The Spathario Shadow Theater Museum in Athens: Karagiozis, the most characteristic figure of the Greek shadow theatre, has its own unique museum created by the shadow player Evgenios Spatharis.
It opened in 1996 and is housed at a Neoclassical building in Marousi (northern suburbs of Athens).
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The Spathario Museum does not aim to present a monotonous exhibition of Karagiozis figures; it was meant to be the new house of Karagiozis, a place that protects and keeps alive this tiny figure that marked the Greek culture, popular tradition and folk theatre.
But who is Karagiozis? That is a question that every Greek person is able to answer, but most visitors have no clue about it!
Karagiozis is the main protagonist of the Greek folk shadow theatre. In fact, it seems that the hero was based on a real person who lived during the period of the Ottoman Empire. His main characteristics are his very large hand for teasing others and his penchant for jokes. He represents the poor Greek man who is both optimistic and lazy at the same time.
In the shadow theatre, apart from Karagiozis, there are many other characters involved, all based on the types of people one would (and does) meet in Greek society. Some examples are Karagiozis' wife Aglaia and their children Kolitiria, Hatziavatis, the cunning rajah who is also a breadwinner and tries to help his friend Karagiozis, Beis, the man of the upper social class, and Barba-Giorgos, Karagiozis' uncle who represents the traditional Greek man who does not change with the passage of time.
The museum consists of four halls.
• Hall A includes figures made of cardboard and scenic designs carved to the detail
• Hall B shows figures of plastic celluloid, most of them influenced by the Greek mythology
• Hall C presents figures inspired by Greek history and
• Hall D hosts leather Karagiozis figures and some leather figures of shadow theatre from Bali, China, Thailand and Java.
The museum is open from 09:00 to 14:00 on the weekdays (Monday-Friday).
There are many ways to reach Spathario Shadow Theater Museum from any location in Athens.
Private transfers: We recommend using an online pre-booked transfer service, which provides transfer by taxi, minibus, or private VIP car and arranging a pickup directly from the port, airport, or your hotel. Alternatively, there’s the option of arranging a pickup by a local driver directly at the following numbers: (0030) 18288, (0030) 18222, (0030) 18180. You can also book your taxi online.
Car rental: There is the option of renting a car and picking it up directly from the airport, port, or your hotel. Using a rental car allows visitors to discover the Spathario Shadow Theater Museum and many other places of interest in Athens at their own pace.
By metro: The closest metro station is Maroussi (Green Line). Note that in order to reach the Spathario Shadow Theater Museum from the metro, a 12-minute walk is needed. Get a map of the metro here.
By bus/trolleybus: The closest bus stop is "Diastavrosi Melission". Check the routes and the official timetables on OASA Telematics.