About Museum of Byzantine Culture – Thessaloniki
The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki in Greece is dedicated to exploring various aspects of the Byzantine period, from its beginnings in the third and fourth centuries AD to its fall to the Ottomans in 1453.
History of Museum of Byzantine Culture – Thessaloniki
A nationwide architectural competition was held in 1977 for the design of the building. Construction of the winning design began in March 1989, and was completed in October 1993.
The aim of the museum is to collect, preserve, protect, conserve, exhibit, and study the works of the early Christian, Byzantine, medieval in general, and post-Byzantine periods.
Items from the Byzantine & Christian Museum in Athens were transferred to the museum in 1994. The museum finally opened in September 1994.
Museum of Byzantine Culture – Thessaloniki Today
As its name suggests, the Museum of Byzantine Culture explores various social aspects relating to this period including politics, ideology, religion and social structures. From mosaics and icons to ecclesiastic objects and everyday utensils, the Museum of Byzantine Culture displays almost 3,000 artefacts from the Byzantine period throughout its eleven rooms, categorising them and creating a chronological narrative for visitors to follow.
Adopting a multifaceted approach, the Museum of Byzantine Culture combines ancient pieces with multimedia presentations to create a picture of Byzantine life.
As of 2017, the museum has 11 permanent exhibits. These range from ‘The Early Christian Church’, which examines the design and decoration of churches in the first centuries of Christianity, to ‘From Iconoclasm to the Splendor of the Macedonian and Komnenian Dynasties’, which explores the ‘middle’ Byzantine period which was a period of huge intellectual and cultural evolution, and as such shows items from everyday life such as coins, pottery, lead seals, and clothing.
The final room of the permanent exhibition opened in 2014. ‘Discovering the Past’ documents the archaeological excavation from an object’s initial discovery to being exhibited.
Temporary exhibitions are frequently held, most of which touch on the subject of ‘Byzantium’. These exhibitions frequently explore religious themes, daily life, and Byzantine treasures in the monastic republic of Athos.
Getting to Museum of Byzantine Culture – Thessaloniki
From the centre of Thessaloniki, the Museum of Byzantine Culture is reachable in around 8 minutes via the Agiou Dimitriou and 3is Septemvriou or Egnatia roads. For those who want to take a walk through Thessaloniki’s modern city centre (most of the old city was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1917), the museum is reachable in around half an hour via Leonida Iasonidou.
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