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Helen Tragea - Athens Museums - Athens Museums Sat, 23 Mar 2019 18:37:00 +0000 en-gb Spathario Museum of Shadow Theatre Spathario Museum of Shadow Theatre

“Spathario” is the first and unique museum of shadow theatre in the world, inaugurated the 22nd of June 1995.

The main intention of the Museum is not to show a “lifeless exhibition of shadows” or to screen Karagiozis figures from view and put them in big suitcases. On the contrary, the intention is to keep them alive in a permanent hospitable home in which all young and old visitors will be accepted to amuse themselves and leave satisfied. Karagiozis' friends can also travel in the magic world of shadows learning about the performances and their history.

The Shadow Theatre is not only one of the most interesting kinds of art but it is one of the most attractive subjects of study and research as well. Many famous Greek and foreign scholars who were investigating about the roots of shadow theatre found its origins in India: the plays of the most known Shadow Theatres of SOUTHEAST ASIA, (Java, Singapore, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia), influenced by the Indian civilization – (4th c.) – have been taken from Ramah's legends and the war between the two races, Pandava and Korawa based on Ramayana and Mahabharata epic poems. The shadow characters came from the world of gods, spirits and ghosts.

There are still many dark and unknown signs about the Karagiozis theatre origins, so, the history of its creation is based on oral traditions and legends. The most well-known oral tradition refers to the legend of two friends in Proussa, (Asia Minor), Karagiozis and Hadziavatis.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Special Interests Sun, 06 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Epigraphical Museum Epigraphical Museum

The Epigraphical Museum is unique in Greece and the largest of its kind in the world. It safeguards 13,510, mostly Greek, inscriptions, which cover the period from early historical times to the Late Roman period, primarily in Greece.


The museum is housed in the south wing ground floor of the National Archaeological Museum. It comprises an internal and external courtyard (atrium), a lobby, eleven rooms, a large hypostyle Pi-shaped corridor, a gallery, offices, a laboratory for the conservation of inscribed stone monuments and lavatories. Only the courtyards, lobby and four rooms are open to the public; the other premisces are accessible only to researchers and staff.

The purpose of the museum, which is a Special Regional Service of the Ministry of Culture, is to safeguard, protect, conserve, display and promote the epigraphical collections that it contains. The museum also aims to comprise photographic and impression archives and a specialized epigraphy library. Moreover, a digital catalogue of the inscriptions is currently under construction, so that the collection can be accessible digitally to future visitors.

The inscriptions in the permanent collection of the Epigraphical Museum are, mostly, Greek and come mainly from Attica. A small number (about 40) of Latin and Hebrew funerary inscriptions of the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries come from Mystra. Most of the inscriptions (98%) are carved on stone or marble, but there are also stamped amphora handles and inscribed clay roof-tiles. Chronologically, the inscriptions range from the eighth century BC to the Late Roman period, with the exception of a few examples which date to the Byzantine and Modern era.

The display in the lobby and in the more recent rooms (9 and 10) follows contemporary museological standards and aesthetic considerations, and has mainly an educational character. In the other rooms, the exhibits were grouped according to the shape and size of the stone blocks, and the type and contents of the inscription. The most important examples on account of their contents (honorary decrees, alliance treaties, lists, economic accounts etc) are displayed in the lobby and in rooms 1 and 2, which are open to the public.

The visitor has at their disposition the information summary provided by the bilingual (Greek and English) exhibit panels and the special volumes containing the ancient texts of those inscriptions displayed in the new rooms (9 and 10). Bibliographical references for the other inscriptions are available on their labels, so that the visitor can look up the relevant publication in the museum's library. The computer in the lobby provides general information on the history of Greek writing.

Author: M. Tsouli, archaeologist

]]> (Helen Tragea) History & Archaeology Sun, 06 Apr 2014 00:00:00 +0000
Cinema Attikon & Apollon Building Cinema Attikon & Apollon Building

This building from the offset was destined to have commercial use. It was designed by Ziller but it was built by the Greek architect Nikoloudes in 1914. Its style was a combination of neoclassicism and eclecticism. Only few years later the building was redecorated by Nikoloudes in a neo-baroque style. The Cinema –theatre Attikon was set there from the beginning while the cinema Appolon was formed in the ‘30s.

Note: Unfortunately in the demonstration of the 12th February 2012 the exterior of the building was destroyed. The Greek Minister of Culture has promised to fund its renovation.
]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Harokopos Mansion (Benaki Museum) Harokopos Mansion (Benaki Museum)

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.

Read more on Benaki Museum

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Presidential Mansion (New Palace) Presidential Mansion (New Palace)

When King Constantine was born the construction of a new palace was decided. The building was designed by Ziller and was built in the years 1891-97. In 1909 part of the old palace (parliament buiding)was destroyed due to a fire and the royal family moved to the new one. From 1974 is used as the official house of the President of the Greek Democracy. It is a three- floor neoclassical building with Ionian columns.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
National Theatre of Greece National Theatre of Greece

Designed by the German architect E. Ziller. It was constructed in the years 1895-1901. The building combines the neoclassic style with eclectic elements. It is heavily decorated creating a big impact.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Stathatos Mansion (Cycladic Art Museum) Stathatos Mansion (Cycladic Art Museum)

The Stathatos Mansion, a neoclassical building created by the architect Ziller in 1895, is the newest addition of the Cycladic Art Museum museum and usually houses temporary exhibitions.

Read more on Cycladic Art Museum

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Schliemann’s Mansion (Numismatic Museum) Schliemann’s Mansion (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.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
Arsakio Mansion (School Building) Arsakio Mansion (School Building)

Designed by L. Kavtatzoglou and built in the years 1846-1852. It has a very strict neoclassical style with few decorations. Marble stones from the archaeological site of Acropolis that were deemed as “unnecessary” were used for its construction. This action that today is considered sacrilegious was then approved by King Otto. Ten years ago, during the renovation of the building, the archaeological committee managed to abstract most of those stones and return them to the archaeological site of Acropolis. Only the ones that are part of the foundation building still remain after being catalogued and photographed.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000
National Technical University of Athens National Technical University of Athens

Made by the Greek architect L. Kavtatzoglou in 1862 also in neoclassical style. The University is based on a complex of three different buildings with Doric and Ionian rhythm.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Athens Trademarks Mon, 27 Feb 2012 00:00:00 +0000