Museums in Greece

Stoa of Attalos

The Stoa of Attalos was a covered walkway or portico in the Agora of Athens. It was built by and named after King Attalos II of Pergamon, who ruled between 159 BC and 138 BC. The current building was reconstructed in 1952–1956 by American architects along with the Greek architect Ioannis Travlos and the Greek Civil Engineer Yeoryios Biris. Typical of the Hellenistic age, the stoa was more elaborate and larger th ...
Founded: 159 BCE (1952-1956) | Location: Athens, Greece

National Archaeological Museum

The National Archaeological Museum houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece from prehistory to late antiquity. It is considered one of the greatest museums in the world and contains the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity worldwide. The current location was proposed and the construction of the museum"s building began in 1866 and was c ...
Founded: 1866-1889 | Location: Athens, Greece

Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum, opened in 2009, focuses on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies over the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres.
Founded: 2009 | Location: Athens, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Chania

The Archaeological Museum of Chania was established in 1962. to the house built probably in the 1500s. It served as a Venetian church inhabited by Franciscan monks, and became an important monument of the city. During the period of the Ottoman occupation, the building was used as a mosque and named after Yussuf Pasha, the conqueror of Chania. At the turn of the 20th century it became the cinema and after Worl ...
Founded: 1962 | Location: Chaniá, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Rhodes

The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes is housed in the monumental edifice that was the hospital of the Knights of Saint John. Construction of it was begun in 1440 and brought to completion in the time of the Grand Master d"Aubusson (1476-1503). The Museum contains various collections of archaeological artifacts from various parts of Rhodes and the neighbouring islands, including the Statue of the Crouching Aphrodite ( ...
Founded: 1914 | Location: Rhodes, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

The Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki is one of the largest museums in Greece and the central museum of northern Greece. It holds and interprets artifacts from the Prehistoric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, mostly from the city of Thessaloniki but also from the region of Macedonia in general. The museum is housed in a building designed by architect Patroklos Karantinos and is an examp ...
Founded: 1912 | Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Heraklion Archaeological Museum

The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the greatest museums in Greece and the best in the world for Minoan art, as it contains the most notable and complete collection of artifacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete. The museum began in 1883 as a simple collection of antiquities. A dedicated building was constructed from 1904 to 1912.  Today Herakleion Archaeological Museum is one of the largest and most ...
Founded: 1883 | Location: Heraklion, Greece

Byzantine and Christian Museum

The Byzantine and Christian Museum was founded in 1914, and houses more than 25,000 exhibits with rare collections of pictures, scriptures, frescoes, pottery, fabrics, manuscripts, and copies of artifacts from the 3rd century AD to the late medieval era. It is one of the most important museums in the world in Byzantine Art. In June 2004, in time for its 90th anniversary and the 2004 Athens Olympics, the museum reopened ...
Founded: 1914 | Location: Athens, Greece

Museum of Byzantine Culture

The Museum of Byzantine Culture was opened in 1994. It was established with the aim of creating a centre in which aspects of Byzantine culture surviving in Macedonia in general and Thessaloniki in particular may be kept, researched, and studied. The museum has collections of sculpture, frescoes, mosaics, icons, and inscriptions from the Byzantine period. It has permanent exhibitions, rooms for temporary thematic exhibiti ...
Founded: 1994 | Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Benaki Museum

The Benaki Museum, established and endowed in 1930 by Antonis Benakis, houses Greek works of art from the prehistorical to the modern times, an extensive collection of Asian art, hosts periodic exhibitions and maintains a state-of-the-art restoration and conservation workshop. Although the museum initially housed a collection that included Islamic art, Chinese porcelain and exhibits on toys, its 2000 re-opening led to t ...
Founded: 1930 | Location: Athens, Greece

Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki

The Jewish Museum of Thessaloniki presents the history of Sephardic Jews and Jewish life in the city. The collection of the museum was based on the documents, ritual objects, and photographic collections as well as the library that used to be housed at Vasileos Herakleiou 26. The building was built in 1904 by the Italian architect, Vitaliano Poselli. On the ground level are monumental stones and inscriptions that were o ...
Founded: 2001 | Location: Thessaloniki, Greece

Historical Museum of Crete

The Historical Museum of Crete was founded in 1953 and is housed in a neoclassical building of significant architectural merit. The museum’s permanent collections highlight the art and history of Crete from the 4th century AD to modern times. The collections are ordered chronologically and by subject matter, and are combined with visual material and multimedia. They include ceramics, sculptures, coins, jewellery, wal ...
Founded: 1953 | Location: Heraklion, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Corfu

The Archaeological Museum of Corfu was built between 1962 and 1965. The museum land was donated by the city of Corfu. Its initial purpose was to house the archaeological finds from the Temple of Artemis in Corfu. In 1994 it was expanded with the addition of two more exhibit halls that display the more recent finds at the ancient citadel of Corfu.  The collections of the museum include for example finds from excavations ...
Founded: 1962 | Location: Corfu, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Thasos

The Archaeological Museum of Thasos is a museum located in Limenas. It occupies a house that was built in 1934 and recently extended. Storerooms and workshops have already been organised, and nowadays is fully operational: the shop, the official functions room, the old wing, the prehistoric collection, and the new section. The exhibits consist in collections of sculpture, pottery, and architectural remains from the Ne ...
Founded: 1934 | Location: Thasos, Greece

Archaeological Museum of Komotini

The Archaeological Museum of Komotini was designed by Aris Konstantinidis, an architect, and was commissioned in 1976. The exhibits on display are from the Neolithic to the Byzantine period, from the excavations of the Thracian archaeological sites, and reveal much about the prehistory and history of the Aegean Thrace and Komotini. The museum also has exhibits of folklore art, agriculture operations and basket making. Th ...
Founded: 1976 | Location: Komotini, Greece

Byzantine Museum of Didymoteicho

The construction of Byzantine Museum of Didymoteicho was completed in 2009. In accommodates archaeological finds from all the region around Didymoteicho, but also from all Thrace, covering the years of the Roman occupation in the region and the establishment of the city of Didymoteicho, to the period of liberalization and integration. It presents more than 500 findings from the entire area.
Founded: 2009 | Location: Didymoteicho, Greece

Polygnotos Vagis Municipal Museum

The Polygnotos Vagis Municipal Museum is located in the village of Potamia on the island of Thasos, 14 km from the main town of Limenas. It was established in August 1981 and is dedicated to the life and work of Polygnotos Vagis, a renowned artist who was born in the village. The museum is housed in a two-storey stone building, formerly the primary school, in the center of the village. The museum‘s collection consists ...
Founded: 1981 | Location: Thasos, Greece

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building"s original purpose. The buildings house the Musée de l"Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d"Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the burial site for some of France"s war heroes, notably Napoleon Bonaparte.

Louis XIV initiated the project in 1670, as a home and hospital for aged and unwell soldiers: the name is a shortened form of hôpital des invalides. The architect of Les Invalides was Libéral Bruant. The enlarged project was completed in 1676, the river front measured 196 metres and the complex had fifteen courtyards. Jules Hardouin Mansart assisted the aged Bruant, and the chapel was finished in 1679 to Bruant"s designs after the elder architect"s death.

Shortly after the veterans" chapel was completed, Louis XIV commissioned Mansart to construct a separate private royal chapel referred to as the Église du Dôme from its most striking feature. Inspired by St. Peter"s Basilica in Rome, the original for all Baroque domes, it is one of the triumphs of French Baroque architecture. The domed chapel is centrally placed to dominate the court of honour. It was finished in 1708.

Because of its location and significance, the Invalides served as the scene for several key events in French history. On 14 July 1789 it was stormed by Parisian rioters who seized the cannons and muskets stored in its cellars to use against the Bastille later the same day. Napoleon was entombed under the dome of the Invalides with great ceremony in 1840. In December 1894 the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus was held before the main building, while his subsequent rehabilitation ceremony took place in a courtyard of the complex in 1906.

The building retained its primary function of a retirement home and hospital for military veterans until the early twentieth century. In 1872 the musée d"artillerie (Artillery Museum) was located within the building to be joined by the Historical Museum of the Armies in 1896. The two institutions were merged to form the present musée de l"armée in 1905. At the same time the veterans in residence were dispersed to smaller centres outside Paris. The reason was that the adoption of a mainly conscript army, after 1872, meant a substantial reduction in the numbers of veterans having the twenty or more years of military service formerly required to enter the Hôpital des Invalides. The building accordingly became too large for its original purpose. The modern complex does however still include the facilities detailed below for about a hundred elderly or incapacitated former soldiers.