Helen Tragea

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Benaki Museum (central building)

The Benaki Museum is set in a neoclassical building which was completed in 1895 by the architecture Metaxas. It was known as Harokopos mansion until it was bought by the Benaki family in 1910. New wings were added to the original building which eventually in 1930 was transformed into a museum. The Benaki Museum holds several permanent collections. It also organizes interesting exhibitions usually of contemporary art.

Numismatic Museum

The Numismatic Museum is in the house of the famous archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann. The building- designed by Schliemann’s friend Ziller- was completed in 1881. It is one of the few buildings of that era that remain intact and standing in Athens. It combines elements of an Italian Renaissance house and the neoclassical style that was popular in Greece at that period. Its interior is beautifully decorated with mosaics, murals and painted ceilings. The decoration of the mosaics is inspired by Schliemann’ s finding at the excavation of  Mycenae. The murals and the ceilings imitate the paintings that were found in the Pompeii. The building’s beauty alone justifies a visit.

Byzantine and Christian Museum

The Byzantine and Christian Museum has a long history. It was officially founded in 1914, even though is existence is connected to the Christian Archaeological Society which was older. Initially the museum was housed in Villa Illisia, one of the few remaining buildings of 19th century in Athens. This building was completed in 1848 by the architect Stamatis Kleathis. It functioned as the winter home of the Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, Duchess of Plaisance. In reality the Villa Illisia is a complex of buildings with an extended courtyard. The central building has two stores and externally is covered with marble. The whole complex combines the neoclassic style with romanticism and even with elements of the traditional Greek Architecture. Initially the museum was set in the central building. Nowadays, however the permanent collection is shown in an underground multi-level building made by Manos Perrakis, which is situated underneath the complex of Villa Illisia. The central building of the Villa will be restored and used as a space for temporary exhibitions.  

 

Benaki Museum (Pireos Street Annexe)

The building at 138 Pireos street
The new Benaki Museum building is located at 138 Pireos Street, one of the central development axes of Athens.

The existing building, which is organised around a central courtyard, is already being refurbished, thanks to co-funding by the Ministry of Culture and the European Union.

The new building covers a total area of 8,200 m2 with underground areas of 2,800 m2 and an internal courtyard of 850 m2. The exhibition halls span 3,000 m2. There is an amphitheatre capable of seating 300, as well as areas to house the Museum services.

The Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum

In 1972 Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos donated their collection to the Greek State. The collection contains over 6.000 artifacts of the Ancient Greek Civilization covering a span of almost 5000 years. The visitor has the opportunity to admire diverse objects like tools and vases of the Neolithic period and folk jewelry of the 19th century.

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