Museums in Crete


Access from Hatzidakis Street, Τ.Κ. 71202, Herakleion (This is a very short walk, north, from where the museum is advertised as being in most guide books and websites).
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Founded in 1953, this Museum includes amongst its wealth of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman displays, the only painting in Crete of its favourite son, Domenicos Theotokopoulos (or El Greco), called, "View of Mount Sinai and the Monastery".
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Ierapetra was an incredibly important site, especially during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (323 BC to 395AD), and this museum reflects that.
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Originally the private collection of Georgios Markakis, this is a museum in which the organically-constructed buildings constitute most of the display.
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A museum focusing on the uninterrupted nature of traditional Cretan lifestyle, through the centuries of foreign domination by Venetian and Ottoman overlords (1204-1898.
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A fantastic collection of ecclesiastical icons, garments and jewelry, can be found here. The silver cross contained within the museum's collection was allegedly stolen by the Nazis, who tried to whisk it away to Germany.
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This is where you'll find one of the great artefacts on Crete, namely the 'Palaikastro Kouros'. A chryselephantine (golden and ivory) statue of a young man, thought by many to be a depiction of the boy Zeus.
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Opened in 2005, the typography museum is a very unusual concept.
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Another wonderful museum packed with interesting costumes, tapestries. looms, etc, along with lacework from Anoghia, and examples of basket-weaving from Myxorrouma near Spili, where this traditional art is still practiced. Closed Sundays and winter.
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Featuring the works of Lefteris Kanakakis, this wonderful museum is close enough to the archaeological museum to combine the two. Housed in a Venetian building later used as a soap factory, Kanakis works are prominent, but there are sketches by other contemporary Greek artists.
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Eight rooms, covering the period from Neolithic (Around 3,000BC) to Roman, including the so-called 'Goddess of Myrtos' jug, which is worth visiting the museum for, alone. There are also finds here from the palace of Mallia, Siteia and the area of Mirabello.
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A private collection of the works of painter and sculptor, Alkibiades Skoulas, including one depicting the horrors of Nazi atrocities in Anoghia, in 1944. Run now by Alkibiades' son, Georgios, this is wonderful and moving museum.
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A small, splendid museum opposite Rethymnon's fortezza, covering pre and ancient history from neolithic, through Minoan, Doric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman. Note fine examples of Minoan larnakes, Roman statues and a fabulous ancient coin collection.
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Situated inside a gorgeous Venetian church that has since seen itself reinvented as a mosque and a movie theatre, the archaeological museum has a number of beautifully maintained collections from the Neolithic to the Roman era including pottery.
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There is a museum attached to the monastery, the scene of the self-destruction by monks, in 1866, which killed not only the Greeks inside, but a fair proportion of the 10,000 Turks who surrounded the monastery.
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Collections of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art, including icons from the 15th century painter Angelos and no fewer than six icons painted by Michael Damaskenos, second only to ‘El Greco’ in fame.
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The Folklore Museum in Crete is located in Gavalohori in a beautifully renovated building that includes a wonderful array of pieces of exquisite craftsmanship including weavings, pottery, woodcarvings and fine works of lace.
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Can be found next to the Loggia and opposite the Morosini fountain. Housed in the old Basilica of Saint Mark (see landmarks) Cretan artists’ - such as: Christos Sarakatsianos, Maria Fiorakis and George Manousakis - works are displayed here.
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First editions of Nikos Kazantzakis’ works can be found here, along with newspaper reviews of his books, andsome of his personal belongings. Well worth visiting if you’re a fan of Greece’s most famous novelist. Varvaroi (Prefecture of Iraklio)
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A museum displaying shells, sponges and fish, located in what was once an abbey, in the old town. It is closed Sunday and Monday, and can be found on Arabatzoglou Street.
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Located on Doukos Beaufort and I. Chatzidaki, Herakleion.
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Once a Turkish prison, the Naval Museum of Hania houses a fantastic assortment of model ships, paintings and other collections dating from the Bronze Age to more recent times including naval instruments used in the Battle of Crete.
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A museum of waxwork figures, including depictions of the great Cretan statesman EleftherosVenizelos, Byzantine general/emperor Nikoforas Phokas and Yiannis Vlachos (Daskaloyannis) the Sfakian revolutionary brutally flayed to death by the Turks in 1770 are among its 87 figures.
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A number of villages have private collections open the the public, such as the one in Argyroupolis, a couple of doors down from the Zagraphakis’ Hotel, and curated by Mr. Zographakis.
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