Museum and Workshop of Cretan Lyra in Rethymnon Town, Crete: The Museum of Cretan Lyra is strongly connected with the tradition and music of Crete. The lyra is the traditional musical instrument of the island and visitors will listen to its music in all the villages of Crete, particularly in the inland. This museum is actually a workshop of the Cretan lyra.
This workshop was originally founded in 1940 by Manolis Stagakis, a well-respected lyra artist (lyraris). He decided to make a lyra of his own when he no more found satisfying the musical instruments of his time. This is how this workshop started and the family tradition is kept till today. Along the decades, lyras of the Stagakis family were used by the most famous lyra artists of Crete.
In fact, Michalis Stagakis, son of Manolis, contributed greatly to the technique of lyra making. In 1978, he traveled to Venice (Italy) where in collaboration with the famous instrument strings factory Dogal, he produced his own lyra strings, which can be found globally as Lyra di Creta and are now a standard in lyra construction all over Greece.
Today, Manolis Stagakis Jr continues the family tradition of lyra making. Along with the workshop, he has also turned one room into an exhibition room with a collection of lyras and other traditional musical instruments. Visitors will get a description of the various stages of lyra making and if they want, they can try playing the lyra (at no charge) or they can buy it.
The Museum of Cretan Lyra is located in the modern part of Rethymnon Town, 2 km from the old part and right next to the Municipal Hospital. Entrance and guide are free.
Address: Hatzimichali Giannari str, 45, Rethymnon Town, next to the Municipal Hospital