A model network of nine thematic museums created and run by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) showcases the history of production in Greece. Contemporary museums, easily accessible, in the four corners of Greece: from Souflí to Tínos and from Ioánnina to Sparta.
The Silk Museum
It is in Souflí (Thrace), in the mansion formerly belonging to one of the town’s dignitaries, the doctor Konstantínos Kourtídis. The museum presents all the phases and stages of preindustrial sericulture and silk manufacturing. In parallel, it showcases the socio-economic context that transformed Souflí into a major silk-producing centre in Greece.
Eleftheríou Venizélou 73, Souflí, T: (+30) 25540 23700. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Open-Air Water-Power Museum
It is dedicated to the importance of water-power, presenting the preindustrial techniques that used water as their main source of energy in the production of goods. In picturesque Dimitsána (Peloponnese), surrounded by abundant streams, visitors can discover up close a complex of restored installations and water-powered mechanisms (fulling mill, flourmill, tannery, gunpowder mill).
Kefalári Aï-Yiánni, Dimitsána, T: (+30) 27950 31630. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil
Othonos-Amalías 129, Sparta, T: (+30) 27310 89315. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production of Lesvos
A logical continuation of the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil, it is housed in the premises of the former communal olive press of Aghía Paraskeví, on Lésvos, and presents the industrial phase of olive-oil production in Greece. It focuses on the changes brought about by the introduction of mechanical motion to the process of olive-oil production and approaches the contribution of the region’s inhabitants to the production process with sensitivity.
Aghía Paraskeví, Lésvos, T: (+30) 22530 32300. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Rooftile and Brickworks Museum N. & S. Tsalapatas
It is housed in the old Rooftile and Brickworks Factory of brothers Nikólaos and Spyrídon Tsalapátas, in Vólos (Thessaly). Visitors will discover everyday life in the factory, as well as all the production stages of different kinds of bricks and tiles. The museum’s aim is to highlight the historical identity of the town of Volos and to contribute the preservation and promotion of its industrial heritage.
Nótia Pýli, Vólos, T: (+30) 24210 29844. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Museum of Marble Crafts
The Museum of Marble Crafts in the Tinian village of Pírgos is unique of its kind and presents the technology of marble, a material that holds a particular place in the architecture and art of Greece, from ancient times through to the present. The permanent exhibition describes the intricate meshing of the tools and techniques used, with an emphasis on pre- and proto-industrial Tinos, the most important centre of marble crafts in Modern Greece. In parallel, it showcases the social and economic context that the local workshops evolved in.
Pírgos, Pánormos Tínou, T: (+30) 22830 31290. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Museum of the Environment of Stymphalia
It is situated on the slopes of one of the verdant hills surrounding Lake Stymphalía (Peloponnese). It aims to demonstrate the interdependence between mankind and Nature, focusing on their harmonious coexistence around the basin of Stymphalía. The museum also presents the region’s traditional technology.
Stymphalía, T: (+30) 27470 22296. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Chios Mastic Museum
It is located in the Mastichohória (literally: mastic villages), a group of medieval villages in Southern Chios, the only place in the Mediterranean where the mastic tree thrives. The Museum showcases the production history of the mastic tree’s cultivation and the processing of its resin, which it integrates into the cultural landscape of Chios. Through the prism of UNESCO’s inclusion of traditional mastic cultivation on its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2014, emphasis is given to the timelessness and sustainability of this product of Chios. Read more here.
Pyrgí, Théssi Ráchi (Tepéki), Chios, T: (+30) 22710 72212. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).
The Silversmithing Museum
It is both a thematic museum, as it concerns the technology of silversmithing during the preindustrial period, and a regional museum, since it focuses essentially on the history of silverwork in the region of Epirus. It is housed in the Castle of Ioánnina and more specifically in the western bastion of its south-eastern citadel (Its Kalé). Its goal is to preserve our knowledge of Epirote silversmithing, a craft that blossomed and flourished in the broader region. Read more here.
Citadel of Its Kalé, Castle of Ioánnina, T: (+30) 26510 64065. Opening hours: 10am-6pm (daily, except Tuesdays).