Located next to the harbor, the Archaeological Museum has on display an impressive collection of ancient vessels, gravestones, pottery, clay figurines, jewelry and other historical treasures, many of which were retrieved from the Pit of Purification and date back to the 5th century B.C. One of the highlights of the museum is the Pithos of Mykonos – a large storage container dating back to 670 B.C. which was found on the island by a local in 1961 when a well was being dug in the middle of Mykonos Town. The Pithos of Mykonos had been used as a burial vessel and is engraved with vivid scenes from the famous Trojan War.
The Folklore Museum is situated near Panagia Paraportiani in the Kastro neighbourhood of Mykonos Town. It is home to an interesting collection of 19th century items such as antique furniture, ceramic works, photographs, tools, musical instruments, textiles, embroidery and maritime equipment. Visitors can peer into the past through the beautifully preserved 19th century kitchen and bedroom. Etchings depicting traditional shipping vessels and paintings are also on display.
As its name suggests, the Maritime Museum is dedicated to the rich and interesting maritime history of Mykonos. On display are a variety of models depicting the many different sailing boats, steamships, rowing boats and other vessels that have transported passengers and cargo on the Aegean for thousands of years. A collection of engravings, maps, gravestones with nautical-themed carvings and other maritime-related items are on display. Of particular interest is the original lighting mechanism of the Armenisti Lighthouse, built in 1889, which on display outside the museum.
The Delos Archaeological Museum was built in 1904 under the direction of the Archaeological Society of Athens, specifically to display the prehistoric items excavated from the island of Delos. Among the historic treasures at the museum are marble statues of Athenian couple Dioscourides and Kleopatro (138 BC) who lived on Delos, and a marble statue of the legendary Apollo. The museum has grown over the years and currently consists of nine rooms filled with a diverse range of items, including pottery, jewelry, everyday household items, statues and weapons, some of which are said to date back to the 2nd century BC.
Associated with the Folklore Museum of Mykonos, Lena’s House, or House of Lena, is a fully furnished middle-class 19th century home depicting a typical Mykonian home of the time. The museum is named in honor of the last owner of the house, Lena Skrivanou, and consists of two bedrooms, two courtyards, a large living room and a dovecot. On display is a wide range of antique furniture, wood carvings, tapestries, mirrors and other decorative and practical items.
The Agricultural Museum of Mykonos is located in the Bonis Windmill overlooking Mykonos Town. A large collection of traditional agricultural equipment and items used for processing farm products is on display, both out in the open and in the windmill. Among the exhibits are an old fashioned oven, a water wheel, threshing machine, dovecote and a stone water tank. The windmill itself dates back to the 16th century and is still functioning. It includes the miller’s house and two small churches. The position of the museum offers scenic views of the town below.
Even if you are not particularly a history enthusiast, you will find that the museums of Mykonos provide fascinating insight into the culture and background of the people and attractions of this popular vacation destination.
Images courtesy of ZDE on Wikimedia Commons