Chios Museums

English

BYZANTINE MUSEUM

The Byzantine Museum in Chios is contained within the 19th Century Ottoman mosque which is located in the central town square. This museum has been in operation since 1980 and contains items that were donated from collections as well as findings discovered at local excavations. The dates of the items on display range from the Early Christian period to the post – Byzantine period (5th – 18th century). The museum is comprised of a timber – roofed porch, a large basement and a main room. Currently, the mosque porch and the courtyard are only open to the public. The remaining portion is still under renovation. The courtyard displays stone objects discovered during excavations as well as tombstones from Muslim and Jewish graves. There is a significant collection of sculptures dated during the Genoese occupation of Chios between  1345-1566 which serves as evidence of the period. Worthwhile items included in this collection are the sarcophagus of Ottuboni Ioustiniani located in the courtyard next to the stairway as well as two large slabs from lintels with carvings of Aghios Georgios (St. George) slaying a dragon displayed on the porch.

 

ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM

The museum was constructed in 1966 – 1971 and covers a total area of 2500 sq. m., of which 1200 sq. m. are occupied by the exhibition rooms and the rest by the store – rooms, laboratories and offices. The structure is built of concrete and is surrounded by stone retaining walls due to the inclination of the ground. The museum was closed down on 18/05/1987 and since then it does not function properly because its stability has been threatened by a sinking of the ground. A project for “the drainage of the plot, the reinforcement of the retaining walls and repairs of the fence of the Museum of Chios” was undertaken in 1995 so that the stability problems of the building can be faced and the items can be re-exhibited by the 20th Ephorate. The museum contains collections of prehistoric and Archaic finds from the excavations of the British School at Emporio, Neolithic finds of the British excavations at Aghio Galas, Archaic and Classical finds from the British excavations at Phana and various finds from the salvage excavations conducted in the district of Chios by the 20th Ephorate. The works were completed during 1998 and the museum will open again for the public in 1999.

 

MARITIME MUSEUM

The Chios Maritime Museum is the realization of a dream by its founders – all being among those who make up the Maritime wonder of Chios. It was their wish to establish a residence – museum in one of the largest shipping centers, the island of Chios, which would represent the contemporary Greek maritime spirit. The Chios Maritime Museum is located in the center of the city, housed in a mansion belonging to the late Anastassios and Marouko Pateras. The house was donated in 1991 by the inheritors of the estate to a public benefit foundation, which bears their name. The structure has two floors and was built in the beginning of the twentieth century. Its style is of the traditional island architecture of Chios with a neoclassical design and beautifully painted ceilings. In the last few years, the building’s interior and its gardens have been renovated to accommodate the display of its exhibits. The museum is an impressive land mark in the city’s center.

 

MUSEUM IOUSTINIANI

This historical building dated between the 14th and 15th century A.D., is situated between the central gate of the Castle of Chios and the main square of the town. It was, perhaps, the headquarters of the Genoese Podesta. Disfigured by Turkish alternations and additions, it was restored during the years 1980-1986 by the Archeological Service. The building maintains a fortress-like appearance and has two floors, each containing one room. On the northern side of Palace, there is an external stairway which leads to the walls and the southeast tower of the Castle. In the actual exhibition, Byzantine murals, post-Byzantine icons, Byzantine and Genoese sculptures and small-scale works of art are on display. The most important items include: Twelve Byzantine frescoes of Prophets (13th century), which were detached from the dome of the Church of Panaghia Krina in Vavili, Chios. The full-length icon of the Archangel Michael (18th century) which comes from the village of Olympi, Chios.

Folcloric Museum of Kallimasia

The original collection includes items from the settlements of Kallimasia and Kini and it is hosted in a room in the secondary school. The facilities of the oil press, the ouzo distillery, the forge, the tailor shop and the shoes shop were represented in order to mirror in detail these occupations. Today the museum displays more than 5000 items with one of the richest collections of Folklore interest in Greece and constitutes one of the best Greek Folklore Museums. The collection includes tools of more than 30 occupations most of which are locals’ donations.