Archaeological Museum

Location: Patission Ave   

The Archaeological Museum of Athens: The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is located in Patission Avenue, close to Omonoia Square. The first Greek archaeological museum was established in 1829 on Aegina island by the Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias. When Athens became the capital of Greece, in the 1830, the Archaeological Museum was transferred and sited in different buildings each time, for example in the temple of Hephaestus in the Ancient Agora and the Athens University.

The building that houses the museum used to house the Parliament and then the Ministry of Justice. It was designed by the  German architect Ernst ZillerIts and its construction was completed in 1889.

Some modifications to the original plans were made later by the Greek architect Panagiotis Kalkos, when the building was given to the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece to turn it into the Archaeological Museum of Athens. However, the amphitheatre of the old Parliament can still be seen today and constitutes a live architectural treasure. It keeps its imposing congress hall, which apart from hosting a remarkable history legacy, is also used to house important cultural events.

The permanent exhibit of the museum includes items from the ancient history of Greece. The museum displays items from the prehistoric and Minoan times, the Classical period, during which Athens was at its peak, the Roman and Hellenistic times since the Byzantine Times, the Venetian Rule, the Ottoman occupation, the Greek Revolution and the recent Greek history. In short, the museum hosts exhibitions from all the periods of Greek history. Among the ancient collection, you will see marble or stone statues, miniatures, gravestones, bronze objects, tools, weapons and items from the everyday life.

There are also findings from excavations all over Greece, such as the excavations in Mycenae held by Heinrich Schliemann, which assured for the museum the golden mask of Agamemnon.  One of the museum's collections is the Ethnographic collection, which stands out because of its rapid development. It includes traditional items of Modern Greek folk art, as well as regional costumes, pieces of jewelry, embroidery, and textiles. It also has ceramic, wooden and metal articles of both functional and decorative use.

The southern section of the Archaeological Museum hosts the Epigraphic Museum, which displays about 15,000 Greek inscriptions, dating from the ancient till the recent times of Greece. The museum also hosts a large library with rare manuscripts, science and philosophy books and publications. There are about 20,000 volumes in the museum's library, some of which date from the 17th century.

The Archaeological Museum lies within a walking distance from Omonoia or Victoria station. It is open every day.

Address: Tosista st, 1 and Patision ave
Phone: (+30) 210 82 17 717

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