Museum of Byzantine Culture

Thessaloniki, Greece

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 exhibitions, conservation workshops, and storerooms. The exhibits include sculptures, wall paintings, mosaic floors, icons, metalwork, coins, inscriptions, glassware, and pottery.

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Details

Founded: 1994
Category: Museums in Greece

More Information

mbp.gr
en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ioanna Iliadou (6 months ago)
Amazing museum that offers all the wealth of the Byzantine era. Highly recommended
Shemeck Romanowski (8 months ago)
A very interesting place. Although at times might have felt boring, while looking into a few details, it gave a good flavour of the Byzantine culture. One observation: I understand that all items in the museum are priceless, but staff could be a little bit more discreet when following the guests as often their presence can be strongly felt and could be intimidating.
Ilir Terova (8 months ago)
The best Museum!
Pierre Schwarz (9 months ago)
Very good
Lucas Zipporah Rötheli (10 months ago)
Interesting museum but the staff ruined it for me. It says ‘child friendly’ on the website but was anything but. We were a group of 12 people and literally the only visitors in the whole museum. We were very careful to not let our son go near anything that could break but were told by staff he was not even allowed to touch the glass vitrines. They were sometimes shushing him when he got a bit louder. I get that you shouldn’t yell in a museum but as I said we were the ONLY PEOPLE there and for a ‘child friendly’ museum I expected more. We constantly felt watched and observed, one staff suggested I put my son in the stroller so he could look at things from there. Great advice! Wouldn’t come again, especially not with children.
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Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.