Collections of the Benaki Museum

Collections of the Benaki Museum

Some of the more prominent collections of the main building and its annexes include photographic and historic, Neo-Hellenistic, architecture archives and also a Department of Childhood which includes an interesting collection of toys and games.

Also showcased are various pieces of modern and modernistic art by Greek artists. There are also the exhibitions of the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean art, as well as items from the Byzantine period.

The modern collection in the museum consists of artifacts more religious in nature, as compared to the earlier collections. This includes wooden paintings, decorative items, textiles, traditional costumes, jewels and much more. The religious artifacts date to the post-Byzantine era and have been retrieved from all over Greece and also Greek communities in other parts of the world.


«Greece at the Benaki Museum»

On display at the main building are over 40,000 pieces, highlighting the character of the Hellenic world through via a historical panorama: from antiquity and the age of Roman domination to the medieval Byzantine period; from the fall of Constantinople (1453) and the centuries of Frankish and Ottoman occupation to the outbreak of the struggle for independence in 1821; and from the formation of the modern state of Greece (1830) leading to 1922, the year in which the Asia Minor disaster took place.

Collection of Prehistoric, Ancient Greek and Roman
- On the ground floor the 1st two rooms. More specifically in the first room the visitor will be able to see tools, figurines and vases form the Neolithic Greece (circa 6.500 B.C.). The second room has Cycladic vases and some examples of the famous marble figurines (circa 3200 B.C.). Here, Mycenaean jewellery and vases are also presented. Moreover, there are some vases with geometric decoration.

Byzantine Art
- The remaining rooms of the ground floor house the Byzantine collection of manuscripts, jewellery and mosaics of the 7th and 8th Century. The visitor can also admire Byzantine icons and precious, ornate crosses and vessels of the 13th, 14th and 15th Century A.D.

Post-Byzantine and Neo-Hellenic Art
- The first floor is dedicated to the 17th, 18th and 19th Century of Greece. Most rooms have on display the clothing and the furniture that was typical in various areas of Greece during this period. In some rooms one can find small paintings and sketches with landscape form Greece made by foreign travellers. In the room 21 the visitor can see a kind of hand carried carriage that belonged to the wife of the administrator of the Corfu Island. Very impressive are also the rooms 17 and 19. Both of them are reconstructions of the reception area of wealthy houses of Kozani of the 18th Century. Wooden, heavily carved furniture and walls allow the visitor to re-live the wealth and the opulance of these abodes.

Historical Heirlooms
The collection of historical heirlooms recreates the history of modern Greece from the end of the 18th Century and forward.
- Many good examples of what is on display here are important items connected with the Philhellenic movement and the struggle for Greek independence, as well as with Ioannis Kapodistrias' attempts to create a modern Greek State (1828-1831). Others date to the reigns of King Otto (1833-1862) and King George I (1863-1913), i.e.:
Swords, Nautical instruments, Pistols, Nobel prize certificates, Gold medals

Collection of Paintings, Drawings and Prints
- On the third floor there are historic paintings that represent battles of the struggle of Greeks against the Turkish dominion. The visitor can admire some of the painting of Bryzakis, the first important Greek painter of the New Greek State. There are also portraits of the most known captains and politicians of the newly founded Greek state. The official royal court clothing can also be seen here. At the back of this room there are some paintings of Parthenis and Gyzis, two famous Greek painters of the 19th Century.


Benaki Museum
Collections of the Benaki Museum
Benaki Museum Shop
Cafe & Restaurant of the Benaki Museum


▶︎ Benaki Museum
▶︎ Islamic Art Museum
▶︎ Jewish Museum of Greece
▶︎ Museum of Greek Folk Art
▶︎ Museum of Greek Instruments
▶︎ National Historical Museum
▶︎ Museum of City of Athens
▶︎ Hellenic Cosmos