Museums in Corfu
The entire island of Corfu can be portrayed as a living museum that provides a beautiful journey throughout the history and culture of this place. Particularly the town is home to many museums which provide insights into the island's various influences.
Of special interest is the Archaeological Museum of Corfu which is enriched by many findings from the ancient cities of the island. The most impressive ones come from the Archaic period like bronze and marble statues, clay pottery, and parts of ancient temples. Also worth seeing is the Byzantine Museum of Antivouniotissa that features rare icons, frescoes, and ecclesiastical items. The church is actually a monument itself built in the 15th century.
Among the most impressive museums to visit and unique in its kind is the Asian Art Museum housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and George. Visitors can view a fascinating collection of Asian items like weapons, swords, masks and sculpture works. All exhibits come from the private collections of Indian countries. One of the places that Greeks can be proud of is Solomos Museum, the old house of the famous Greek poet who also wrote the National Hymn.
Outside Corfu Town, in the picturesque Benitses, it is a pleasure to visit the Sea Shell Museum. There you have the chance to a large collection of shells, fossils and rare fish from the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. The Music Museum aims to honor and present the history of the Philarmonic society with a great photo archive of concerts and other educational activities. You can also the Arachavi Folklore Museum which hosts a private collection of traditional items, the Numismatic Museum, and the Municipal Gallery.
The Museum of Asian Art of Corfu is the only Asian museum of Greece and is housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint Georges. It was founded in 1927 after that Gregory Manos, an ambassador, donated to the prefecture its private collection of 10, 500 objects of Sino Japanese origin. The museum was first a Chinese and Japanese Art Museum (until 1974) and became an Asian Art Museum later when its collection was enriched with other private collection objects and items from Asia.
This museum is housed in the church of Antivouniotissa, one of the oldest and richest churches in Corfu Town. In 1979, this church was turned into a museum and it exhibits a rich collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons and relics, representing more than five centuries of religious fervor and art.
The Municipal Gallery of Corfu is housed in the Palace of Saint Michael and Saint George. It houses brilliant works of local artists of the 19th century and frequently it hosts important exhibitions.
The archaeological museum stands in Vraila Street, near the Garitsa coastal road and was built to house the Gorgon pediment from the temple of Artemis which was found in the area of Paleopolis. This pediment is dated back to 580 BC and is supposed to be the oldest one in Greece. In the archaeological museum of Corfu, visitors will also admire other founds from excavations from the archaeological sites of the island, from the ancient town of Cassiopeia and items from a private collection.
The Sea Shell Museum of Corfu opened by private initiative and it houses rare pieces from around the world, such as the Indian Ocean and the Meditteranean Sea. It is located outside the village of Benitses.
The Museum of Music "Nikolaos Halikiopoulos Mantzaros" opened in October 2010 with the initiative of the Philarmonic Society of Corfu. In fact, it is dedicated to the founder of this society and the composer of the Greek National Anthem and the Olympic Anthem.
Just across the Roman baths of Acharavi, northern Corfu, there is a Folklore Museum with interesting exhibits that depict the historical course of the island from 1700 till today. The museum is a personal effort of Spyros Vlachos and it is housed in an exhibition building of 1,000 sq.m.
Casa Parlante opened its doors to the public in March 2014 and is actually a living history museum. With animated robotic figures, traditional furniture and real smells and sounds, the museum represents the daily life of a noble 19th-century family.
The Historic and Folklore Museum of Corfu is housed in a traditional two-storey house in Sinarades, a lovely village west of Corfu Town. It was established in 1982 by the Historical-Folklore Society of Corfu and exhibits items from the period 1860-1960.
The Numismatic Museum of Corfu was founded by the Ionian Bank in 1981. It is housed in a building designed by a local architect, Ioannis Chronis. It hosts a rich collection of banknotes, coins, bank documents, stamps, and other bank objects as well as a reproduction of the modern manufacturing process of banknotes.
Dionysius Solomos is the National Greek Poet who wrote the lyrics of the National Greek Hymn. He lived the major part of his life on the island of Corfu, where he wrote a great part of his work. The museum is housed in the beautiful house where the poet used to live and exhibits many of Solomos’personal items, a collection of its manuscripts, various portraits and some photographic material. The house of the poet was turned into a museum by the Corfiot Studies Society.