Sunday, April 20, 2008

Athens Museums

Museums in Athens

The National Archaeological Museum is the most important museum not only in Athens but in Greece and counts amongst the best museums worldwide. The museum hosts the worlds largest collection of Ancient Greek art. It is really a life's experience to visit the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. In the ground floor as you enter the main exhibition hall there are items from the Mycenae civilisation that where discovered by H.Schliemmann during his excavations in Mycenae. Most impressing is the golden mask of king Agamemnon as well as the golden jewels and statuettes from this period. In the same area there are items from the Cycladic period, in this area the most wonderful statute is the Man with the Harp made from white marble a typical artefacts of Cycladic sculpture. Further on there are Vases from the Geometric period and statues of kouros the first statues that the Greeks made with a move (The Kouros is a man's Statue usually 3 met high with a move forwards of the one leg) those statues dating from the Archaic period 4-7th century BC. Very interesting is the exhibit hall of the Classical Greece with most impressing the Statue of Poseidon. In an area of this hall there are clay pieces used by the Athenians of the Classic Athens to choose who of the most dangerous man for the city and the Democracy will be send to exile (Exostrakismos).
The museum was completed in 1889 and is a fine example of neoclassic architecture. Located at 44 Patission street next to the Polytechnic school of Athens.

National Archaeological Museum

The Goulandris Cycladic Art Museum located in 4 Neofytou Douka street. In the museum there is exhibition of several statues and other works from the Cycladic civilisation era from the 2000-3000 BC. The Cycladic civilisation flourished in the area of the Cyclades islands especially in Naxos, Milos, Amorgos, Paros. Most of the statues are made of Marble. One of the main reasons of sculpturing in marble was the plethora of marble in many of the Cyclades islands.

The Museum Benaki located at the corner of Vasilissis Sofias Avenue with Koumbari street. The museum exhibits various items from the Greek Antiquity with most important exhibit of 2 golden vases from the 30th century BC, items of Coptic Art, the Byzantine and post Byzantine era from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 until the end of the 19th century. The museum among others has collections of Chinese and Islamic art as well as items of pre-Columbian art. In the museum Benaki there are two paintings of El Greco. In other areas of the museum the visitor will find Greek paintings and works of modern Greek artists and folk art from various areas of Greece. Interesting is the sector of children toys and games. The Benaki museum organises various exhibitions of art from local and foreigner artists.

The National History museum of Athens is located in 13 Stadiou street in the Old Parliament building. the museum exhibits mostly items from the modern history of Greece especially from the times of the war of independence.

National History museum of Athens

The Byzantine museum located at 22 Vasilissis Sofias avenue. The museum exhibits items from the Byzantine times. Impressing Byzantine icons, liturgical garments and equipment, precious books, jewellery and documents from the 14th to the 18th century AD .

Other interesting museums in Athens is the museum in the Ancient Agora that is housed in the Stoa of Attalos (entrance from Adrianou street in Monastiraki. The Numismatic museum of Athens is located in Panepistimiou street after the Academy, the Kerameikos museum in Ermou street (easy to access by the Metro), the Byzantine museum in Vasilissis Sofias avenue 22. In Plaka there are some interesting museums like the Children's museum, the Frissiras museum, the museum of Greek Folk Art and the Kanelopoulos museum in Theorias street under the north slope of Acropolis.

Attalos Stoa Museum