Museum of Byzantine Culture
The Museum of Byzantine Culture in Thessaloniki was open in 1994 but in its current form, it was made accessible for the public only recently, in 2004. The modern building where you will also find a nice café (unlike the museum open till late night hours) and a small bookshop, is situated in Thessaloniki city centre opposite the Archaeological Museum.
The permanent exhibition comprising about 2 900 objects is divided into 11 rooms with chronologically and thematically arranged collections related to Byzantine art and cultural in general. The museum artefacts (architectural elements, statues, frescoes, icons, mosaics, jewels, articles of daily use, coins, ceramics, etc.) come from the period from the 4th to the 19th century, and they are mainly findings from the north Greece, especially Thessaloniki.
The first three rooms present the early Christian era (4th - 7th century), including an outline of the construction of the first churches and their decorations (mural paintings, mosaics, statues, and liturgical objects) and showing various aspects of life in the city (houses and their furnishings, clothing, articles of daily use, etc.); and also the early Christian burial sites (tombs including mural paintings, grave steels with inscriptions, objects found in the tombs).
The rooms dedicated to the middle Byzantine era (8th - 12th century) are focused mainly on the iconoclast era (architecture, paintings, sculpture, ceramics), remarkable Byzantine sovereigns (inscriptions, collections of coins), and above all establishing Byzantine fortresses (the fortresses and ramparts on the territory stretching from the Adriatic Sea over to Thessaloniki and Constantinople).
The late Byzantine era is delimited by two conquests of Constantinople - the one from 1204 during the Fourth Crusade, and the final conquest of the city by the Turks in 1453. This era is represented in the last room, displaying mainly the collections of ceramics from a renowned Thessaloniki ceramics shop, a collection of coins from the local mint, and also burial art.
The whole exhibition is completed by two quite large private collections donated to the museum; including mainly icons, small artistic objects, coins, and ceramics.
The museum is open daily and the entrance fee is 8 euros. (students from the EU countries can access the museum for free). Taking photos without flash is free of charge.
Video from the Museum of Byzantine Culture