Crete culture and arts occupy their own special place on the island, preserving the long cultural history of Crete. During your holidays in Crete, you can be guided to great art exhibitions and collections throughout the year. Periodic painting, photography and other art exhibitions often take place in large galleries. Museums and collections of arts and culture of Crete demonstrate the life of the most important Cretan writers and artists.
So we have picked for you the most visited sites of art and Crete culture which you can visit, admire their exhibits and catch a glimpse of the cultural character of the island. Especially, if you are with your family, you will find it one of the most interesting family activities in Crete.
Municipal Art Gallery, Chania
The Municipal Art Gallery of Chania is housed in a typical commercial industrial building of neoclassical Greek architecture in Halidon St. leading to the Venetian harbor, close to the Archaeological Museum. Its operation began in early 2003 and features a remarkable collection, approximately 700 works and paintings and famous Greek artists such as Dimitris Mytaras, Spyros Vassiliou, Vaso Katraki, Dimitris Galanis, Spyridon Vikatos, Andreas Georgiadis, and many other Cretan artists.
Mediterranean Architecture Center In The Great Arsenal, Chania
It is hosted in theGreat Arsenal, the last of 17 shipyards in a row, located in the Venetian harbor of Chania. In 1997, was founded there the Mediterranean Architecture Center. Through the scientific program and seminars, conferences, lectures and international exhibitions, the aim of the Center is to encourage people to participate in the formation of their space and natural environment, determination of function and aesthetics of the city and the quality of life of its inhabitants. It has cooperated with many institutions of arts and culture of Crete and Greece, the European Association for Architectural Education, the French Institute, the Embassies of France, Switzerland, Japan, Norway, the Greek Culture Foundation in Berlin and others.
Typography Museum, Chania
The Typography Museum, unique in Greece, is located in Chania, in the Industrial Park of Souda and his founder, John Garedakis, is also the publisher of the newspaper “Chania News”. The collection includes printing presses and other machines as well as tools and objects that show the evolution of typography from the era of Gutenberg until today. Rare books and newspapers as well as valuable lithographs reveal to the visitors the art of typography. During their visit, children and adults have the opportunity to print in the old printing presses.
Nikos Xylouris Home In Anogia, Rethymno
In the central square of Anogia village, you can visit the home – museum of Nikos Xylouris, the most famous lyre player of the island, the “Archangel of Crete”, as Cretans call him. It is basically a small room where you will see relics and photographs of the legendary artist. This home is visited by thousand people from Greece and other countries who consider the voice of Xylouris a symbol of freedom and morality.
Museum Of Contemporary Art Of Crete, Rethymno
It is located in the heart of the old town of Rethymno in a Venetian building. It houses a permanent collection of about 500 works by contemporary Greek artists covering a wide range of modern arts and culture of Crete and Greece from 1950 until today. The collection covers the art of the second half of our century such as minimalism, sculpture and sculpture-painting, the conceptual art, photography, e.t.c. It organizes temporary exhibitions, researches and educational programs. In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, it has created Visual Arts Workshops and courses of pottery, paintings and jewelry.
Woodcarving Museum In Axos, Rethymno
Woodcarving is a really important part of Crete culture and arts! In the Woodcarving Museum of Axos in Mylopotamos, at the foot of Psiloritis, are exposed more than a hundred sculptures, handmade artwork created with hammer and a chisel. Visitors have the opportunity to be guided in the museum and the workshop by the artist himself, George Koutantos and discover unique traditional, folkloric, social and historical elements. The dimensions of the sculptures are in life- size and some of them are presented in a larger format. The wood used to create these works was mostly collected from dry trees or trees uprooted by natural disasters.
Art Museum Of Alkiviades Skoulas In Anogia, Rethymno
The museum is dedicated to the folk artist Alciviades Skoulas who lived from 1902 to 1996. He was the father of the great artist Vasilis Skoulas. When he was 70 years old he started painting and sculpture, reflecting in his art everything he had in his soul all these years. The collection includes about 120 works which are paintings of rural scenes, scenes from the history of Crete, historical persons and villagers, carved wood and stone structures.
Wax Museum In Zoniana, Rethymno
The specific museum is one of the two wax museums that exist in Greece, created by the famous sculptor Dionysis Potamianos. It is located in Zoniana of Mylopotamos, in the northern foothills of Psiloritis. It presents 87 wax figures in life-size, which, before the eyes of the visitors, present scenes from the history of Crete. In an area of 1000 sq.m, especially created and decorated for the museum, you will have the chance to see the figure of the famous politician Eleftherios Venizelos, the poet Cornaro, the painter El Greco, the writer Kazantzakis, the holocaust of Arkadi Monastery in the Turkish occupation and many other scenes.
Musical Ιnstruments Museum In Krousonas, Heraklion
Continuing our tour in Crete culture and arts, we present to you the Museum of Musical Instruments and Traditional Music. It is located in the square of the Holy Trinity in the village of Krousonas, housed in a renovated traditional house. The main purpose of the museum is the acquaintance of the locals and tourists with the Greek Folk Music and its familiarity with traditional instruments of Greece and the neighboring countries. The ambition of the locals is the museum to be emerged in a cradle of culture through various events and activities of traditional music.
Museum Of El Greco (Dominikos Theotokopoulos), Heraklion
The museum of the painter El Greco is opposite the Byzantine church of Panagia in Fodele village, Heraklion. The building that houses the museum is believed to be the home of the most important Cretan painter (1541-1614), as he says that he was born 25 km northwest of Heraklion, next to a Byzantine church. The building operates since 1998 with copies of El Greco’s works. There, you will also find information about his family and a room that has been converted into a painting workshop.
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum In Myrtia, Heraklion
Crete culture and arts are proudly represented by Nikos Kazantzakis. “Nikos Kazantzakis” Museum pays tribute to the great writer, philosopher, traveler and man of culture, Nikos Kazantzakis. It consists of a set of buildings located in the central square of the historic village Myrtle, Heraklion. The founder of the museum is George Anemogiannis one of the pioneers of the theater in Greece. His main goal was to preserve the memory of the writer and to display his work and kind of thought. Significant assistance to the creation of the museum was offered by Eleni Samiou-Kazantzakis, the second wife of the author.
Here you will find manuscripts and the author’s notes, mailing samples with great thinkers, politicians and authors of his time, first editions of his works in Greek and other languages, rare photographs, mementos of his travels, personal items, models, costumes and material from theatrical performances of his projects, here and abroad.
“Nikos Kazantzakis” Museum has literally become a world spiritual pilgrimage. Visitors arrive every day from all world, proving that the creation of the great Cretan author and thinker is universal and timeless throughout the passing of the years.
Crete culture and arts are really important for the locals, who try to preserve such galleries in order people from other countries to meet genuine Crete. In any place you choose for your stay in Crete, you will be able one or more of the cultural galleries of Crete.
Seven days in the picturesque, small city of Rethymno, Crete, are more than enough …
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