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Best museums in Athens

The capital of Greece is alive with history. It permeates every stone of the old quarters, lurks among the ancient ruins, and bears the message of the artifacts found in excavations. Athens is a major economic and cultural center, yet is tacitly considered the cradle of Western civilization. Tourist destination offers not only beach holidays, but also a long list of amazing excursions, among which visits to museums is a very important part. Every museum in Athens is interesting and unique, and the exhibits include many real treasures that are much more valuable than jewelry.

Top 10 Most Visited Museums in Athens

Exhibition centers and art galleries are very common in the city. Officially there are about 20 of them, and some have several branches, so it is difficult to understand which one belongs where. But you can not bother to classify, and just enjoy the amazing objects and works of art, kept in the halls as permanent exhibitions or in traveling thematic exhibitions. The top 10 most interesting museums have different themes and volume of the exposition.

National Archaeological Museum

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

It takes center stage, which is not at all surprising for a legendary city that has existed for thousands of years. It has a huge number of exhibits belonging to different centuries and eras. In terms of area, the complex is among the largest in the world and covers 8,000 meters. It contains about 20,000 exhibits, many of which are considered unique.

The foundation of the National Archaeological Museum was in the 19th century, the building was designed by architects Lange, Kalkos and Ziller, the land was allocated Eleni Tositsa. The objectives of the museum were to store, exhibit items found during archaeological excavations, study them, educate citizens and conduct thematic tours, lectures and seminars.

The most valuable are:

  • collection of vases and household items;
  • ancient artifacts;
  • objects from the prehistoric period;
  • Egyptian art of ancient times.

A visit to the National Archaeological Museum is on the list of most sightseeing programs.

Museum of Cycladic Art

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The peculiarity of the exhibits is that they were brought from the islands of the Cycladic archipelago. Founded by the Gulandris family, the core was the personal collection that the couple had been collecting since 1960. The main focus is on artifacts from the Cycladic culture of the 3rd millennium BC. The most valuable exhibits are considered to be the collection of ceramic vessels and marble figurines. The collection has been exhibited at the Benaki Museum, the Grand Palais, and the National Gallery in Washington.

The museum is divided into three sectors, where are exhibited:

  • Early Bronze Age;
  • Greek art, including the Bronze Age;
  • Cypriot culture until the 6th century AD.

The exhibits continue to expand with new exhibits.

The Old and New Acropolis Museums

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The first was built on Sacred Mountain in the 19th century. It consists of 9 spacious galleries, where the exhibits are displayed in chronological order. The most famous are the Archaic Crusts and the Caryatids. Copies of some of the sculptures are preserved in the Greek Hall of the Museum. Pushkin.

The new museum opened in 2009 and is housed in a modern building designed by Chumi, with an area of 226,000 m². The structure has caused mixed reactions from the citizens with too great a contrast between the style and the exhibits housed in it. But visitors note that the halls are spacious, the building is multifunctional, there are very interesting elements, such as a glass floor through which you can see fragments of excavations, they continue.

The basis of the exhibition are engravings, sculptures, elements of interior decoration of ancient temples, the original caryatids. The building houses an amphitheater, a museum store, and a virtual theater.

National Museum of History

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Located in the old parliament building. Famous for its collection of the Historical and Ethnographic Society, which is based on exhibits from the fall of Constantinople and subsequent eras up to World War II. The main emphasis is on the formation of the Greek Republic and the path of its development.

Museum of Greek musical instruments

Museum of Greek Musical Instruments of Athens

Music has an important place in Greek myths and legends. Some instruments became the prototype for more complex modifications in Western culture. There are more than 1,200 pieces in the collection, including tumberleks, laghuts, floggers, and arrays. The oldest date back to the 18th century, almost all are sound. You can listen to their voice by wearing headphones hanging next to the booths.

Most of the exhibits were collected by musicologist and researcher Fivos Anoinakis. The building itself is also interesting, but architecturally, as it was built in 1824 and was originally the mansion of Georgios Lafassianis, a hero of the Greek Revolution.

Admission is free, and the staff is off on Monday.

Military Museum

Museum of Greek Musical Instruments of Athens

The glorious history of the page is inconceivable without great discoveries and glorious victories. The exhibition halls opened in 1975. In the exposition samples of weapons, starting from the antiquity period, maps, documents, uniforms, plans of fortresses. Each era is dedicated to a separate hall, there are 11 of them. The collections are supplemented with vintage drawings, layouts, and photographs. The museum is considered one of the most popular museums in Athens.

Agora Museum

Agora Museum - Athens

When you visit it, you are involuntarily immersed in the history of the ancient ages, as it is located in the restored Attalus Colonnade, dating back to 150 B.C. The main part of the exhibits are finds discovered during excavations of the Agora. Many subjects have witnessed the process of establishing a democratic system of government.

An ancient clepsydra once counted down the time allotted to each speaker, bronze ballots were created as early as the 6th century for voting. The ostraca, which had the form of an inscribed splinter, determined the fate of citizens during the trial. This is where the expression “ostracize” came from, which meant exile. The collection includes fragments of inscriptions, steles, marble clerotherium, coins, everyday objects, clothing, jewelry, and housewares.

Maritime Museum

Athens Maritime Museum

The hymn to brave sailors sounds in the smooth contours of models of ancient ships, nautical charts and antique instruments for determining the course and speed. Nine rooms were needed for a worthy arrangement of exhibits in chronological order. It opened in 1949, and 20 years later added another collection of maps and photographs and a valuable library.

Byzantine Museum

Byzantine Museum of Athens

It is based on the findings of enthusiasts from the Archaeological Society. Members of the Christian Archaeological Commission assisted in the opening of the exhibition. The entire collection is divided into two parts, Antiquity and the Byzantine world. The Ilicia Manor, once owned by Sophia Lebrun, is set aside to house the antiquities.

The pearls of the collection are considered to be the rarest icons of Catherine of Alexandria and St. George with inlays of precious metals.

Theater Museum

Byzantine Museum of Athens

The cradle of theater is considered to be ancient Greece. Here tragedy, called the high genre, was recognized. From small entertaining sketches, played out in the intermissions, grew comedy. The laws of plot structure were formed and the foundations of stage art were developed. Some of the halls are decorated in the form of artists’ dressing rooms. There are even props doors on the side. One gets the impression that the performance has already begun, but there are scarves, gloves and other props carelessly thrown on chairs and tables, and vintage posters on the walls.

A video tour of the museums of Athens

It is also worth visiting the Tower of the Winds, Children’s, Railway, Numismatic and City Museums and get an amazing impression of the rich history of the city, depicted in the simplest objects and works of art.

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