Museums A-Z

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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.  

 

Islamic Art Museum

The Islamic Art Museums was founded by the Benaki institute. It contains the private collection that Antonis Benakis which he started while living in Egypt. The Islamic Art museum is situated in two combined neoclassical buildings donated by L. Eftaxia. The buildings are situated in the historical center of Athens, next to the Keramikos site. When they were being renovated, a part of the city’s wall and an ancient tomb were discovered on the foundations. Today, these can be seen at the basement of the building. The Islamic Art Museum consists of four floors. Its' collection covers the centuries from the 7th century A.D. to the 19th century.

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