National Archaeological Museum
The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and one of the world\'s great museums. Although its original purpose was to secure all the finds from the nineteenth century excavations in and around Athens, it gradually became the central National Archaeological Museum and was enriched with finds from all over Greece. Its abundant collections, with more than 20,000 exhibits, provide a panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
The museum is housed in an imposing neoclassical building of the end of the nineteenth century, which was designed by L. Lange and remodelled by Ernst Ziller. The vast exhibition space - numerous galleries on each floor accounting for a total of 8,000 square metres - house five large permanent collections: The Prehistoric Collection, which includes works of the great civilizations that developped in the Aegean from the sixth millennium BC to 1050 BC (Neolithic, Cycladic, Mycenaean), and finds from the prehistoric settlement at Thera. The Sculptures Collection, which shows the development of ancient Greek sculpture from the seventh to the fifth centuries BC with unique masterpieces. The Vase and Minor Objects Collection, which contains representative works of ancient Greek pottery from the eleventh century BC to the Roman period and includes the Stathatos Collection, a corpus of minor objects of all periods. The Metallurgy Collection, with many fundamental statues, figurines and minor objects. And, finally, the only Egyptian and Near Eastern Antiquities Collection in Greece, with works dating from the pre-dynastic period (5000 BC) to the Roman conquest.
The museum possesses a rich photographic archive and a library with many rare publications, the latter of which is constantly enriched to meet the needs of the research staff. There are also modern conservation laboratories for metal, pottery, stone and organic materials, a cast workshop, a photographic laboratory and a chemistry laboratory. The museum has temporary exhibition spaces, a lecture hall for archaeological lectures and one of the largest shops of the Archaeological Receipts Fund.
The National Archaeological Museum welcomes thousands of visitors each year. Besides displaying its own treasures, it organizes temporary exhibitions and lends artefacts to exhibitions both in Greece and abroad. It also functions as a research center for scientists and scholars from around the world and participates in special educational and other programs. An important feature is the availability of guided visits for people with hearing impediments. The Museum functions as a Special Regional Service of the Ministry of Culture and its five permanent collections are administered autonomously.
Agora museum is housed in the Stoa of Attalos, a reconstructed building of around 150 B.C. The characteristic feature of the museum is that the exhibits are all closely connected with the Athenian Democracy, as the Agora was the focus of the city\\\'s public life.
The collections of the museum include:
- Finds from the wells, deposits, burials, workshops and sanctuaries, (4th millenium B.C. - 7th century B.C.)
- Clay, bronze, bone, ivory, and glass objects (6th century B.C. - 3rd century A.D.)
- Sculpture (6th century B.C. - 3rd century A.D.)
- Coins (6th century B.C. - A.D. 1831)
- Pottery (6th century B.C. - 6th century A.D.)
- Inscriptions (5th century B.C. - 2nd century A.D.)
- Items included in public life (5th - 2nd century B.C.)
- Clay lamps (7th century B.C.- 11th century A.D.)
- Objects found in a deep well (10th - 1st century B.C.)
- Pottery of the Byzantine period and the Turkish occupation (10th-12th and 17th centuries B.C.)
- Collection of amphoras (6th century B.C. - Byzantine times)
- Sculptures from the peristyle of the stoa (5th century B.C. - 3rd century A.D.)
- Sculpture and architectural parts of the Upper Stoa.
The most important items of the exhibition are:
- Aryballos. Plastic vase in the form of a kneeling boy. The figure represents an athlete binding a ribbon, a symbol of victory, around his head. Dated to ca. 530 B.C.
- Klepsydra. A unique example of the terracotta waterclocks used for counting the time of speeches in the public law courts. Dated to the 5th century B.C.
- Ostraka (potsherds). These inscribed potsherds, called "ostraka" in Greek, were used as ballots in the process of ostracism. When there was fear of a tyranny, the Athenians voted to exile those politicians who were considered dangerous for Democracy. The names of prominent politicians exiled in this way, such as Themistocles, Aristeides etc. are inscribed on the sherds, dated to the 5th century B.C.
- Bronze inscribed shield. The Spartan shield was a trophy taken by the Athenians after their victory over the Spartans in the battle of Sphacteria, in 425 B.C.
- Bronze head of Nike. The head of Nike (Victory) was once covered with sheets of silver and gold and the eyes were inset. Dated to ca. 425 B.C.
- Winged Nike. It was the acroterion of the Stoa of Zeus Eleutherios. Dated to ca. 415 B.C.
- Statue of a Nereid, possibly the acroterion ornamenting the roof of a temple. The rendering strongly reminds the style of the sculptor Timotheos. Dated around 400 B.C.
- Athenian Law for Democracy. In 337/6 B.C., when Phrynichos was the Archon, the People (Demos) of Athens voted for a new law against tyranny. The relief representaton on the upper part of the marble stele shows the Demos of Athens being crowned by Democracy.
- Apollo Patroos. Colossal cult statue of the god from the temple of Apollo Patroos. It is the work of the famous sculptor Euphranor. Dated to ca. 330 B.C.
- Marble "cleroterion". This allotment machine was used by the Boule of Athens in the period of the twelve tribes of Attica. Dated to the 3rd-2nd century B.C.
All photos and texts have been taken from Hellenic Ministry of Culture
Byzantine and Christian Museum
The Byzantine and Christian Museum is one of the most important museums in the world. Founded in 1914, the collections of the Christian Archaeological Society, which were amassed primarily by Georgios Lambakis, one of the Society\\\'s founding members, in the period up to 1884 and exhibited in a room in the National Archaeological Museum, formed the core of the new Museum.
The Byzantine and Christian Museum opened to the public in 1924. The Museum has over 25,000 artifacts in its possession, organized into collections that date from the 3rd to the 20th century. The Museum\\\'s collections include sculpture, icons, works of minor arts, wall paintings, ceramics and fabrics, manuscripts, drawings, engravings, early printed books, as well as copies of Byzantine and post-Byzantine wall paintings and mosaics. The artifacts are drawn from the entire Greek world and other territories where the Hellenic spirit flourished. The number of collections and the quality of the exhibits they contain make the Museum a veritable treasure trove of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art and culture.
Address: 22 Vasilissis Sophias, Athens 106 75
|Telephone +30-210-72.11.027 , 72.32.178,
All photos and texts have been taken from Hellenic Ministry of Culture
National Historical Museum
The National Historical Museum was founded in 1882 for the purpose of collecting, saving and presenting relics and documentary evidence relating to modern Greek history. It is the oldest museum of its kind and it includes rich collections, which highlight the most representative phases of Neo-Hellenism, from the fall of Constantinople (15th Century) on. The National Historical Museum is also a research centre for Modern Greek History.
The museum is housed in the Old Parliament Building, which was founded in 1835 by Queen Amalia, and previously housed the Greek Parliament, from 1875 to 1935. The Old Parliament is an architectural jewel in the centre of Athens, while its grand congress hall is a place of historic significance; it is also appropriate for hosting major cultural and historical events today.
A great segment of the collection, gathered since the founding of the Society, is part of the permanent exhibition of the Museum, presented in the rooms encircling the congress hall. The historical progress of Neo-Hellenism can be easily comprehended through the items exhibited in chronological order, from the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans (1453), up to and including the Greco-Italian War of 1940.
Address: Old Parliament Building,
13 Stadiou Street, 105 61 Athens
Telephone Numbers: 210-3237617, 3237315
Web Site: http://www.nhmuseum.gr/
Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art is devoted to the study and promotion of ancient Greek art. It was founded in 1986 in order to house the collection of Cycladic and Ancient Greek art belonging to Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris. Starting in the early Sixties, and with a permit by the Greek State, the couple collected Greek antiquities, with special interest in the prehistoric art from the Cycladic islands.
The Cycladic Collection, which was now given a slight preference owing to the scholarly importance of the subject and the ever growing international interest and the Ancient Greek Collection, covering Greek art from the 2nd millennium B.C. to the first centuries A.D., which was also enriched with significant additions.
Between 1979 and 1984, the Nicholas P. Goulandris Collection was exhibited in some of the most important Museums world-wide: the National Gallery of Art in Washington (1979), the Museum of Western Art in Tokyo (1980), the Museum of Fine Arts at Houston (1981), the Royal Museum of History and Art in Brussels (1982), the British Museum in London (1983), and the Grand Palais in Paris (1983).
Already in 1981 Nicholas and Dolly Goulandris had decided that their collection was to be permanently exhibited in Athens, in a Museum open to scholars and the general public. In 1986, the Nicholas P. Goulandris Foundation was created and approved by the Greek State. According to its constituent act, the Foundation\\\'s objectives are the study of Aegean civilisation, research into Greek prehistoric and Classical art, and its dissemination and promotion.
The Foundation ensures the protection, display, and expansion of the collection; organises temporary exhibitions on important topics; undertakes the publication of scholarly monographs and catalogues; and participates in research projects world-wide.
Address 4, Neophytou Douka Str., GR-106 74 Athens
Fax +30-210-72.39. 382
Web Site: http//www.cycladic-m.gr
The Benaki Museum was founded in 1930 by Antonis Benakis, member of a pre-eminent Greek family in Alexandreia, which made an invaluable contribution to the political, social and cultural life of Greece. Benakis began forming his collections whilst still in Egypt and donated them to the Greek State in 1926, when he settled permanently in Athens. These collections are housed in his paternal home, one of the handsomest Neoclassical buildings in the capital, which was converted into the first private museum in Greece.
The Museum is endowed daily with valuable properties and independent ensembles of artworks which fill in the gaps in individual collections. The rapid growth of the Museum’s holdings and activities necessitated the enlargement of its facilities, the hiving off of certain sections and their re-housing in new annexes; this entailed the overall review of the museological thinking behind the foundation. The central building presents the historical and cultural development of Hellenism. Exhibits span the Neolithic Age to the twentieth century. Many of them are masterpieces of Greek Art or are of seminal significance for Greek history: from Antiquity and the Roman Era to the Byzantine Age, from the Fall of Constantinople (1453), the period of Frankish rule and the Ottoman occupation, to the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence (1821), and from the time of the formation of the Modern Greek State until the Asia Minor Catastrophe (1922).
For more information you may contact at:
Tel 210 367 1000
Fax 210 367 1063
Web Site: http://www.benaki.gr
Address: 1, Koumbari str & Vas. Sofias av., 106 74 Athens
Numismatic Museum of Athens
Address: 12 El. Venizelou Ave., Athens 106 71
Tel. 210-3643774, 210-3612190
The Numismatic Museum of Athens, with a history going back to 1829, is one of the few of its kind in the world and the only such museum in the Balkans. It provides continuous educational support for Hellenism in terms of numismatics, history and art history.
The strength of the collection lies in some six hundred thousand coins covering the ancient Greek world, the Roman and Byzantine periods, western Mediaeval times and modern times, "hoards" (closed numismatic groups), weights, lead stamps, medals and precious stones.
About ten thousand volumes devoted to the special field of numismatics, to history, to seals and to archaeology, as well as offprints, fascicles, and general publications cover the archaeological material. In addition there is an extraordinarily rich archive of documents.
National Museum of Contemporary Art
The National Museum of Contemporary Art began its operation in 2000. Its foundation came to cover a huge gap that the decades long absence of an analogous institution for contemporary international art had created in Athens.
Exhibitions of contemporary art were taking and still take place in Athens. But the responsibility of the Museum, which equally sets in the centre of its activities both works of art and the public, is not to act circumstantially but based on a organized plan that is being realized from exhibition to exhibition and aims at awakening sensitivities and formulate critical thought and aesthetic criteria: there are no museums without audiences. Still, there are no museums without collections. The goal, both by exhibitions and collections, is to offer all the Museum\\\'s visitors, which remains an unreservedly democratic institution, the "other" dimension which in these times cannot be conceived outside transcultural and ecumenical patterns.
Among the Museum’s basic aims are: the creation of collections of works of contemporary Hellenic and international art, the promotion and presentation of advanced and experimental artistic tendencies, the enhancement of the aesthetic and artistic cultivation of the audience and the development of scientific research on subjects of contemporary art history and theory.
Address Kallirrois Ave. & Am. Frantzi Str. (Former FIX Factory), 117 43 Athens
Web Site: www.emst.gr
Greek Folk Art Museum
The rich collections in this museum cover the period from 1650 to the present. They include textiles, embroideries, costumes, silverware and puppet – theatre. Also, fold paintings, works by Theofilos Hatzimichael, wood carving and stone carving.
The Museum of Greek Folk Art comprises:
- The Exhibition rooms (permanent and periodic exhibitions).
- The Administrative Services.
- The Library, containing 5000 volumes, chiefly on folk art, folklore, ethnology and museology.
- The Archives (Photographic, Film, Sound).
- The Photographic Archive contains negatives and transparencies of the objects in the museum collections and of subjects in Greece (objects - monuments, occupations, etc.).
- The Educational Programme Section.
- The Conservation Laboratory for museum objects, staffed by specialists in the conservation of fabrics and different materials, especially wood and metal. The responsibilities of the Laboratory include all work and activities connected with the preventive and active conservation, restoration and protection of the Museum collections, and also the documentation and publication of the conservation work.
- Parenthetically, the Society "The Friends of the Museum of Greek Folk Art" (1989) assists in furthering the various objectives of the Museum and is responsible for the operation of the Museum Shop.
Address: Kydathinaion 17, Plaka, 105 58
Telephone: 210-322 9031
Fax: 210-3226 979
The Theatre Museum was founded in 1938 by th “Greek Playwrights’ Society” under the Presidency of the author Theodoros Synadinos. In a few years, the Theatre Museum succeeded in becoming and being recognized as a very dynamic and profound “Hellenic Centre of Theatrical Research”, possessing a monumental and unique archive of manuscripts and books (dating to the 18 th century), theatre programs (since 1880), photographs, negatives, slides, posters, newspaper articles, interviews or theatre critiques, films’ archives, audiovisual material (around 2.000 videos of winter and summer theatrical performances of Greek or foreign plays, since 1984, taped exclusively and under the absolute responsibility of the Museum), disks and audiotapes of some of the most famous radio theatrical pieces, operas, theatre or film music etc. Today, the “Hellenic Centre of Theatrical Research – Theatre Museum” is the only one so completed and thorough all over Europe.
Address 50, Akadimias Str. 106 79 Athens
Telephone 210-3629430, 3637453
The museum was founded in 1976, after the private collection of Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos was donated to the Greek state. The collection is housed in a bulging that belonged to the old Athenian Michaelas family. Built in 1894, it was expropriated and reconditioned by the Greek State between 1960 and 1970, and the Museum opened its doors to the public in July 1976.
The collection amassed with difficulty over some sixty years, contains about 6000 objects. Covering virtually all periods of Greek civilization, from prehistoric times through the 18th and 19th century, the collection was created with the goal of displaying the unbroken development of Greek art throughout the centuries. The exhibition was organized with the greatest care and divided into chronological, thematic and geographical units by the archaeologist Maria Brouskari.
This arrangement allows the visitor to follow the development of Greek art as it grew to maturity, both in its marvellous variety – while distinguishing various trends in different regions and local populations – and in its individual characteristics.
Address: Panos and Theorias Str., Acropolis
Web Address: http://www.canellopoulosmuseum.gr/
The Frissiras Museum, the only Museum for Contemporary European Painting in Greece, was inaugurated on November 27, 2000 by the President of the Republic Constantine Stefanopoulos and officially opened on December 4, 2000 by the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos. It is housed in Plaka, in two adjacent neoclassical buildings brought up to the latest museum specifications, and operates as a non-profit private entity.
The collections comprise sections of paintings, drawings, sculptures and engravings by major European artists in constructive dialogue with their Greek counterparts, and attempt to trace the trends and record the figures of the anthropocentric European painting after World War II.
Among the exhibits of the Museum are works by Hockney, Auerbach, Blake, Rustin, Pat Andrea, Dado, Segui, Rego, Velickovic, Arroyo, Adami, Diamantopoulos, Moralis, Ìavroidis, Theofylaktopoulos, Botsoglou, Dikos Vyzantios, Christoforou and the younger Kirby, Howson, Corpet, Martinelli, Smith, Pasieka, Marrey, Schauwecker, Lappas, Missouras, Manzavinos, Sacaillian, Daskaliakis, Bitsikas... It is noted that the collection comprises over 3000 works.
The Museum has already formed cooperation schemes with other European institutions (Veranneman Museum, Whitechapel, Adami Foundation, Maeght Foundation, Onassis Foundation) for the exchange of exhibitions and related activities. The operation of the Museum is based entirely on private initiative and aims to promote contemporary Greek art internationally and serve as a forum for the acquaintance with European art.
The Museum houses the private collection of its founder, Vlassis Frissiras.
An attorney by profession but passionate about Art, Vlassis Frissiras has devoted a major part of his life to collecting works of \\\'traditional\\\' oil painting. He starts collecting works by young Greek visual artists in 1978, with the resolute aim of putting together a collection made up exclusively of paintings centered on two axes: the human form and body, and representation, i.e. the figurative art that reinstates a method of painting which has been more or less marginalized by newer forms of art. In the 1990s his interest turns to European artists.
Today the Frissiras collection has 3,000 works (2,000 paintings and 1,000 drawings) of anthropocentric painting, including such important names as Peter Blake, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Paola Rego, Jean Rustin, Pat Andrea, Valerio Adami, Leo Golub, Dado, Mimo Paladino, Antonio Segui, Sam Szafran.
Address: 3 & 7, Monis Asteriou str., 105 58 Plaka (at the junction of Kydathineon St.)
tel: +30 2103234678 - 2103316027
fax: +30 2103316027
Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum
The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum in Athens was founded in 1993 as a private non-profit foundation devoted to the art of jewelry. It opened to the public in 1994 and today houses in its permanent collections more than 4000 models of jewelry and micro-sculptures, from 50 collections, designed by its founder Academician Ilias Lalaounis, between 1940 and 2000.Since the year 2001 the Museum has opened its doors and collects jewelry and other decorative arts from different periods and various cultures.
The Museum’s cultural role focuses on promoting the history of jewelry and the goldsmith’s art. A number of temporary exhibitions, research programs, publications and other cultural programs are continuously being presented. Further initiatives include social work and educational programs for students which use all the Museum’s facilities, such as a library, a prototype jewelry workshop for hands on experience, and audio visual material.
Permanent collections and temporary exhibitions emphasize in practical jewelry-making and design, decorative and other applied arts and enhance the displays in a stimulating experience. The Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum is the first and only jewelry museum in Greece.
Address: 12, Karyatidon - Kallisperi str. Acropolis - 117 42 Athens Greece
Tel. +30 210-9221044, 210-9227260, 210-9239260, 210-9239709
Fax: +30 210-9237358
Web Site: http://www.lalaounis-jewelrymuseum.gr/