National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the Home of Ancient Greek Culture

The National Museum of Athens

The National Museum of Athens ©Shadowgate/Flick

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is the largest most popular museum in Greece, one of the largest museums in the world and it is usually very crowded.

It is the home of ancient Greek culture, with the most important artifacts from various locations in Greece. The collections include 20,000 exhibits, offering a panorama of Greek civilization from the early prehistoric era to the late ancient times.

The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, a lecture hall for archaeological materials and one of the largest stores for archaeological discoveries.

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is located in an imposing neoclassical building from the mid 19th century on Patission Street in Athens. The museum was renovated and expanded for the 2004 Olympics and is now ranked among the top 10 museums in the world.

The National Museum of Athens

The National Museum of Athens ©Shadowgate

The collections of the museum of Athens

The huge space of the exhibition is organized in numerous galleries on each of the 5 floors over an area of ​​8,000 square meters: the Prehistoric Collection, which includes works of great ancient civilizations, the Sculpture Collection, which includes ancient Greek sculptures, the Collection of Vases and Small Objects, which contains representative works of ancient Greek pottery until the Roman period, the Metallurgical Collection, which includes many fundamental statues and the Egyptian and Middle Eastern Collection , which contains works until the Roman conquest period.

Vase collection in the Museum of Athens

Vase collection in the Museum of Athens ©Tilemahos Efthimiadis/Flick

The museum of Athens also has an impressive photo archive and a library of rare publications and is enriched with revisions, that can help researchers in their work. In addition, the museum owns modern laboratories for metal, pottery, stone and organic materials conservation, a coloring workshop, a photo lab and a chemistry lab. The museum operates as a research center for scientists and students from around the world and organizes various educational programs.

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is an important milestone; it hosts real treasures of classic sculptures and jewelry from the Mycenae period.

The Mycenae collection includes masks, cups, vases and jewels of gold excavated in 1876. Do not miss the death mask that was erroneously thought that belonged to Agamemnon. We know now that belonged to a king from a previous era. The interesting vessels of Vaphio are decorated with bulls, and were found in a tomb of a site in Peloponnese.

The death mask

The death mask ©Cåsbr/Flick

The exhibits of the NationalMuseum of archaeology also include frescoes from the volcanic island of Santorini and the remains of the mechanism of Antikythera – the oldest mechanical calculator. The Cycladic figurines are among the oldest sculptures found in Greece and they still are a prove of a striking modernity.

The bronze statue of Artemision (Poseidon or Zeus, we do not know for sure), it is a little bigger than the size of man and was recovered from the sea. It is really impressive, especially its human facial details!

The Artemision Bronze Statue

The Artemision Bronze Statue ©kpvl/Flick

Useful information for the visitors of the museum

The National Archaeological Museum can be visited daily from 08.00 to 19.30, unless on Mondays, when you can visit it from 08.00 to 19.30. The museum is also closed on 1 January, 25 March, Easter Sunday, 1 May and 25-26 Dec.

The museum also provides guides for people with hearing problems.

The entrance to the National Museum of Archaeology is 7 euros.

The address of the museum is: 28 Oktovriou Patission 44, Athens 999-20, Greece.

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