Greek travels for culture lovers

There is exciting news for music lovers around the world, particularly for classical music fans. In the summer of 2023, a new museum dedicated to Maria Callas will open in the center of Athens at 44, Mitropoleos St., as the world of music celebrates the 100th anniversary of her birth. It’s the first museum to be inaugurated in honor of the world-renowned, Greek-born diva. The building is in the 19th-century neo-classical architectural style and will house some of the great soprano’s, aka La Divina, personal items as well as other rare material, analog, and digital displays, recordings of her live performances around the world, a collection of records, photographs, and scores, and documentaries about her amazing life and contribution to music and the operatic world. It has been announced that UNESCO will be associated with celebrating the centenary of Maria Callas’ birth in 2023.

For those interested in the visual arts, Athens welcomes you to its newly refurbished National Gallery-Alexandros Soutsos Museum. The art gallery has doubled in size with added exhibition spaces, two shops, a digital display hall, an auditorium & conference hall, two café-restaurants offering lovely views of the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill, and a library covering two floors. Access to visitors with disabilities has been made easy on all levels. The newly inaugurated Western European Art Room is an added asset of the gallery that is not to be missed.

Leave plenty of time for the National Gallery, Alexandros Soutsos Museum, Greece
Leave plenty of time for the National Gallery, Alexandros Soutsos Museum, © E. Fili.

A good reason for you to visit Crete — Greece’s largest island — is the recently opened Archaeological Museum of Chania, which is housed in a new, 6,000-square-meter building in the city’s trendy Chalepa district. You can see some 3,500 items on display that include exhibits from Prehistoric times, such as the imprint (and its hologram) of a gold signet ring which depicts an impressive three-story palace dating to the Minoan Civilisation period (circa 3000 – 1100 BC). Items from all the historical periods on the island are on display, arranged in five thematic sections. The digital displays help visitors view the exhibits from a different perspective. The building also houses a conference hall and a café.

Imagine ancient times at Chania's Archaeological Museum
Imagine ancient times at Chania’s Archaeological Museum, © Chania Ephorate of Antiquities.

If you plan to travel to the Peloponnese in 2023, we recommend visiting the House of Mosaics, a new museum inaugurated in Sparta Town. The items on display include colorful mosaic floors mostly dating to the Roman Imperial Period, during which time Sparta’s relations with Rome were excellent. Among the most impressive ones are “The abduction of Europa” and “Orpheus playing the lyre and charming the animals”, both beautifully preserved. On the premises, you will find an interactive map with information on all the mosaics unearthed in Sparta, dating from the Hellenistic Period (late 4th-1st c. BC), the Roman and the Early Byzantine times. Tactile tools installed in the museum help visually impaired visitors enjoy the exhibits.

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