Visit the Historical Museum of Crete

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Crete is the largest island in Greece, which means that there is a lot to do here. While it is a modern and thriving island with a good population and a thriving tourist trade, there are also plenty of historical sites to enjoy. It is one of those places that has a good variety of things to do. While here, you will want to find some time to visit the Historical Museum of Crete. Here’s more information:

History of the Historical Museum of Crete

The Historical Museum of Crete is housed in a neoclassical building in the city of Heraklion. The museum was founded in 1953 by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies. The building was built in 1903 and was originally the mansion of Andreas Lysimachos Kalokerinos. The mansion was designed by architect Konstantinos Tsantirakis. Murals found in the building that depict the Iliad and Odyssey were created by Antonios Stefanopoulos.

During the 1970s, the museum was expanded with the addition of a new wing. This addition would wonderfully combine neoclassical and modern architecture. The new wing would have an additional floor added in the 1990s. The Historical Museum was completed in 2004 with the addition of the Temporary Exhibition Rooms and the Yannis Pertselakis Amphitheatre. Funding for these last sections were from the A & M Kalokerinos Foundation and the Crete Regional Operational Programme.

Visiting the Historical Museum of Crete

The Historical Museum of Crete is open daily, except for Tuesdays and public holidays. Every first Sunday of the month, admissions to the Historical Museum is free. For children 12 and younger, admission is always free. While there, you can browse the exhibits or also visit the gift shop, cafe, and library.

The Historical Museum of Crete aims to present the history of the island starting from Christian times until the mid-20th century. There is an introductory room at the museum where you can learn basic information about the historical phases on Crete. In this room there are maps, books, and artifacts.

This museum showcases ceramics, sculptures, Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, icons from the 15 – 20 the century, and exhibits about the Ottoman and modern periods, and World War II. The ceramics collections of the museum features pieces beginning with the transition to Christianity and ending during Ottoman rule. You can see how ceramics developed over time, from being unpainted to being richly decorated. Sculptures begin at the 4th – 5th century and go up to the Venetian period.

The SCHS Library is located on the 3rd floor of the museum and was created in 1953. The library contains 10,000 books which include rare editions from the 19th century as well as scientific journals. The library features the private library of Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis. Other donations to the library include those from the Institutions of Andreas and Maria Kalokerinos, Achilleas Apalakis, and George Rasidakis.

Getting to Crete can be done by plane, ferry, or train. Once on the island of Crete, you can get around by taxi, rented car, or bus. The Historical Museum of Crete is located in Heraklion, just 4 km from the Nikos Kazantzakis Airport,1 km from the port station, and just 800 meters from the bus station. However you are getting around Crete or the city of Heraklion, access to the museum is convenient.

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