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Special Interests Museums in Athens - Admissions & pass | Opening hours | Pictures | Maps | Visitor comments & Reviews - Athens Museums - Athens Museums Sat, 23 Mar 2019 18:55:14 +0000 en-gb Museum of the city of Athens Vouros-Eutaxias Museum of the city of Athens Vouros-Eutaxias

The Museum of the city of Athens has a collection of engravings, paintings and photographs of Athens of the previous century. Moreover, the visitor can wander through rooms with furniture and objects typical of the 19th century and admire some paintings of famous Greek artists. Besides the permanent collection, the museum organizes exhibitions on its third floor.

The Building and the History of the museum

Lambros Eutaxias (1905-1996) and his uncle Alexandros Vouros (1871-1959) were the founders of the museum. The museum was founded by them in 1973 and opened to the public in 1980. It is housed in two of the most beautiful and older buildings of Athens. The first one belonged to Dekozi-Vourou and was inhabited by king Otto and queen Amalia from 1863 to 1843. Therefore, it is also called “Old Palace”. The second, which nowadays is connected to the other via a covered bridge, was built by the Greek architect Gerasimo Metaxa in 1859.

The Walkthrough

1st floor
When the visitor enters the museum he sees a large room on his right. In this room there are lithographs and engravings of aspects of the city of Athens and its important monuments (the Parthenon, The temple of the Olympian Zeus and so on) around 1800. The whole room is dominates by a large oil painting done by Jaques Carrey. It presents Marquise Nointel and his entourage set against Athens’ Acropolis. The painting besides its artistic value has an historic one. Here the Parthenon is depicted intact as it was before the 26th of September of 1687 when it was damaged by cannon balls of the Venetian forces commanded by Koenigsmark. Leaving this room behind and going up few stair-steps the visitor will face a window case that contains objects of daily use of the 19th century. Many of those have the seal of King Otto. Right next to the window case there are some more engravings presenting views of the old Athens. In a room to the left several plans and models of the city of Athens are presented. The larger one was made by the famous Greek architect Travlos in 1842. The visitor can witness the enormous growth of the city in the last two centuries.

2nd floor
The stairs leading to the second floor are decorated with engravings depicting the monuments of Athens. The second floor is set as house of the 19th century. Here the visitor can walk through a living room, a dining room, a library room and so on. Each room contains chandeliers, furniture and carpets of the 19th century. There also some paintings of famous Greek artist and other interesting artifacts. For example there is a portrait of Lord Byron, a hand written copy of the constitution of 1844 that was used by King Otto himself, a map of Greece of 1838 which contains only Peloponnese and a small part of central Greece. One should not miss the portrait of Athanasios Eytaxias made by the important Greek painter Vikatos and the portrait of Kiki Papastratou created by Gounaropoulos.

3rd floor
The stairs for the third floor are decorated with photographs of Athens at the end of 19th century. This floor is transformed into an exhibition are and it is usually occupied by temporary exhibitions devoted to Greek painters.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Special Interests Mon, 31 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Museum and Study Centre of the Greek Theatre Museum and Study Centre of the Greek Theatre

The collection of the museum of Greek theatre includes posters, programs, photographs, costumes and personal items of historic plays and performances and famous actors and actresses of the Greek theatre.

The Building

The museum is housed temporarily in the basement of the Cultural Center of the Municipality of Athens. The building is one of the oldest of Athens. It was built by the famous Danish architect Ch. Hansen in 1842 in neoclassical style. Initially it was used as a Community Hospital. In 1971 it was decided that the building should be restores in its initial state and should be preserved as one of the historic buildings of Athens. Therefore, several buildings that had been added to the initial architectural plan were demolished and the garden was reformed in order to house the Cultural Center.

The History of the Museum

The museum was founded in 1938 by the “Greek Play writers’ Society”. Yannis Sideris, a historian of Greek theatre, mamaged to collect and organize photographs, archives and various mementos of the history of Greek Theatre. Beside the museum, a library that contains an extensive archive with negatives, photographs and audiovisual material was created and now is open to students and researchers of the field.

Walking Through the Museum

When the visitor enters the museum, he finds himself in a long corridor. The walls of the corridor are decorated with posters, tickets and theatrical programs of various plays. One can find here programs that were made for plays of the 1900. Starting from the left hand side and reaching the end of the corridor one will be able to admire sculptural busts of famous Greek play writers. The first room contains photographs form important plays from the period of 1919-1972. Here, there are also exhibited costumes from plays of the period 1960-1990. The second room is devoted to the famous theater director Karol Koun. One can find several photographs, books and other personal items of Koun. In the third room props and costumes of various plays are on display. A separate section of the room is devoted on Sophia Vempo a famous Greek actress and singer of the ‘50s. There also some models of the stage scenery of old shows.

If the visitor returns to the corridor and moves to the right will see that the right end of the corridor dolls from the Greek old doll theatre and the figures of the traditional Shadow Theatre of Greece. The corridor leads to a big room that is divided to smaller spaces that represent the dressing rooms of the most important actors and actresses of all the Greek theatrical History. Each dressing room contains costumes, photographs, props and personal items of the actor and actress. There are 12 of those for Aliki Vougiouklaki, Tzeni Karezi, Kyveli, Demetres Mirat, Katerina Andeadi, Demetres Horn, Eleni Papadaki, Katina Paxinou with Alexis Minotis, Melina Merkouri, Eli Lampeti, Marina Kotopouli and Maria Kalas. The rest of the room contains mostly photographical portraits of other famous actors and actresses.The relocation of Museum and Study Centre of the Greek Theatre to new address is imminent. 

The relocation of Museum and Study Centre of the Greek Theatre to new address is imminent.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Special Interests Thu, 27 Jan 2011 00:00:00 +0000
Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum

The Jewelry museum of Ilias lalaounis is located in one of the most picturesque neighborhoods of Athens, very close to the metro station of Acropolis. Its permanent collection includes 4000 models of jewelry designed by its founder from 1940 until 2000.

The History of the Museum

The museum was founded in 1993 as a private non-profit cultural foundation devoted to the art of Jewelry. It opened to the public in 1994.

The walkthrough

The collection of the museum is spread on two different floors. On the ground floor, there is the ticket booth, and a small shop which offers jewelry and other well designed objects to its visitors.

Going up the stairs for the first floor the visitor will discover three little bronze statues made by Salavador Dali. Two of those are titled as “Homage to Terpsichore” depicting a young naked woman. The third is representing St. George and the Dragon. Reaching the first floor and moving towards the left hand side one can begin admiring the various jewelry collections. The first showcases contain collections that were inspired by Paleolithic and Neolithic findings. There are also pieces of jewelry that were influenced by Schliemann’s publications on the Ilion treasure. The influence of Mycenaean and Minoan civilization is also evident in another collection. The visitor can also admire pieces of jewelry that imitate ancient classical Greek and Hellenistic artifacts. There is also a section inspired by Byzantine icons and mosaics. Besides the strong influence of Greek art on the design of Lalaounis the visitor can discover other sources of inspiration. There are designs inspired by bio-shapes, stellar movements, biology and technology, nature and eventually by the art and architecture of foreign civilizations such as Vikings, Celts, Mesopotamia, Arabs, Cyprus, Far East and so on. It is very interesting to see how these common and familiar shapes are transformed into magnificent jewelry. In this floor there is a small room where the visitor can watch a video on the technique of jewelry making. 

On the Second floor there are collections of small valuable objects that were donated to the museum. One can see the collection of small ornate shoes that belonged to Sofia Babrbatou. There is also another collection of decorated thimbles. There also Greek traditional ornate belts and jewelry of 18th and 19th century. A small section of this floor holds a collection of hair combs and intricate hair pins of Japan. There is also a separate space with screen that is used for screening video and documentaries of the jewelry making technique.

The stuff is trained to answer your questions and offer information on precious stones and metals and on the technique of creating jewelry. Special tours for young children are available.

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Hellenic Children's Museum Hellenic Children's Museum

The Greek Children's Museum was founded in 1987 and is situated in a renovated neoclassical building in Plaka. It is one of the 300 Children’s museums that exist all over the world. Its goal is to intrigue the children and to teach them through an interactive method. It is suitable for children up to the age of twelve.

On the ground floor the first room is called Bubble Room. Here the children can play with water and shop and create various bubbles even as big as themselves. There is also a playground that offers various materials with which the children can build various structures and create spaces. A corridor is dedicated to experiments concerning water. The room of Pythagoras is dedicated to the geometrical shapes. The family room is specifically designed for children from 0-3 years old. It contains various educational toys suitable for these ages. There is also some space where the parents can sit watch their children and talk with other parents.

On the second floor there is a room called The Market. Shops like the Bakery, the Pharmacy, the Butchers shop, the Grocery and others are presented in a smaller scale in order to help the children to understand how the market works and realize their consuming habits. In the Kitchen the grownups and the children can mix ingredients to create cookies. They can cook and try them. In the Attic several objects of the everyday use of the previous decades are on display. Here, there is the chance to explain to the children how the previous generations lived and enjoyed themselves. There is also a room dedicated to the human body. Here the children learn the benefits of good health and physical exercise. Another room called Factory demonstrates to the children the procedure of mass production. On this floor there is also a separate space where the children's creations are displayed.  
The museum offers also a toy store with educative and well chosen toys. There is another shop called Material shop. Left overs and scraps of various factories and shops are sold to be used as materials for the children's creations. In this way the idea of recycling can be introduced to the children.

The Children’s museum offers the parents the opportunity to pass some fun, creative and educational hours with their children. On the other hand it is just a small sample of what this kind of museum could have been. Even if the intentions are honest and well aimed, the museum still has a long away to go and to evolve in order to become a real educational tool for the teachers and the parents.

Tip: Even if it is not stated the museum seems to be close during the summer period. Call before visiting in order to be on the safe side.

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War Museum War Museum

The war museum contains an extended range of war machinery and weapons that were invented and used by men from the prehistoric times until the 20th century. It also includes some pieces of art that represent historical battles, photographical archive, film documentaries and historical maps.

The exhibition starts on the second floor on the left hand side with rock tools from the Neolithic times (circa 7.000 B.C.) that were probably used as everyday tools but also for hunting and fighting. In the same room one can also see the Cycladic rock tools and eventually the bronze weapons of Mycenae. Further along there are replicas of the weapons that were used both by the Persians and the Greeks during the 5th century B.C.. Bronze has been replaced by iron. Here there also copies of the metopes of Parthenon and the frieze of the temple of Apollo at Basae. Both pieces of art represent the mythical battles between the Lapiths and the centaurs and the Greeks and the Amazons. From these representations the visitor can deduce how a battle in that time would be.
Further along there is information on expedition if Alexander the Great. Replicas of the weapons of this period are displayed. The visitor can also watch a documentary on this subject. The next room has the arms and the war machinery of the Byzantine period and the medieval times.

The room dedicated to the struggle of liberation of 1821 has plenty exhibits. Arms from several different areas of Greece are presented here. Ornate swords, powder holders, safe keepings are displayed. A small canon can also be admired. Several paintings (most of the copies and not the originals) of Greek painters of the 19th century that painted the important battles of this war can be seen here. The arms, the ships and the metals of the New Greek State are presented in the next room. When the visitor reaches the room dedicated to the period of 1912-1918 he will be able to admire small replicas of the first airplanes. Here the original work of the Greek painter Flora-Karavia are displayed; sketches and portraits of simple soldiers and officers of the Balkan wars. The First World War and the Minor Asia expedition are also represented through photos paintings and arms. A documentary on the Minor Asia war can be watched. The Second World War also has many exhibits. Beside the weapons and the photos, bombs parts of submarine and a whole motorcycle of the time is on display here. Moreover the original paintings of the Greek painter Ubertos Argyros can be found here. The battle on the Albanian frontier is presented extensively in his painting. Interesting are also the improvised guns made by the Greek Resistance during the German occupation.

The exhibition continues of the first floor with bombs and weapons still of the era. Here a room is dedicated to Cyprus containing a synopsis of its history. The Cyprian collection starts with the prehistoric arms of this particular area and ends up at the Turkish invasion. Photographs or the recent history are presented.

On the ground floor one van see the military uniforms of various periods. The balconies and the garden of the museum are covered with artillery of different period weapons used by the Greek Navy and aircrafts used by the Hellenic Air Force.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Special Interests Wed, 28 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000
Museum of Greek Children’s Art Museum of Greek Children’s Art

The museum is situated in a renovated neoclassical building in the old town of Athens, Plaka. It has no permanent collection on display. It usually organizes exhibitions of paintings and three dimensions art made by children up to fourteen years old.

These paintings are produced in activities planned by the museum itself. Several classes with duration of several months are organized. In these classes the children are shown paintings of great artists or paintings on specific subjects and are asked to create their own artworks inspired by those they have seen. From this stock later on the exhibition of the museum will be set. 

It is truly astounding the fact that children with a little bit of directing can create works of high aesthetic value, full of fantasy, color and vitality. These works definitely make a visit to the museum worth the effort and the time.

The museum, though, should be mostly praised for all the work it does behind the scenes. Its’ organized classes offer the chance to the children to learn about art, cultivate their aesthetic, and spend some hours in creative and educative way, interacting with other children of their age.

Tip: The museum is usually closed during summer. Call before visiting. More information on the classes can be found on its website.

]]> (Helen Tragea) Special Interests Thu, 29 Jul 2010 00:00:00 +0000
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