought to be depicting Zeus or simply a young man wearing an aegis (a robe made of goat skin which served as a shield), which is why the sculpture is called Aegiochos.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF AIGION – 3 Ag. Andreou & Michalakopoulou Str, Aigio 25100 / Tel.: +302691021517 / e-mail: efaacha@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily: 08:30-15:30, Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: Full price: €4, Reduced €2. / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st until March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26

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19→Environment Museum of Stymphalia

the impressive environment museum of stymphalia is located on a wooded hillside looking over Lake Stymphalia in mountainous Corinthia. In full harmony with the broader environment of the lake, it connects man with nature, the landscape and its history, focusing on their harmonious co-existence. The biotope (natural reserve), the ruins of the ancient city and the traditional occupations that people of the region practised prove that man could live in harmony with the environment here. The aim of the Environment Museum of Stymphalia is to raise the public’s environmental awareness

Exhibition view at the museum

and preserve our knowledge of the region’s traditional technology. Turning to account the linear layout of the exhibition grounds and the unobstructed view towards the lake, visitors feel intimately connected with the natural environment of the site. An impressive exhibit for all visitors is the open aquarium within the museum, which depicts the lake in cross-section form, complete with the fishes and plants of the area; it is the only such aquarium in Greece. Lake Stymphalia is part of the NATURA2000 European Nature Protection Areas Network.

ENVIRONMENT MUSEUM OF STYMPHALIA - 16 Stymphalia Korinthias / Tel.: 27470 22296 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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20→Archaeological Museum of Patras located at the entrance of the city, the building in which it is housed is only 11 years old and its architecture exudes a calm dynamism. At first glance the visitor captures what makes it majestic. At the same time, it feels accessible and visitors sense that all this will gently mutate into intimacy. The collection of the museum consists of findings dating from the 4th millennium BC until the 4th century AD which come from Patras and neighboring areas in southern and western Achaia. However, its presentation does not follow the chronological order, as is the case in most Greek archaeological museums. It adheres to more modern museological standards, dividing the exhibits into three thematic sections, which occupy separate rooms. One of them is related to private life, that is to everyday life in the ancient city. The second section presents public life and the last −the Necropolis Hall− highlights burial monuments and customs. The findings of the Roman era are the great stars of the museum. The mosaic floors of the houses of Patras of that time leave the visitor dazzled with their rich decorations and their charming motifs, such as a Triton riding a sea horse or a fishing scene adorned with creatures from the marine world and Cupids. These are motifs that promote the joy of life, which “fixes” the human disposition throughout the ages. The mosaics with mythological themes, and the floors with colorful geometric patterns from slabs of various types of marble are also impressive. In the Necropolis Hall, a set of grave goods from the tomb of a woman of the 2nd century BC stands out. It is rich in gold and other jewels, in silver and glassware, and its funeral wreaths are adorned with clay flowers decorated with colors and gold.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF PATRAS 38-40 New National Road PatrasAthens, Patras 26442 / Τel.: +302613616100 / www.ampatron.gr / e-mail: efaacha@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00. Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, Easter Sunday, May 1st, December 25 & 26

Tickets: General admission €6. Reduced ticket €3. / Free admission: March 6 - In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st until March 31st

Exhibition view at the museum

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21→Archaeological Museum of Nemea it is a rather small, simple and peaceful modernistic building, holding a big surprise: the collection of Mycenaean jewelry known as the “treasure of Aidonia” (treasure of the nightingales). The museum was sponsored by Rudolf A. Peterson, an American of Swedish descent (who was President of Bank of America and Administrator of the United Nations Development Program). The purpose of his donation was to serve the Archaeological Research Program of the University of California, Berkeley. In 1984, the Museum of Nemea was donated to the Greek state. The “treasure of Aidonia” is breathtaking at first glance. These are grave goods from a Mycenaean cemetery in the neighboring village of Aidonia, which is located near Lake Stymphalia and is considered to be that of the city of Arathyrea, which is praised by Homer in the Iliad. The “treasure” consists of uniquely fine gold jewelry from 1500 BC. The rest of this jewelry – all immensely beautiful– is made of glass beads, semi-precious stones, amber and faience – all of them incredible samples of perfectionism in craftsmanship and high aesthetics. They were first presented as antiquities for sale at auction in New York in the early 1990s. They were found there after an inconceivable attack of antiquity smugglers to 17 large vaulted Mycenaean tombs, which were filled with gold and ceramic objects. Archaeologists, however, managed to document the origin of the jewelry and achieved their repatriation through legal battles in 1996.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF NEMEA Nemea / Tel.: +302746022739

Opening Hours: Until August 31: 08:0020:00 (September 1-15: 08:00-19:30, September 16-30: 08:00-19:00, October 1-15: 08:00-18:30, October 16-30: 08:00-18:00)

Tickets: Full price: €6, Reduced: €3 (the ticket is also valid for entrance to the archaeological site)

Gold signet ring with a scene of two processing women holding flowers; the ring is granulated (left).

Gold signet ring engraved with a chariot scene (right). Part of the so-called "Aidonia Treasure" looted from the Mycenaean necropolis of Aidonia, west of Nemea. Ca. 1500 BCE.

SHUTTERSTOCK

The archaeological site of Aidonia.

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22→Open-Air Water Power Museum

t h e o p e n - a i r wat e r power museum is located in the historic town of Dimitsana, surrounded by rich vegetation and running waters. The museum, part of the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, highlights the importance of water-power in traditional society. It focuses on pre-industrial techniques that use water as the main energy source to manufacture a range of products and links them to history and the everyday life of the local community over the years. Visitors can tour the restored traditional workshops that present as faithfully as possible the life of the people living in the gorge of the River Lousios. The first building houses a watermill and

Exhibition view at the museum

a flourmill. Outside is a raki pot still and directly opposite a tannery where visitors can learn about the stages of leather processing. A stone-paved pathway leads to a gunpowder mill, a reminder of the role Dimitsana played in the Revolution of 1821. Gunpowder, an emotive element of the cultural identity of the local people, is vividly evoked in their memories and stories, since their ancestors had supplied this indispensable military material for the struggle of 1821. Kolokotronis, a prominent leader in the Revolution, wrote: “We had gunpowder, Dimitsana manufactured it”. After visiting the museum, you can continue your excursion with a walk to the Lousios gorge.

OPEN-AIR WATER POWER MUSEUM - Kefalari Ai-Yanni, 22007, Dimitsana / Tel.: 27950-31630 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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23→Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil

in sparta, traditionally one of the major oil-producing regions in Greece, is located a museum dedicated to the “green gold” of the Mediterranean. The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil showcases the culture, history and technology of the olive and olive oil production in Greece, from prehistoric times to the 20th century. The Museum, part of the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, is housed in the premises of the old Electricity Company, a typical interwar-period Greek industrial building. Visitors can study, inter alia, rare fossilized olive-

Exhibition view at the museum

tree leaves from Santorini dating from approx. 60,000 years ago and copies of Linear B tablets from the 14th century BC with the first written accounts about the olive and oil in Greece. Also on display are samples of ancient and modern art, confirming that the olive has been a constant source of inspiration for Greek artists. Lastly, the open-air exhibition of the museum features faithful copies of various types of oil-press from antiquity and accounts of olive-tree cultivation and olive crop harvest.

MUSEUM OF THE OLIVE AND GREEK OLIVE OIL - 129 Othonos-Amalias Street, Sparta 231 00 / Tel.: 27310 89315 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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24→Archaeological Museum of Olympia the usual experience of those who visit it for the first time is to arrive with the thought and anticipation that they will see two of the most famous sculptures of ancient Greek art, Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike of Paionios, but to leave with the thought that, while they saw the two masterpieces, they were dazzled by the amazing sculptural compositions that adorned the gables of the temple of Zeus and the most impressive collection of bronze items, which is the richest in the world. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia is a beautiful building that replaced the one of 1885. It follows the architectural standards cultivated by the Greek version of modernism, which was revived in the ’60s. It was completed in 1975, to house its everexpanding collection, since the 100 years of excavations in Olympia have never stopped yielding new great findings. The collection’s most famous exhibit is indeed Hermes of Praxiteles. It is the original 330 BC sculpture and this fact alone makes it rare, seeing as the most important classical sculptures have not survived and we know them from Roman replicas. Nike of Paionios is equally popular. Created in 421 BC, it has been a constant model for the artistic renderings of the concept of victory. Its shape adorns the Olympic Games medals from their first revival in 1896 until

Metope (Λ95), Eastern Side (Pronaos). The Apples of the Hesperides. Classical period, 470 BC-456 BC

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF OLYMPIA, Ancient Olympia 27065 / Tel.: +30 2624022742 / e-mail: efahle@ culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 08:00-20:00 (Last visitor entrance 15’ before closing time). Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the maximum stay of a visitor inside the museum is set at 1 hour. Masks are mandatory and there are additional restrictions and precautions

for which visitors are informed on the spot. / Tickets: General Admission: €12. Reduced €6. From April 1 to October 31, only a single valid ticket is available for the day on which it is issued and allows entry to the archaeological site of Olympia and its three museums: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Olympic Games in Antiquity and the Museum of Excavations in Olympia.

Ιndividual tickets are not available for each attraction separately. / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st until March 31st

today, a fact that has contributed to its fame and popularity. The magnificent sculptures that decorated the gables of the temple of Zeus in Olympia are a perfect example of the so-called “strict style” of the classical era. As for the Bronze Gallery of the museum, the richness of its findings is connected to the military tradition according to which warriors dedicated to Zeus their bronze weaponry and head gear as a token of gratitude for their victory. The helmets on display are exquisite. Among them, the one Miltiades offered to the father of the gods after the battle of Marathon against the

Persians is especially moving. A museum super star is renowned sculptor Pheidias, whose chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue of Zeus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It has not survived, but in the hall dedicated to Pheidias’ work there are many “accessories” related to its construction (clay molds, tools, materials etc.). Much like all craftsmen nowadays, Pheidias wanted to have his own personal cup in his workshop to drink from. So he had engraved on the base of a cup the inscription “Φειδίου ειμί”, which means “I belong to Pheidias”. This cup is on display in the museum.

Archaeological site of Ancient Olympia

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25→Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity its permanent collection includes 463 ancient objects, divided into sections, thanks to which the visitor follows the history of the

Olympic Games, the most respected institution during ancient times and the longest, as its history spans for more than 1,000 years. The aim of the proposed tour, in a way, is to introduce visitors to the ancient spirit and ideals of the Olympic Games, which the revival at the end of the 19th century sought to restore and elevate. The museum is housed in a magnificent neoclassical building from 1888, donated by national benefactor Andreas Syngros and designed by German architects F. Adler and W. Dorpfeld, who were also associated with the excavation work of the German Archaeological Institute in Olympia. The sections the exhibits are divided into present the birth of sports in Greece, the origin of the Olympics in the myths of the Labors of Hercules, the establishment of other important sports events (the Pythian Games, the Nemean and Isthmian Games and the Panathenaic Games), the awarding of prizes to the Olympians, the evidence of the presence of spectators at the games, the prizes for the winners and, of course, the equipment [discuses, halteres (dumbbells), etc.] used by the athletes. A special section is devoted to the relationship of women with sports. It includes the votive offering of Cynisca, the first woman to be crowned an Olympian because she owned horses that won a chariot race. Reference is also made to the superstar Kallipateira, a great suffragette of antiquity and the daughter of the Olympian Diagoras from Rhodes, who entered the field illegally in risk of the death penalty in order to attend the Olympic Games, in which her son Peisirodos also participated.

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MUSEUM OF THE HISTORY OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES OF ANTIQUITY Ancient Olympia (Prefecture of Elis) 27065 / Tel.: +302624029119 / e-mail: efahle@culture.gr

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Opening Hours: daily 08:00-15:00 Tickets: Full Price: €12, Reduced: €6 – From April 1st until October 31st only a single valid ticket is available for the day on which it is issued and allows entry to the archaeological site of Olympia and its museums: the archaeological museum and the Museum of the Olympic Games in Antiquity (as the Museum of Excavations in Olympia) remain

closed. That is, individual tickets are not available for each attraction separately. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st until March 31st

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26→Archaeological Museum of Sparta ancient sparta has never ceased to be a brilliant symbol of martial vigor, bravery, strength and discipline. For this reason, the excavations there started very early and the first archaeological collection was established as early as 1833. However, due to its destruction by fire, a new collection was created in 1872, which formed the basis of what is now presented in the museum. In addition, Sparta was the first provincial city of the newly formed Greek state to acquire its own archaeological museum and this was (and still is) a small neoclassical masterpiece, completed in 1876, designed by the Greek architect G. Katsaros. Most of the exhibits come from the great local ancient sanctuaries: Artemis Orthia, Athena Chalkioikos, Apollo Amyklaios and Menelaion. Visitors will be thrilled by the various exhibits of votive offerings to Artemis, whose construction material indicates the wealth of the believer who dedicated them to her, with the most expensive being made of ivory, while those of the poor were made of lead. There are also clay masks that are believed to represent the ceremonial wooden ones used in the sanctuary. Some other very interesting exhibits are: the head of the statue of Tyche (the Fate of the city), a clay model of a trireme and the beautiful Hellenistic and Roman mosaic floors. However, the exhibit that fascinates most visitors, because they connect it much more directly with their admiration for the military supremacy of ancient Sparta, is the marble bust of a Spartan warrior, to whom Leonidas’ name is attributed, without it being actually identified as him.

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Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26

Tickets: Full price: €3, Reduced: €2

ALAMY

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SPARTA Lykourgou & Ag. Nikonos Strs, Sparta 23100 / Tel.: +302731028575 / e-mail: efalak@culture.gr

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Delphi Thebes Eretria Schimatari Meteora Volos

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The discovery of Antinoos © École Française d’ Athènes © EFA

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27→Delphi Archaeological Museum if dephi really was the navel of the earth –that is, the center of the world, as the gods told humans– then the Delphi Archaeological Museum is the navel of Greek museums, thanks to its invaluable collection. It offers visitors the opportunity to comprehend the significance of a place of worship and superstition that defined the course of the entire ancient Greek world. The museum hosts findings related to the history of the temple of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi, which begins in the 7th century BC and ends in the 7th century AD. During this time, there were periods of decline or even complete destruction of the Oracle, however the only threat that would eventually lead it past the point from which it couldn’t rise from its ashes would be the boom of the philosophical movement of rationalism in the 3rd century BC. However, it managed to survive that too and today it resembles a huge “petrified” stone park, whose white marbles reflect the human need for faith in the divine and for guidance from a force that is not confirmed by evidence but by the faith of those who seek its help. The marbles also reflect gratitude towards the divine and the joy it offers people, as well as the fact that these two emotions are constantly linked to the desire for demonstrations of wealth and personal prestige through very expensive offerings. Of course, all of this leads visitors to think that these are the curious components that give humans their humanity. It is extremely difficult for visitors to pick out the most important exhibits of the museum or to separate their visit to the

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The marble statues of Kleobis and Biton, Archaic period, 610 BC, Delphi, Apollo sanctuary. Photo: Paris Tavitian

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


DELPHI ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Delphi, Fokida 33054 / Tel.: +302265082313 / delphi.culture.gr / efafok@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00, Monday: 10:00-17:00 /

The Charioteer (detail), Classical period, 478-474 BC, Delphi. Photo: Paris Tavitian

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Tickets: General admission: €12, Reduced ticket: €6

museum from their visit to the archaeological site. It all constitutes a remarkable whole – a “unit” which the visitor is called to grasp. At the same time, it is impossible not to single out the Charioteer, a fragile bronze sculpture, which has been preserved intact, and whose inconceivable beauty is able to convince even the most skeptical onlooker that the greatness of ancient Greek art stems from its unwavering dedication to perfection. Finally, one cannot just admire the Charioteer, since the museum hosts the famous Sphinx of the Naxians, an early version of this strange and evocative figure that beautifully renders the meaning of the word “enigmatic” and which, measuring 2,32 meters itself, rested on a very high ionic column near the temple of Apollo. The archaic Kouros statues Kleobis and Biton are also very moving. They were made in honor of two brothers from Argos who transported their mother to the sanctuary of Hera by pulling her chariot themselves and who were rewarded by the goddess for their toil and devotion with a peaceful death in their sleep. Anοther impressive exhibit of the museum is the famous votive offering of Daochos, who was the ruler of Thessaly, a set of nine sculptures depicting members of his family and his son. This is, in other words, one of the first examples of the concept of a “family portrait”, created at the end of the 4th century BC by the famous workshop of Lysippos, who was one of the most important sculptors of antiquity.

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28→Archaeological Museum of Thebes the city that gave the world’s cultural heritage its own entire cycle of ancient tragedies, the city of mythical king Oedipus who inspired Freud to make the most crucial interpretation of the human soul, certainly needed a modern museum worthy of the ancient cultural activity in Boeotia. The original museum of 1905 was radically reconstructed a few years ago and it expanded. Today it elegantly and comfortably houses its magnificent collection, which is divided into 18 sections, 11 of which follow the chronological order from the Paleolithic period to the end of the Ottoman rule. One of the sections is specifically dedicated to the mythology associated with Thebes. The uneven levels of the exhibit areas, follow the architectural design of the museum that is built on the hills of Kadmeia. It has an internal L-shaped balcony, from which a hurried visitor may gain a quick overview of the collection. The courtyard of the museum is dominated by a visitable medieval tower built in the 13th century by the lord of the city, to whose family the rulers of the Duchy of Athens had granted, as a dowry, half of Thebes. The kouros from the sanctuary of Apollo Ptoos stands out in the sculptural collection. The grave stele of young Mnasitheos, who is depicted holding a rooster and smelling a lotus flower, is of touching beauty. Another wonderful exhibit is a NeoAttic sarcophagus, adorned with scenes from the myth of Iphigenia in Tauris. The Mycenaean period exhibition.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF THEBES 1 Threpsiadou Str., Keramopoulou Sq., Thebes 32200 / Tel.: +302262027913, +302262023559 www.mthv.gr / efavio@culture.gr

Opening Hours (summer): Monday, Wednesday-Sunday: 08:30-20:00 / Closed: Tuesday. Annual Holidays: December 25 & 26, January 1st, March 25, Easter Sunday, May 1st

Tickets: Full price: €6, Reduced: €3. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), official state holidays, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st until March 31st. / Accessible to visitors with mobility issues or impaired vision.

Statue of a woman seating on a throne, 4th century BC

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29→Archaeological Museum of Eretria it is an elegant, modern building, which acquired an extension, with funding by the Swiss School of Archaeology. The visit to the museum is very easily combined with a visit to the archaeological site of the city, which is very close and includes a theater, a gymnasium, a house with mosaics, a stadium, an agora, a cemetery and the temple of Apollo Daphnephoros (Apollo, the laurel-bearer), which was the main worship site in Eretria during antiquity. From this temple come two exhibits of the museum which are samples of end of the 6th century BC high art: the western pediment of the temple and a sculptural complex that belonged to this pediment and which depicts the abduction of the Amazon Antiope by Theseus, who eventually married her, thus making her the only married Amazon in mythology. T h e m u s e u m’s c o l l e c t i o n also includes exhibits from prehistoric Eretria and three other neighboring settlements of that time. However, the most important part of it consists of finds from the cemeteries of Eretria and Lefkandi, which date from the geometric period. Among them is a small clay Centaur, which is considered one of the earliest representations of this mythological creature. Another very interesting item on the museum’s collection is a bronze horse blinder from the 9th century BC, which originates from Syria.

Centaur of Lefkandi, 1050 - 900 BC, found in the site of Toumba.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF ERETRIA – Archaiou Theatrou & Timokratous Fanokleous Strs, Eretria / Tel.: +302229062206 / Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-16:00 / Closed: Tuesday. / Tickets: Full price: €3, Reduced: €2

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30→Archaeological Museum of Schimatari most greeks consider schimatari an area of ​​intense industrial and transit activity. That’s why they are surprised when they are informed that the oldest archaeological museum of Boeotia, whose construction begun in 1890 and which has been operating since 1906, is in Schimatari. The museum was established in order to house the archaeological finds that were salvaged after a great wave of illegal excavations and looting of ancient tombs in the early 1870s. The purpose of the looting was to find the famous Tanagra figurines so that they could be illegally sold abroad. The Tanagra figurines are clay female figurines of exceptional artistry, with impressive accuracy in the rendering of the posture of the body and the elaborate folds of their costumes. They were produced from the 4th century BC until the 1st century AD, but the great flourishing of their production was in the 3rd century BC, when hundreds of them were placed in tombs in the area of​​ Tanagra, which was then the rich city of Boeotia. The museum in Schimatari has a small collection of Tanagra figurines, all of which are very charming and touching in their beauty and grace. Also of great interest are the magnificently painted larnakes (a type of sarcophagus) and the rest of the Mycenaean period grave goods, which were found in 32 tombs in the area and which are considered to be of higher quality and more impressive than those of

A terracotta figurine of a seated youth with a wide brimmed hat, Hellenistic period.

other areas. The museum itself is a landmark, with its pleasant picturesqueness derived from its small scale, its architectural simplicity and the fact that it is built out of stone.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SCHIMATARI - 38 Tanagras Str., 32009, Schimatari, Boeotia / Tel.: +302262058220 / e-mail: efavio@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-14:00 / Closed: Tuesday. / Tickets: Full price: €3, Reduced: €2 / Access from the Schimatari City Hall parking lot into the museum, which is 100 meters away.

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31→Museum of Geological Formations of Meteora

founded just two years ago, it is located in Kastraki, a beautiful village at a distance of about 2 km from Kalampaka. Surrounded by the rocks of Meteora, Kastraki is considered a traditional settlement. The museum is housed in the old, listed building of the primary school of the village. It opened its gates to answer the question everyone asks themselves when they arrive in Meteora: how has this miracle of nature been formed? It is a very elegant and hospitable museum, which includes a

large collection of rocks not only from the area of ​​Meteora but also from various other parts of Greece. It also includes a collection of minerals and fossils and offers the visitor a brief and comprehensive introduction to the principles of Geology. A 15-minute film further guides the visitor on the geological issues raised by Meteora and their interpretations. The exhibition is complemented with rich audiovisual material and satisfactory explanatory signs.

MUSEUM OF GEOLOGICAL FORMATIONS OF METEORA – Kastraki 42200 / Tel.: +302432022523 / e-mail: geologiko_ mouseio@dimosmeteoron.com / Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-17:00 / Free admission

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32→Rooftile and Brickworks Museum N. & S. Tsalapatas

the factory run by the tsalapatas brothers begun operations in 1926 in Volos. The factory, sized 22,000 m2 in total, employed in its heyday some 250 workers and its annual production could reach nine million pieces. Up to 1978, when it closed down, it was an important production unit with country-wide reach and the “Tsalapatas” stamp was regarded as a guarantee of quality. The factory was set up and operated using cutting-edge technology of European standard, at a time when the sector in Greece still operated on pre-industrial lines. The impres-

sive complex, a rare example of a preserved industrial unit in Greece, houses the Rooftile and Brickworks Museum of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation. The aim of the museum, which presents everyday life in the factory and all stages of the production of various types of bricks and tiles, is to highlight the historical identity of the city of Volos and contribute to preserving and showcasing its industrial heritage. The grinder equipment, compressors, clay silos, trolleys and the Hoffmann kiln help visitors familiarize with the work undertaken at the factory.

ROOFTILE AND BRICKWORKS MUSEUM N. & S. TSALAPATAS - Notia Pyli, 383 34 Volos / Tel.: 24210 29844 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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N O R T Aigai Thessaloniki Argos Orestiko Soufli

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H E R N Archeologist Manolis Andronikos supervises the excavation of the Great Tumulus, where he discovered Philip II's tomb in 1977. Photo: Richard Dibon-Smith

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33→Museum of the Royal Tombs at Aigai it includes all the great treasures found in the royal tombs: the famous golden larnax whose cover is decorated with the Macedonian star, the golden oak wreath which takes the viewer’s breath away with its 313 leaves and 68 acorns, weapons and armor that are attributed to the great king of Macedonia Philip II as burial offerings by his son, Alexander the Great. It also includes valuable tributes dedicated to the second member of the royal family buried there, believed to have been Alexander IV, son of Alexander the Great and his wife Roxana, as well as a truly excellent fresco depicting the abduction of Persephone by Pluton, god of the underworld −an exceptional sample of ancient painting. In this small museum, which has the highest density of unforgettable exhibits, visitors come in contact with one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century, in terms of Greek antiquity at least. Completely proportional to the scientific and aesthetic value of the findings of its collection is the special form of this museum, which occupies an underground space, located inside a built mound, almost at the exact point of the archaeological discovery. Visitors feel that they are descending into these burial monuments, like the archaeologist who located them for the first time, but also like a pilgrim who participates in an astoundingly majestic ritual of mourning and eternal peace. It is a museum that has almost no diffused lighting; its lighting is focused and low. Overall, visitors are aware upon entrance, but especially while inside, of the extremely evocative atmosphere which is ideal for the reception of such great exhibits.

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MUSEUM OF THE ROYAL TOMBS AT AIGAI, Vergina 59031 / Tel.: +302331092347 / www.aigai.gr / e-mail: efahma@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00, Tuesday: 12:00-20:00. / Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the following restrictions apply: maximum number of visitors inside the museum at the same time: 30, maximum length of stay inside the

museum: 9’. Visitors must be informed on the spot of any further restrictions that may be occasionally imposed / Tickets: General admission: €12. Reduced: €6 (fee includes admission to the archaeological site). There is also a single ticket covering admission to the Archaeological and the Byzantine Museum of Veria at €14. Reduced €7. The single ticket is valid for 3 days /

Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

Meda’s golden diadem

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34→Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki the museum was founded in 1912. Its building was inaugurated in 1962, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the city. It is a beautiful building of modern style, designed by architect Patroklos Karantinos and recognized as a listed monument of modern culture. The museum exhibits findings from excavations that have taken place in Thessaloniki and throughout the rest of Macedonia. The only feature not praised enough is its website, which is definitely −without exaggeration− the best website of a public Greek Museum. It contains inexhaustible information, intriguing details about the exhibits, narrative beauty in their presentation and is a perfect companion for the visitor. It is impossible to distinguish which exhibits are the “superstars” of the museum, because they all, more or less, belong in this category, even if it is not discernible at a glance. Certainly, most visitors are impressed by the section of exhibits entitled “The gold of Macedon” because these exhibits carry something that goes beyond the advantage that gold exhibits always have in a museum: their gravitas and depth of glamor lures the eye and the soul in a world of their own values. Many claim that the most important find of the museum is the Derveni Crater, which is included in this section although it is not made of gold. Its golden luster is due to the high content of tin in the copper alloy from which it is made. What is unforgettable,

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The Derveni crater

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF THESSALONIKI 6 Manoli Andronikou Str., Thessaloniki 54013 / Tel.: +302313310201 / www.amth.gr / amth@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily 08:00-20:00 Tickets: General admission €8, Reduced €4. / A Single Ticket for the following sites is available: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, Museum of Byzantine Culture at the White Tower, Roman Agora of Thessaloniki, Palace of Galerius. Valid for 3 days. Full price: €15, Reduced €8 / Free admission: March 6 – In

memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

however, is its relief decoration with a narratively rich representation of the wedding of Dionysus and Ariadne. Other fascinating findings are those related to the great Roman period of the city. Also the famous “treasure of Arabissus”, a set of six gold objects, from the end of the Neolithic period, which were probably talismans and whose importance is not only related to the value of their material but also to the fact that they inform us that as early as that distant and unsafe time, people acquired personal objects, through which they wished to emphasize their personal prestige. Which means that the things that make a person human never change.

Gold myrtle wreath, Derveni, tomb Δ, 350-325 BC

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35→The Metropolitan Organization of Museums of Visual Arts of Thessaloniki it is a “complex” of museums, one would say, since it was created after the administrative merger of four museums, three of which are located in Thessaloniki and one in Athens. They are also connected with a fifth place: the Experimental Center for the Arts in the Port of Thessaloniki. The aim of this coalition of forces is to create a strong enough public body to define, if possible, the imprint of contemporary art in Greece. Thus, the organization today includes the famous Costakis Collection, which consists of 1,275 works of art: paintings, drawings, constructions and ceramics by the most important artists of the Russian Avant-Garde, such as Kazimir Malevich, Vasilii Kandinsky, Liubov Popova, Vladimir Tatlin, Aleksandr Rodchenko and many others. The Costakis Collection, which, in the year 2000, was accepted as a legacy by the Greek state, is representative of the movements and trends of the entire Russian Avant-Garde. This collection is so important it could motivate someone from the edge of the world to come to Thessaloniki in order to admire it. In addition, MOMUs owns a rich collection of contemporary art, which includes about 2,000 works by Greek and foreign artists, acquired mainly thanks to significant donations from Greek collectors. Thanks to the works of Greek artists it owns, this collection offers the visitor a great overall understanding of the artistic production in Greece from 1945 onwards. Finally, MOMUs is very active in organizing thematic exhibitions periodically, with works that come mainly from its collections.

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– MOMus

MOMUS MODERN – MUSEUM OF MODERN ART – COSTAKIS COLLECTION 21 Kolokotroni Str., Stavroupoli 56430, Thessaloniki / Tel.: +302310589141-3 / https:// www.greekstatemuseum.com / e-mail: info.modern@momus. gr / Opening Hours: 10:0018:00, Thursday: 12:00-20:00, Closed: Monday / Tickets: General Admission €4. Reduced tickets and free passes are available. MOMUS CONTEMPORARY – MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART 154 Egnatia Av. (TIF-Helexpo premises) Thessaloniki 54636 / Tel.: +302310240002 / https:// www.mmca.gr / e-mail: info. contemporary@momus.gr / Opening Hours: Dailly: 10:0018:00, Thursday: 12:00-20:00, Closed: Monday. / Tickets: General Admission €4. Reduced tickets and free passes are available. MOMUS -THESSALONIKI MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY Warehouse Α, Pier Α, Thessaloniki port area, 3 Navarchou Votsi, Thessaloniki 54625 / Tel.: +302310566 716 / http://www.thmphoto.gr / e-mail: info.photography@ momus.gr / Opening Hours: Daily: 00-19:00, Friday 11:0020:00, Closed: Monday / Tickets: General Admission €4. Reduced tickets and free passes are available. MOMUS – EXPERIMENTAL CENTER FOR THE ARTS Warehouse Β1, Pier A, port area, P.O. Box 10758, Thessaloniki 54110 / Tel.: +302310593270 / https://www.cact.gr / e-mail: info.experimental@momus.gr / Opening Hours: Daily: 10:0018:00, Thursday: 12:00-20:00, Closed: Monday. / Tickets: General Admission €4. Reduced tickets and free passes are available. MOMUS – MUSEUM ALEX MYLONA 5 Agion Asomaton Sq., Thisio, Athens 10554 / Tel.: +302103215717 / http:// mouseioalexmylona.blogspot. com / e-mail: info.mam@ momus.gr / Opening Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday 11:00-19:00 - Thursday 11:00-22:00 - Sunday 11:0016:00 – Closed: Monday / Tickets: General Admission €4. Reduced tickets and free passes are available.

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36→Archaeological Museum of Argos Orestiko according to the myth, Argos Orestiko is the town in which Orestes takes refuge, chased by the Erinyes for the murder of his mother Clytemnestra, which he committed in order to avenge the murder of his father Agamemnon by her and her lover Aegisthus. In antiquity the town was the capital of Ancient Orestida, a province that roughly corresponds to the present prefecture of Kastoria. Argos Orestiko was an important urban center during antiquity, until the 3rd century AD, during which the Roman emperor Diocletian rebuilt it by adding fortifications and renaming it Diocletianopolis. This new town was finally destroyed by Gothic raids, during the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. Beautiful brass jewelry stand out in the section dedicated to the time when the formation of Ancient Orestida begins to emerge, from the 11th century BC until the middle of the 6th century BC. There is also a really beautiful archaic statuette of a banqueter in the second section of the collection, which covers the period between 550 and 359 BC, during which Argos Orestiko is fortified as the most important urban center in Orestida. Among the exhibits related to the period during which the city fell to the Macedonian kings (359200 BC), the tip of a sarissa, the famous Macedonian spear, and part of the shield of a soldier in the infantry phalanx stand out.

Archaic statuette of a banqueter.

Among the exhibits from the Roman period of the city, during which Argos Orestiko enjoyed various privileges and freedoms, because it did not resist during its submission, an epigraph stands out: it is the resolution of the Battyneans, which would be described as a political manifesto e n g r ave d i n s t o n e , u n i q u e throughout Western Macedonia, referring to the democratic elections in the local assembly (ecclesia).

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF ARGOS ORESTIKO – 9 El. Venizelou Str., Argos Orestiko 522 00 / Tel.: +302467044616 / argosorestiko.gr / kthepka@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: General admission: €2. Reduced: €1 / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

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37→Silk Museum

the silk museum, part of the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), is located in Soufli, a town indelibly linked with the history of silk. It is housed in the Kourtidis Mansion (1883), a building that has all the architectural features of a typical “manor-house” of the region. The Mansion, where the scholar and doctor Konstantinos Kourtidis (1870-1944) lived, was donated by his daughter, Maria KourtidiPastra, for housing a museum dedicated to silk. It is one of the first thematic museums of technological culture in Greece and presents all the stages of pre-industrial sericulture and

silk manufacturing: from the hatching of the seed (silkworm eggs) and the breeding of the silkworm to the weaving of the cocoon, the “unwinding” of the thread and the processing of the silk. PIOP’s audio-visual productions help visitors learn about the manifold role of silk as an element of tangible culture across time, but also about Soufli, especially in connection with the town’s historical-geographical and ecological-environmental frame of reference. Testimonies by people who lived at the time when household and industrial sericulture flourished guide visitors through scenes from all stages of the production process.

SILK MUSEUM - 73 Eleftheriou Venizelou Street, Soufli, 684 00 / Tel.:ß 25540 23700 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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Arta Ioannina Corfu

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The Acchilleion in Corfu, The terrace at the 1st floor, around 1890. Photo: Alois Beer/ Imagno/Getty Images

T E R N E C E

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38→Archaeological Museum of Arta

Am Thedsaffdaf dsSolenestis minctem sectae reicid que quodiciant lautes uta volum re ipsum atem hicit, to que non eicia et voloreh endenit eat estia accatur?

Black-glazed pelike with a lid. © EFA ARTAS

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located in a beautiful spot on the bank of the river Arachthos, it is a short distance from the most famous attraction of the city: its historic bridge. The rich collection of the museum includes findings from ancient Ambracia which was located in the same place as the present city. Ambracia was the most important colony of the Corinthians in northwestern Greece, had a great urban fabric and participated in the Peloponnesian War, initially on the side of the Spartans. For this reason, in 426 BC, the Acarnanians, who were part of the Athenian alliance, destroyed it. At the beginning of the 3rd century BC, it was surrendered by its Macedonian conquerors to Pyrrhus, who made it the capital of his kingdom of Epirus. Thanks to him the city acquired great buildings, temples and statues. Unfortunately, most of the city’s decoration was transferred to Rome, after a new looting, when it came under Roman occupation. The most important exhibits of the museum’s collection come from the period when Ambracia was the capital of the kingdom of Epirus. These are all kinds of objects that all together create the background of daily life during that period, but also in older chronological phases of prosperity of the city, such as the 6th century BC. The museum building is modern and very elegant. Even more elegant is the presentation of the exhibits, that allows each one to breath comfortably. The building has a beautiful patio where wonderful hydrangeas and gardenias are grown, of which everyone in the museum is justifiably proud.

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF ARTA Trigono, Arta 47100 / Tel.: +30 2681071700 / e-mail: efaart@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-16:00 Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: €4. Reduced: €2 / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st

/ Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

Red figure lebes gamikos. © EFA ARTAS

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39→Archaeological Museum of Ioannina its collection offers an archaeological panorama of the whole region of Epirus, thanks to findings from excavations in its most important urban centers. However, among its 3,000 exhibits, the findings from the famous Temple of Zeus in Dodoni, where one of the most important oracles of the ancient world was located, are extremely significant. The museum is housed in an exceptional building designed in the ’60s by the great architect of Greek modernism Aris Konstantinidis. After its last renovation, it retains to the fullest its charm and grandeur, expressed in a simple and restrained way. The exhibition of the collection is really masterful. The beautiful showcases, the elegance in the presentation of the exhibits and the rich supervisory and guiding material help visitors immerse themselves into the museum experience. Visitors can observe important small-scale exhibits, such as the museum’s monetary collection or a gold amulet-pendant, only 1,6 cm in height, which is in the shape of a poppy fruit and was found in the tomb of an unfortunate young woman of the 6th century BC. An impressive “imperial stathmion (counterweight)” is also on display, used to weigh gold and other precious materials. The validity of these counterweights was confirmed by the depiction of portraits of Roman emperors on their surfaces. It weighs just 159 grams and its dimensions do not exceed 4,5 cm. Two co-emperors of the transition period from the 4th to the 5th century AD are featured on it. Above their heads “flies” the

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF IOANNINA 6 25is Martiou Sq., Ioannina 452 21 / Tel.: +302651001051-3 / www.amio.gr / e-mail: efaioa@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:3016:00, Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: General admission €6. Reduced €3. A single 2-day ticket is available, covering admission to the Archaeological and the Byzantine Museums of Ioannina as well as to the archaeological site of Dodoni. Full price: €8, Reduced: €4 / Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18

– International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

Roman deity Moneta, protector of money, the economy and prosperity. The ceramic weights of looms have a similar charm thanks to the simplicity and austerity of their form. The collection also includes “strigils”, a very common accessory athletes used to remove the sand that stuck to their body due to the sweat and oil with which they were smeared before their training or competitions. They were offered to Zeus as a votive offering or were found as grave goods in the tombs of athletes. Other fascinating exhibits are the famous “metal sheets of lead”, which are small and mostly rectangular pieces of a thin metal sheet, on which the pilgrims engraved the questions they wanted to ask the Oracle of Dodoni. About 50 are on display in the permanent collection, but the museum has thousands of them. Thanks to these, archaeologists found out what the ancients expected to learn from oracles, as there are no finds from other oracles that record the anxieties of those who came to them. These questions varied from the most trivial and mundane of daily life’s problems to the most critical, life or death issues related to political or military decisions. Very often the questions addressed to the Oracle were related to the dangers and the course of a significant move of the person concerned. Thus, through these sheets, archaeologists have been able to record the connections between cities in antiquity. Exhibition view at the museum.

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40→Silversmithing Museum the silversmithing museum is located at the renowned castle of Its Kale, in Ioannina, abode of one of the most powerful strongmen of the Ottoman state, Ali Pasha. The two levels of the bastion and the castle’s cook-house, which had been abandoned in a derelict state for years, were restored in order to host the museum’s permanent exhibition. The exhibition presents the technology of silversmithing in the pre-industrial era, focusing on the region of Epirus. The Silversmithing Museum, created by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, showcases the unique art of silversmithing, which flourished in Ioannina for years and shaped the city’s cultural identity. Visitors can study the tools laid out on a typical silversmith’s workbench and learn about traditional techniques for molding and decorating silver objects, from the first stage to the finished product. On the museum’s second level visitors are entranced by the spectacular collection of Epirote silversmithing artefacts, dating from the 18th to the 20th century. Works of fine art and elaborate detail, such as jewelry, weapons, household silverware and personal items are some of the objects on display, seemingly “floating” in the air and showcasing a centuries-old tradition that is well worth preserving.

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SILVERSMITHING MUSEUM Its Kale Acropolis, Ioannina Castle, 452 21 Ioannina / Tel.: 26510 64065 www.piop.gr

Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

Exhibition view at the museum.

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41→Archaeological Museum of Corfu

fresh out of its recent brave renovation that highlights and modernizes the presentation of its collection, but also emphasizes the grace of the building in which it is housed, which is a wonderful example of Greek modernism of the 1960s. Its collection consists of antiquities that have been discovered in the town of Corfu and other parts of the island. The exhibits cover the entire history of the Homeric country of the Phaeacians, from prehistoric to Roman times. Mostly, however, they are from the archaic and classical eras, periods of prosperity for the island thanks to trade. But prosperity gradually faded away, starting with the infamous Corfu Civil War. This war, that Thucydides described so gloomily and vividly, and which was the triggering event for the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, had an enormous duration

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The west pediment of the Artemis temple depicting Gorgon, 590-570 BC

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF CORFU Armeni Vraila 1, Corfu 49131 / Tel.:+302661030680 / e-mail: efaker@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00. Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: General Admission: €6. Reduced: €3. A single 3-day ticket is available, covering admission to: the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Asian Art, the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa, the Palaiopolis-Mon Repos Museum and the Old Fortress. Full price: €14. Reduced: €7 / Free admission: March

The "Lion of Menecrates". Funerary statue of a crouching lion, found near the cenotaph of Menecrates. Work of a famous Corinthian sculptor of the Archaic Greece, end of the 7th century BC.

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6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st / Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, October 28, December 25 & 26

that led Corfu to its final decline. The museum’s superstar exhibit is the gigantic pediment from the archaic temple of Artemis, which was the main deity worshiped on the island. The goddess is represented in its center, in the form of the demonic figure of the mythological Gorgo, wearing an impressive belt with two snakes and having other snakes protruding from her hair, according to the iconographic tradition for this apotropaic form. Of great interest is the rich collection of clay statuettes of Artemis, found during the excavation of another temple of the goddess in Kanoni. The “Lion of Menecrates” is also very impressive, a wonderful archaic sculpture of the 7th century BC, which most likely comes from a workshop in Corinth. It was part of the burial monument for the man from whom it took its name.

WESTERN GREECE


42→Achilleio it is one of the most famous palace villas in the Mediterranean. It is located in the village of Gastouri, in Corfu and was built at the end of the Belle Époque by the famous Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary Elisabeth (Sissy). Almost 10 years after the unjust assassination of Sissy, Achilleio was sold to the Kaiser, that is, the Emperor of Germany Wilhelm II. And so, the magnificent summer palace has been the property of the two most famous and most powerful tourists in Corfu during the important passing from the 19th to the 20th century. Achilleio is of neoclassical style and was designed by two Italian architects. Its location at the top of a hill with a wonderful view to the sea, the 82 acres of landscaped gardens and the natural forest that surrounds it make it enchanting to everyone, whether they are hurried tourists or actual occupants. T h e b u i l d i n g s t h at S i s s y originally built were: the palace itself, the concierge and the guard building, which is known as “Baron’s building”. When Achilleio was passed to the Kaiser, the barracks building, designed by Ernst Ziller, was added. What’s interesting for today’s visitor is to see this exceptionally renovated building, with its rich interior decoration, whose murals depict themes from Greek mythology, according to the unchanging fashion for most buildings of this use. The sculptural decoration of the palace and the other buildings, as well as its gardens, is also of great interest. Their abundance follows the ancient Pompeian style. Some

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ACHILEIO Gastouri 49100, Corfu / Tel.: +302661056210 / www.achillion-corfu.gr / e-mail: msachil@etasa.gr /

Visiting Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00

Tickets: General admission: €7. Reduced €5. Ticket for an audio tour visit: €10 and reduced €8

of the sculptures come from the large collection of Villa Borghese in Rome, namely Apollo, the Three Graces and the famous Nine Muses. The rest of the sculptures follow the decorative preferences of the German-speaking world of the time. The name of the palace derives from the main attraction among the sculptures, the iconic work of German artist Ernst Herter, which depicts the dying Achilles trying desperately and in vain to remove the arrow that has pierced his heel, the only vulnerable part of his body. Probably because he couldn’t stand the melodramatic nature and neo-romantic defeatism of this particular sculpture, the Kaiser, upon acquiring the palace, added to the garden an 8-meter high bronze statue depicting the mythological hero standing haughtily like the warrior he was, bearing a spear, shield and helmet. An impressive construction inside the estate is the famous Heine staircase, with the round peristyle at the top, which housed the statue of the poet from whom it took its name. Equally impressive is the ship dock at the point where the estate meets the sea. In addition to the sculptures and the architectural interest of the palace complex, visitors can also admire in it furniture and other souvenirs related to its two distinguished owners.

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Lesvos Samos Lemnos Chios

N O R T A E G


Luigi Mayer, Ruins of the Temple of Juno in Samos, 1810

H E R N E A N


43→Archaeological Museum of Mytilene its collection is divided into two buildings: the Old, a beautiful mansion of 1912, and the New, which was inaugurated in 1999, at Kioski. However, the Old Building remains closed for repairs and its exhibits are stored. Thus, visitors can only see the findings exhibited in the New Building which cover a significant period of Mytilene’s prosperity from the 3rd century BC until the 4th century AD. Visitors can admire remarkable floors from Roman villas, especially the one that comes from the “house of Menander”, of the 3rd century AD, a building that was the headquarters of a union of theater people. The mosaic floors from the villas of Telephus and Evripus are also impressive. The thematic exhibition entitled “A Lucullean Feast” is also of great interest. It contains findings related to banquets during the Roman era of the city. They came to light thanks to excavations made on the occasion of the biological wastewater treatment project of Mytilene, specifically in an area where a fish tank of that time was found.

Detail from a mosaic floor depicting Evripus 2nd-3rd century BC.

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF MYTILENE 8th November Str. (New Building), Lesbos 811 00 / Tel.: +302251040223 (New Building) / e-mail: efales@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday. Tickets: General Admission: €4, Reduced: €2 Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday

of the month from November 1st to March 31st. Annual Holidays: January 1st, Clean Monday, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26

Mosaic from the "House of Telephous", 1st-2nd century BC.

Marble hand of a large statue. Hellenistic period.

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pythagorion is built on the site of the ancient town of samos. Herodotus, who was deported to Samos during his exile from Bodrum, mentions how remarkable a technical work of antiquity the port of the city was, which is considered the oldest artificial port in the Mediterranean. He was just as enthusiastic about the Tunnel of Eupalinos, another prestigious ancient engineering project, which was an underground tunnel that supplied spring water to the city. In general, ancient Samos, as a center of worship of Hera and as a safe harbor at a focal point for communication with the great cities of Asia Minor and especially Ephesus, experienced great development in ancient times and was known as a center of philosophy and science. It is no coincidence that storyteller Aesop was from Samos, as well as astronomer Conon of Samos, thanks to whom the constellation “ Co m a B e r e n i c e s ” t o o k i t s name, and, of course, famous mathematician and geometer Pythagoras, after whom the modern town which today is the most important tourist center of the island was named. The Archaeological Museum of Pythagorion was inaugurated in 2010 and houses a collection of 3000 finds from ancient Samos and the Heraion (the Temple of Hera), covering a very large chronological range from prehistory to the 7th century AD. The samples of pottery

ALAMY

44→Archaeological Museum of Phythagorion, Samos

Golden byzantine coins at the Archaeological Museum of Pythagorion, Samos island

that belong to the so-called “wild goat style” stand out. They were produced in many workshops of the eastern regions of Greece and Asia Minor, with their most important production center being in Miletus, from the middle of the 7th century BC until the middle of the 6th century BC. The exhibited sculptural portraits of Roman emperors and especially that of Trajan, which is 2,71 meters high, are also impressive. Another “superstar” of the museum is the treasure of 300 gold Byzantine coins of the 7th century AD.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF PHYTHAGORION – Pythagorion, Samos 831 03 / Tel.: +302273062813 / e-mail: efasam@ culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 09:00–16:00, Closed: Tuesday. Tickets: Full price: €6, Reduced: €3. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st

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the darkest and most mystical deities of greek antiquity were worshiped in Lemnos. It was a center of worship of the god Hephaestus and the infamous Cabeiri Mysteries, which remain among the most obscure ancient rituals of this kind. They were widespread throughout Greece, but even more so in the North Aegean, and those who were initiated were considered to have acquired powers given to them by the Cabeiri, who were inferior and utterly dark deities, but who mediated to the other gods so that they fulfill the desires of mortals. In general, people at the time believed that those initiated in the Cabeiri mysteries had powers against all perils and that even their most daring attempts or battles were crowned with success. The building that houses the Museum of Myrina is from the 19th century and it served as the administration headquarters of the island during the years of Ottoman rule. It is located at a short distance from the Castle of the town and close to the prehistoric site of Myrina, unifying, in a way, the sites of these important sights. The findings on display come mainly from excavations of the Italian School of Archaeology at Athens in Poliochni, in Cavirion, where some of the most interesting vessels of the collection come from, and finally, from excavations in Hephaistia, where the Sanctuary of the Great Goddess, another dark deity identified with the archetype of matriarchal nature,

ALAMY

45→Archaeological Museum of Lemnos at Myrina

Figurine of a Siren, Archaic period, 6th c. BC. Limnos, Sanctuary of Great Goddess at Hephaistia

was located. Among the exhibits that come from this sanctuary, the wonderful figurines of Sphinxes and Sirens stand out. The museum also exhibits antiquities from the island of Imbros, which the bishop of the island had sent to Greece in view of the Asia Minor Catastrophe of 1922 so as to save them from the upcoming Turkish occupation.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF LEMNOS at Myrina – Romeikos Yalos, Myrina, Lemnos 814 00. / Tel.: +302254022990 / e-mail: efales@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday. Tickets: General Admission €2, Reduced €1. Annual Holidays: January 1st, Clean Monday, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), October 28, every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st

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46→Archaeological Museum of Vathy, Samos the museum of the wonderful capital of the island is a pleasant surprise divided into two elegant buildings. The first is a magnificent neoclassical building from 1912, called “Paschalion Archiofilakio” (Paschalion Archive), and located next to the Town Hall. The second building was erected in 1987, sponsored by the Volkswagen Educational Institute, and it houses the museum’s stunning ancient sculptures. In antiquity, Samos was a great center of worship of the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus and protector of marriage. In fact, a wooden plank was washed up on a beach of the island that was considered a godsend xoanon of the goddess − her primary statue. Thus, most of the exhibits of the museum come from the temple of Hera (Heraion) in Samos. Among them, an interesting sculpture of the first half of the 6th century BC depicts a dressed female figure and was a votive offering to Hera by a Samian named Cheramyes. Another important exhibit, also from the mid of the 6th century BC, is a “group of statues” by the sculptor Geneleos that includes five female and one male figure, which is that of the person offering it. Missing from the standing daughters is the beautiful (albeit headless) Ornithi, which is housed in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. However, the sculpture for which visitors will remember the Museum of Vathy in Samos is a colossal-sized kouros, dating from the first quarter of the 6th century BC. Its height is 5 meters and 25 centimeters, which means that it exceeds by more than two meters

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF VATHY, SAMOS Plateia Dimarhiou (Town Hall) Sq., Vathy, Samos 831 00 / Tel.: +302273027469 / e-mail: efasam@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday. Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday , December 25 & 26

Exhibition view at the museum

Colossal kouros. It presents Ionic features and its height is almost 5.50m. Dated to the first quarter of 6th century BC.

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The museum's entrance

Tickets: General admission: €4, Reduced: €2. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days), every first Sunday of the month from November 1st to March 31st

the famous and archetypal kouros of Sounio. Unlike most other sculptures, this giant kouros was an offering to the goddess Athena, probably from a very wealthy believer named Isches, son of Rhesis, as an engraved inscription on the thigh of the statue informs us. It was all painted in red-brown ocher, except for the eyes, hair and lips, which were of a different color. It was found broken and its pieces were gradually found as the excavation continued, fortunately early enough to be put together and placed in the new museum building. The building had to be modified to fit it, by deepening the ground floor by 1,5 meters. The kouros was placed inside it before the walls were built, since its transportation inside the building wouldn't be possible.

NORTHERN AEGEAN


47→Chios Mastic Museum

the museum is located in the Mastichochoria (literally: mastic villages) in Southern Chios, near Pyrgi. Even though lentisks are found across the Mediterranean, this is the only place where the lentisk/mastic tree (pistacia lentiscus Chia) “sheds tears” to produce gum mastic. Through the prism of UNESCO’s inclusion of traditional mastic cultivation in its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (2014), emphasis is given to the sustainability across time of this world-famous product of Chios. The Chios Mastic Museum,

part of the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, reflects the link between culture and environment, connecting the intangible cultural heritage with the environment and the natural heritage it conveys. Rich archival material, audio-visual productions, authentic equipment, written accounts and multimedia applications introduce visitors to the fragrant world of mastiha and the interesting history of the Chios Gum Mastic Growers Association.

CHIOS MASTIC MUSEUM - Pyrgi, Rachi Site (Tepeki), 82 102 Chios / Tel.: 22710 72212 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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48→Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos

the museum of industrial olive-oil production of lesvos is located in Aghia Paraskevi, one of the island’s most picturesque villages. It is housed in the old communal olive press, a pioneering initiative by the people of the region. The Communal Oil Press of Aghia Paraskevi, known as the “People’s Machine”, started operating in the early 20th century with the aim of improving olive-oil production and benefiting the community by utilising the earnings of the oil press to enhance social cohesion and develop infrastructure works in the region. The Museum, part of the

Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, showcases the industrial stage of olive-oil production in Greece, focusing on the changes brought by the advent of mechanical motive power in the production process. Visitors learn experientially how the equipment works and how the factory evolved from using steam power to diesel motors. In the central building are shown the main stages of olive-oil production, while the old olive storage warehouses are used to describe the various tasks involved.

MUSEUM OF INDUSTRIAL OLIVE-OIL PRODUCTION OF LESVOS - Aghia Paraskevi, 811 02 Lesvos / Tel.: 22530 32300 / www.piop.gr / Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

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Delos Paros Sifnos Syros Thira Tinos

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Excavations in Thira, Santorini, 1967. Photo: Getty Images

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49→Delos – Archaeological Site and Museum delos is a unique case of historical development of a place that was considered sacred. It is a very small island, whose significance in antiquity is related to the myth, according to which two of the most important Greek gods were born there: Apollo and Artemis. The Sanctuary of Apollo has been an important center of worship since the 11th century BC. However, it experienced its greatest prosperity from the 7th century BC onward and especially during the Classical period. People from all the cities of Greece and their colonies arrived on the island as pilgrims. However, despite this intense mobility, the inhabitation of the island began at a very slow pace and only from the end of the 5th century BC onward. The transformation of Delos into a great urban center, which came to have a population of 30,000 inhabitants, would not have happened if the Romans had not declared it what we would describe today as a tax haven. Thus, from 166 BC onward very rich people of different ethnicities from all the lands that belonged to the Roman Empire began to settle on the island. They brought with them the necessary staff of masons, sculptors and all kinds of craftsmen, in order to build luxurious villas in Delos and gradually turn it into a huge trade center. This created a very dense multicultural hub in a very small place. The peaceful coexistence of such a diverse crowd and its religions, where men and women were no longer connected because of the Greek language

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DELOS – ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE AND MUSEUM / Tel.: +302289022259 / e-mail: efakyk@culture.gr

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00. Tickets: General admission (for both the archaeological site and the museum): €12, Reduced: €6. The price of the ticket does not include the ferry cost to and from the island of Delos. Free admission: April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, The last weekend of

September annually (European Heritage Days) / Guests are advised to bring drinking water. Due to the coronavirus pandemic it is recommended that visitors have a mask with them. Information on other restrictions to prevent the spread of the virus is provided on the spot and in accordance with applicable government regulations.

and education, was an important verification of the ability of ancient Greek culture to spread in societies of this type a spirit of tolerance that allowed them to live together rather well, without the sufferings brought on by intolerance and chauvinistic prejudices. So what the current visitor of Delos should mostly look for is the evidence that confirms this specific truth in the historical past of the island. It is not easy to choose which one you should visit: the museum or the archaeological site. It is clear that it is worth devoting time to both. To wander in the ruins of the city observing the architectural configuration of the houses, the need for cisterns in a dry place, the anthropometric element that defines the scale of the interiors. To also trace the perception of luxury of the time, thanks to the beautifully decorated mosaic floors in the famous House of Dolphins, the House with the Masks and the House of Dionysus. And of course, to enjoy the archaic grandeur of the Terrace of Lions. The collection of sculptures and reliefs of the Museum of Delos occupies six of the nine rooms of the museum and is considered one of the most important in the world. The room with small objects found in the private homes of the island is also of great interest.

Exhibition view at the museum

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50→Archaeological Museum of Paros it was created in the 1960s to house the archaeological collection consisting of excavation finds in Paros and Antiparos. Most of it consists of sculptures from Parian workshops. The famous local marble, which the ancients called “Parian marble” −a rock that stands out for its clarity and transparency, which in antiquity was considered to symbolize divine presence− was used for their construction. It is no coincidence that Aphrodite of Milos, Nike of Samothrace, Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike of Paionios are made out of Parian marble - to name just a few of the masterpieces of ancient Greek sculptures created from this material. The Museum of Paros does not host “celebrities” of ancient sculpture. However, there is not a single indifferent exhibit: they all convince the visitor that this marble was rightly considered to be of “divine breath”. The winged Gorgon stands out among the sculptures, a mythological demonic figure who terrified anyone who saw her and turned them to stone. The Nike exhibited in the museum is extremely beautiful, despite her missing limbs and head, as her airy movement fascinates. A Neolithic figurine found on the nearby island of Saliagos −a plump female figure squatting, with arms crossed under her chest− is of great interest. It is a bit difficult to immediately understand the form of the sculpture, due to the fact that it is broken. But it is accompanied by explanatory material that guides the visitor on what is worth admiring.

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Mosaic detail depicting Hercules labours

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF PAROS Paroikia 84400, Paros / Tel.: +302284021231 / e-mail: efakyk@culture.gr /

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Opening Hours: Daily 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday.

Tickets: General admission: €2, Reduced: €1. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)

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51→Archaeological Museum of Sifnos it is located in the kastro (castle) settlement of sifnos, which is considered one of the oldest in the Aegean and whose habitation has been uninterrupted from prehistoric times until today. The endurance of the settlement over time, the complete absence of discontinuities in its life can be seen in the “carefree” manner in which, in very recent times, traditional builders of the area incorporated fragments or entire parts of ancient buildings in the masonry. For them, but also for those who would live in these houses, these remnants were not something surrounded by the precious gown of history and sanctity, drenched in awe and put on a pedestal that would confirm its idealization, but something real, that you have the right to touch and treat fearlessly as something completely your own, from which you do not keep a distance. Simply put, the remnants of ancient architecture were something that remained familiar, alive and active in the spectrum of everyday life. Thus, the Archaeological Museum in Kastro gives the impression of a “museum within a museum”, something that the visitors realize with just a short walk in the settlement, where they will find marble sarcophagi used as benches or small capitals that serve as handles that assist passersby to climb stairs. However, the collection of the museum and especially the pottery findings, which all come from Kastro,

Head of Sphinx or Kouros, 6th century BC

offer a scientific confirmation of this continuous habitation of the settlement from the 8th to the 2nd century BC at least, which, as soon as one captures it in its full dimensions, proves to be an “exhibit” of unique and unparalleled value.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SIFNOS - Kastro, Sifnos 84003 / Tel.: +302284031022 / e-mail: amsi@culture.gr, efakyk@ culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily: 09:00-16:00, Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: General Admission: €2, Reduced: €1

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52→Archaeological Museum of Syros it is one of the oldest in greece as it was founded in 1834. Since 1899 it is housed in the City Hall of Ermoupolis, which is a magnificent and imposing neoclassical building, designed by Ernst Ziller. The relationship created between the ancient exhibits and the building is extremely interesting and evocative and that in itself −in addition to the archaeological value of the exhibits− is a reason to visit the museum. The collection is spread over four halls. Its most important acquisitions come from prehistoric times and from excavations carried out in Syros, in the settlement of Kastri and in Halandriani. One of the exhibits that stand out is a tubular cup called “δέπας αμφικύπελλον” (double-cupped goblet), about 15 cm in height, that dates from the end of the 3rd millennium BC. Also interesting is a pyxis of the same age, a vase spherical and flattened at its poles, with very elegant handles. It comes from the cemetery of Halandriani and is only 7 cm high. A marble figurine representing a female figure is of similar age, as well as a clay vessel that belongs to the famous Cycladic “frying pans” category. The outsider of the collection is an Egyptian statuette, which was included in it as a donation to the museum. It is from the 8th century BC, made of black granite and it represents a priest named Anhapis.

Frying-pan shaped vessel, 2700-2300 BC

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF SYROS – City Hall, Miaouli Sq., 84100 Ermoupoli, Syros / Tel.: +302281088487 / Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday: 09:00-16:00, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 09:00-21:00, Closed: Tuesday / Tickets: General Admission: €2, Reduced: €1

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53→Museum of Prehistoric Thira it is a unique museum, as unique as the chronological period which it records and of course as unique as the island of Santorini. It is often said that this museum is the “necessary extension” of the archaeological site of Akrotiri. It presents strictly selected findings from the plethora that long-term excavations have yielded, which are used to describe the historical course followed by one of the most important centers of the Aegean during the distant period of the 18th and 17th centuries BC. A great contribution that makes this museum so remarkable was that of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, which returned to Santorini most of the findings from the excavation at Akrotiri that were in its possession. The visitor is impressed by the impeccable state of preservation of the exhibits almost before being ecstatic by the exhibits themselves. The exhibits in the museum’s collection are items that their ancient owners hastily abandoned, in their attempt to escape the eruption of the volcano. That is, ceramic and bronze household items, tools, weapons, stamps, Linear A inscriptions, baskets, weighing scales, as well as utensils that are all the same size and of the same capacity, indicating that they may have been used as “standard packaging” for the products they contained. It is worth noting that the collection is very poor in jewelry and this can be explained by the fact that, being easy to transport and high in value, their owners took them with them, despite the urgency of their departure.

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MUSEUM OF PREHISTORIC THIRA Fira, Santorini 84700 / Tel.: +302286023217 / e-mail: efakyk@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:30-15:30, Closed: Tuesday. Tickets: General admission: €6. Reduced €3. Single ticket: €15 – Has a duration of 3 days and allows entry to the Archaeological Site of Akrotiri, the Archaeological Site of Ancient Thira, and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Those interested can get it from the archaeological site or the museum they will choose to visit first.

Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days). Accessible to persons with disabilities.

The “Blue Monkeys” fresco, Room B, 17th century BC

Cylindrical pithos with dolphins, 17th century BC

The “Fisherman” fresco, West house, 17th century BC

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54→Museum of Marble Crafts, Tinos

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MUSEUM OF MARBLE CRAFTS Pirgos, 842 01 Panormos, Tinos / www.piop.gr

Open daily except Tuesdays, 10:00-17:00 (to 15/10) and 10:00-18:00 (from 16/10)

Tel.: 22830 31290

the museum of marble crafts, the first of its kind in Greece, is located in Pirgos, on the island of Tinos, a major art centre that produced renowned Greek artists, including the sculptors Yannoulis Halepas and Dimitrios Filippotis. The Museum, part of the Museum Network of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), showcases marble, a material that holds a particular place in the architecture and art of Greece, from antiquity to the present day. The Museum presents the technology of marble and describes in detail the tools and techniques used in marble crafts. Emphasis is given to pre-industrial and proto-industrial Tinos, the most important marblecraft centre in modern times in Greece, but also to the social and economic context in which the local workshops developed. It is worth noting that the marble crafts of Tinos is the third element that our country has registered in UNESCO’s representative list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The permanent exhibition includes quarrying and carving tools, mechanical equipment, objects made of marble, clay and gypsum plaster, archival material and the richest collection in Greece of sketches by past marble craftsmen. At the same time, the audio-visual aspects of the display bring vividly to life the quarryman’s and craftsman’s traditional work methods.

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Rhodes

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The port of Rhodes. Photo: Paul Pougnet/ GammaRapho/Getty Images

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55→Archaeological Museum of Rhodes it is housed in the imposing grand knights hospital, which belongs to the complex of large medieval buildings that dominates the walled old town. Its collection consists mainly of finds from the excavations organized in Rhodes by the Italian School of Archaeology during the period of Italian rule in the Dodecanese (19121948), dating from the Mycenaean period to the end of Roman times. At the entrance of the museum, visitors face the inner atrium in which a seated marble lion dominates like a king, effortlessly holding a bull’s head with its feet. This impressive and evocative sculpture of the late Hellenistic period discreetly foretells to the visitor that of all the great things they will see in the museum, they will mostly focus on the findings of the Hellenistic and Roman eras. These eras in Rhodes seem to have been a long period of joy, bliss and hedonism, whose spirit had perhaps something in common with the annual tourist season of the island of our times, primarily its incomparable carefreeness. One of the most beautiful exhibits of the museum is the famous Aphrodite Bathing, a small sculpture which attracts attention at first glance due to the shine of its polished surface, but also due to its depiction of a very “human” moment in the life of the goddess: crouching after having washed her beautiful long hair, she is lifting it from her face with both hands to see what it was that suddenly disturbed this calm private moment. This sculpture, which is considered to express the Hellenistic Rococo style, originates from the great analogous work of

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF RHODES Megalou Alexandrou Sq., Rhodes 85100 (medieval city) / Tel.: +30 2241365200, +302241365257 / e-mail: efadod@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 08:00-20:00. – Guest Exhibitions Opening Hours: Collection of Epigraphs and Prehistoric

Exhibition: Daily: 09:00-17:00. – Small Exhibition of Archaic Pithoi: Daily: 12:30-15:00. Closed: Tuesday. Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26. Tickets: Full price: €6, Reduced: €4. A single ticket, covering admission to the Archaeological Museum, the Palace of the Grand Masters, the

Decorative Arts Collection and Our Lady of the Castle Church (Panagia tou Kastrou) is available at €10. Free Admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)

the 3rd century BC by the sculptor Doidalsas from Bithynia. However, the iconic exhibit of the museum’s collection is a large marble head of the Sun, who was traditionally worshiped more than all the other gods on the island, something rather obvious for Rhodes, where sunshine prevails for more than 10 months a year. It is a sculpture representing the Rhodian baroque of Hellenistic times. Visitors are also impressed by the rich collection of small phalluses, in various materials, which were used for amulets protecting against all evils, mainly against the evil eye.

The museum's inner atrium

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56→Palace of the Grand Masters not only is it the most important monument of the reign of the Knights in Rhodes, it is also one of the most important medieval buildings in the world. Its construction began after the occupation of Rhodes by the Order of Knights of the Hospital of Saint John, in 1309, on the site of the Byzantine Acropolis of the city, which is also believed to have been built on pre-existing foundations of an ancient temple believed to be of the Sun god. In 1865, due to a violent explosion in a gunpowder depot of an adjacent building, the palace, which had managed to remain intact for about six centuries of barbarism, collapsed and only its two towers remained standing. During the Italian occupation (1912-1948) and specifically during the 1930s, the Italian Commander of the Dodecanese decided to rebuild it based on the original design, which had been found in the meantime. It would be used as the official residence of the current Italian commander, but would also be offered as a summer palace to King Vittorio Emmanuele III of Italy. To capture the degree of grandeur that the Italians wanted to give to the building, suffice it to say that they removed exquisite mosaic floors of the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods from various places in Kos, which they transported to Rhodes and placed in the Palace of the Grand Masters. The visitor who wanders around the palace today feels it is vivid and, most of all, familiar. Not in the way a Disneyland palace would feel familiar, but with an inexplicable, deeper feeling that they know a place even though they are sure they don’t.

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“Rhodes from the 4th century AD until its conquest by the Turks (1522)”: Daily 09:00 - 17:00, Closed: Tuesday. Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, May 1st, Easter Sunday, December 25 & 26. Tickets: Full price: €8, Reduced: €4. A single ticket, covering admission to the Archaeological Museum, the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Decorative Arts Collection and Our

Lady of the Castle Church (Panagia tou Kastrou), is available at €10. Free Admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)

SHUTTERSTOCK

PALACE OF THE GRAND MASTERS Kleovoulou Sq., Phodes 85100 (medieval city) / Tel.: +30 22410 25500, +30 22410 23359 / e-mail: efadod@culture.gr / Opening Hours: Daily 08:00-20:00 - Guest Exhibitions Opening Hours: “Ancient Rhodes - 2.400 Years”: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: 09:00-17:00. –

Palace view from the port

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Heraklion Eleutherna Rethymno

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Photographing a Greek amphora vase at the Palace of Knossos, 1900. Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/ Corbis/Getty Images

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57→Archaeological Museum of Heraklion it is recognized as one of the most important museums in Europe. It includes archaeological finds from all over Crete, covering a chronological range of 5,500 years. Among them, those that record the Minoan civilization are of great importance. It houses a great variety of exhibits dedicated to the Minoan civilization but this is only a small part of its collection. At the same time, however, it is impossible not to emphasize that the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion is indeed the main museum of Minoan civilization. It was founded in 1908, but the building it is housed in was built in the 1930s by the architect P. Karantinos and is considered an excellent sample of Greek Modernism of the interwar period. The exhibition of its collection spreads in 27 rooms. In about half of them, on the ground floor of the building, we find the Minoan exhibits that beautifully record, with their splendor and beauty, the first urban and palace culture that developed on European soil. Their thematic presentations call attention to the strengthening of the palace class and the consequent structure of society. They also highlight the Minoan scriptures that supported the development of a structured administrative system of that society. Featured through all this are: the dominant position in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean held by Crete, the skill of the Minoan seafarers and the high esteem that the Cretans enjoyed as mercenaries, as well as the important aspect of mintage that developed as a natural consequence of their prosperity.

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Clay and bronze figurines in attitudes of worship and vessels decorated with floral and stylised motifs. Among them the "Ephyraean goblets”, a Mycenaean type of footed cup decorated with large isolated motifs, and a jug depicting a male figure stand out. Knossos-"Unexplored Mansion”, 1450-1370 BC

Visitors admire up close the famous frescoes of the Prince of the Lilies and the Bullfights, the wonderful golden pendant of the bees, the dynamic and haughty Snake Goddesses and of course the ever-enigmatic Phaistos disk. These are just a few of the very famous exhibits of the museum.

THE GREEK MUSEUMS


HERAKLION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Xanthoudidou 2, Heraklion 71202 / Tel.: +302810279000 / e-mail: amh@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily: 08:00-20:00, Tuesday 10:00-20:00.

Tickets: General admission: €10. Reduced: €5

The Phaistos Disc, Middle Bronze Age, 17th century BC

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58→Eleutherna Archaeological Museum it is only 4 years old and it is the first museum of an archeological site that was founded in Crete. It was created to house the findings of the excavations in Ancient Eleutherna, which was one of the most important ancient cities of the island and whose name comes from Eleutheras, one of the mythological Kouretes, who protected Zeus while he was a baby in Ideon Andron, banging their bronze shields to cover his cries so that his father Cronos could not find him and come to devour him. The excavations at Eleutherna started in 1985 and have yielded rich and important findings. Essentially, the museum’s collection highlights the great importance that Crete still had as a place of high civilization even after Minoan times. The collection achieves this by covering a large chronological range, starting from the early Iron Age, during the 11th century BC, and reaching as far as Byzantine times. However, the most interesting period documented by the findings from Eleutherna corresponds to the dawn of Greek culture and the times to which Homer refers in his epics. In this respect, the museum is unique. Visitors can admire a series of exhibits from the necropolis of the ancient city, related to the

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ELEUTHERNA ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM Eleutherna Mylopotamos, Rethymno 74052 Crete / Tel.: +302834092501 / www.mae.com.gr / e-mail: museum@mae.com.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 -18:00, Closed: Tuesday.

Tickets: General admission: €2

Exhibition view at the museum

ritual of burial fires that confirm what Homer describes in the Iliad, regarding the burning of Patroclus. The very important exhibits include an impressive collection of jewelry and other objects made of gold, as well as a bottle whose decoration represents a ritual dance with female figures holding hands that confirms a similar scene in rhapsody 18 of the Iliad. Of great interest are the findings from the tomb of two wealthy women, for which the prestigious American magazine “A r c h a e o l o g y ” i n c l u d e d Eleutherna in its list of the 10 most important archaeological discoveries of 2009.

Amphora depicting horses grazing, 700-675 BC

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59→Archaeological Museum of Rethymno until recently, it was housed in the pentagonal fortress in front of the entrance of the Venetian fortress of Fortezza. However, the building presented static problems and so, for the last 4 years, the Temporary Exhibition of the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno is hosted in an equally evocative building: the church of Agios Frangiskos. It is a singleaisled basilica of the Venetian period, which belonged to the order of the Franciscan monks and has a peculiar architecture and extremely beautiful sculptural decoration. The entrance of Agios Frangiskos particularly, which is in the renaissance style, is decorated with magnificent and ornate capitals of complex style that, combined with its small size, make it very charming. Furthermore, the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Rethymno has the peculiarity of covering a huge chronological range, starting from the depths of prehistory and reaching up to the 17th century AD. Thus, among the exhibits are included tools whose age is estimated at 130,000 years, which are considered the oldest in Greece. Other interesting exhibits date back to Minoan times. Of great interest is a vase from the ancient city of Syvritos, located on the south side of the prefecture, which, in its heyday, had today’s Agia Galini as its port. This vessel is a crater − that is, it belongs to the type that was used, according to ancient tradition, to mix wine with water before consumption. It is important because its decoration is considered to be the oldest depiction of a warrior dance scene (10th century BC).

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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM OF RETHYMNO Church of Agios Frangiskos – Agios Frangiskos 4, Rethymno 74131 (Perfecture of Rethymno) / Tel.: +302831027506 / e-mail: efareth@culture.gr /

Opening Hours: Daily: 10:00-18:00, Closed: Tuesday. Annual Holidays: January 1st, March 25, Easter Sunday, May 1st, December 25 & 26

Tickets: General admission: €2, Reduced: €1. Free admission: March 6 – In memory of Melina Merkouri, April 18 – International Monuments Day, May 18 – International Museum Day, the last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days) and on official state holidays.

Exhibition view at the museum

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T H E GREEK MUSEUMS


The Acropolis Hill. Photo: Paris Tavitian


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS


Delos. Photo: Paris Tavitian


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS


Vravrona. Photo: Michalis Michael


The Temple of Poseidon at Sounio. Photo: Paris Tavitian


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS


The Temple of Hephaestus. Photo: Paris Tavitian


T H E GREEK MUSEUMS A guide for visitors


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Eιδικό τεύχος 653: ΤΗΕ GREEK MUSEUS  

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Eιδικό τεύχος 653: ΤΗΕ GREEK MUSEUS  

Α guide for visitors

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