Front view
 
Address: 2, Stratou Av., GR 54013, Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Greece
Opening Hours:
Summer:Monday: 12.30-19.00
Tuesday-Sunday: 08.00-19.00
Winter:Monday 10.30-17.00
Tuesday-Friday 08.00-17.00
Saturday-Sunday 08.00-19.00
Phone No: (++30) 2310 868570-5
Fax No.: (++30) 2310 838597
 

 

The Museum of Byzantine Culture 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.

At the moment, three permanent exhibitions are open, presenting aspects of the society and the art of the Early Christian period (4th–7th cent. ad) with emphasis on the transition from the ancient world to Christianity.

The subject of the first exhibition is Early Christian Churches, and it focuses on the design and the decoration of churches in the first centuries after Christianity triumphed. Outstanding exhibits include the ambo from the basilica by the Philippi Museum (6th cent. ad) [4.jpg], a mosaic floor from a basilica found north of the Church of the Taxiarchs in Thessaloniki’s Upper Town (6th cent. ad) [3.jpg], and an arch and piers from the Church of St Demetrios in Thessaloniki.

The subject of the second exhibition is Early Christian Cities and Dwellings, and it presents various aspects of economic life, domestic handicrafts, houses and their fixtures and fittings, as also details of food and clothing. The centre of the room is occupied by the reception room of a house with a mosaic floor and well preserved wall paintings imitating marble revetment [7.jpg]. Other exhibits include amphoras that were used for trade in oil and wine [6.jpg] and such everyday objects as ceramic ware, oil lamps, sewing and weaving equipment, and jewellery.

The third exhibition is titled From the Elysian Fields to the Christian Paradise, and it focuses on Early Christian cemeteries, sepulchral architecture and painting, cult customs, jewellery, and glass and clay vessels from excavated graves. There are tombs with painted decoration from Thessaloniki’s east [Axios burial complex 9.jpg] and west cemeteries, epitaphs, sarcophagi, statues, and sculptures [11.jpg], and glassware and jewellery from graves (2nd–6th cent. ad) [10.jpg].

From 12 October 1999 to the end of the year the temporary exhibitions wing hosted an exhibition of Byzantine Glazed Ceramics, with exhibits from all over Greece. The exhibition focused on the Middle Byzantine period (8th–12th cent.), when Thessaloniki was converted from a sprawling, open settlement into a fortified city.

Since 1998, the Museum of Byzantine Culture has been running educational programmes for schoolchildren aged 6–13, who visit the museum with their teachers.

The fourth exhibition on the theme ‘From the Iconomachy to the Brilliance of the Macedonians and the Comnenos Dynasty’ uses archaeological exhibits and information to present subjects such as the Iconomachy, architecture, painting and sculpture in mid-Byzantine churches, monasticism, the conversion to Christianity of the Slavs by the Thessalonian brothers Cyrillus and Methodius, cemeteries, ceramics, lead seals and coins.

The next exhibition will be devoted to the dynasties of the Byzantine emperors. The imperial dynasties of Byzantium are presented in chronological order from Heraclios (610-641) to the fall of Constantinople in 1453 and on display are coins and an inscription on marble which refers to repairs made to the walls of Thessaloniki during the reign of emperors Leon VI and Alexander.

In ‘Byzantine Castle’ archaeological exhibits and information are used to show how the castle was organized and to create a picture of everyday life and production within and outside its walls. There is also a video booth where a fifteen-minute video on castles of Macedonia and Thrace is shown.

The last two rooms contain the Dora Papastratou collection, a collection with a wealth of orthodox religious engravings, and the Dimitris Economopoulos collection, which consists of portable icons ranging from the 14 th to the 18th century, crosses and other objects of religious observance and oil lamps among other things.

Gallery 2
Gallery 2
Gallery 7
Gallery 7
Gallery 10
Gallery 10


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© 2000– Macedonian Heritage