Apart from the most famous museum of Prehistoric Thera, there is another archaeological museum in the capital of Santorini (Fira). The smaller and with no doubt less impressive Museum of Ancient Thera.
History of the Museum
The museum was built by the Ministry of Public Works in 1960. The new museum replaced the archaeological museum established in 1906, which did not survive the 1956 earthquake.
Location of the Museum
Housed in a small concrete building with a courtyard, the museum is located in the central part of Santorini’s capital Fira, near the upper cable car station, on Erithrou Stavrou Street.
The exposition of the Archaeological Museum includes sculptures from the archaic times to the Roman period. The exhibition also includes ceramics – vases and figurines made of clay from the Geometric period to the Hellenistic period. In addition to the permanent exhibition, the museum also hosts temporary exhibitions.
Among the exhibits gathered in the museum, the following deserve special attention:
- An amphora from Ancient Thera decorated with geometric decoration, dating from the early 7th century BC. It was found in the municipal cemetery in Ancient Thera.
- A volcanic boulder weighing 480 kg. This boulder is decorated with an inscription proclaiming “Eumastas, son of Kritobolos, raised me from the ground”.
- Crater (an ancient ritual vessel used, among other things, for mixing wine with water) from the second half of the 6th century BC. It was found in the city cemetery in Ancient Thera. The vessel was decorated with drawings of chariots and the goddess Athena. The inner surface of the rim is decorated with four boats.
- Collection of vases from the Geometric period (5th century BC )
- Upper part of a kouros (funerary statue) and torso of a kouros of the late 7th century BC, found on the western slope of Sellada (above Kamari)
- Pythos (large ceramic vessel) richly decorated with an image of a swan and winged chariots. Found in the cemetery of Ancient Thera, dated to 675 BC.
The Archaeological Museum in Thira, Santorini is open from 08:30 to 15:30 from Wednesday to Monday (closed on Tuesdays). Normal ticket costs €3 and reduced ticket costs €2. There are also ticket packages that allow you to visit several different museums on Santorini at an affordable price (it costs €15 and includes the two archaeological museums in Fira and the two most important archaeological sites, Ancient Thera and Prehistoric Akrotiri).
There are also several days throughout the year when admission to the museum is free:
- 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
- 18 April (International Monuments Day)
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- the last weekend in September (European Heritage Days)
- on Greek national holidays