Change Language:
Benaki Museum
few clouds
Humidity: 93%
Clouds: 20%

The main building of the Benaki Museum is housed in a neoclassical building which was built in 1867-1868  for the trader John Peroglou. The building is placed between the streets Koumbari and Vasilissis Sofias in Athens. Since then, the property has crept into many different hands and came up through many renovations and additions to come up in the form we encounter today. More specifically:

In 1895, Panagiotis Harokopos bought the building (known thereafter as Harokopos Hall). In 1910, Emmanuel Benakis bought the property in order to accommodate his family who came to Athens from Alexandria. The next year and until 1929, the building underwent several variations to accommodate the needs of the Benaki family.

The needs of the museum have made it imperative to increasing expansion. So, in order to accommodate the continuously expanding art collections, rooms and floors were added under the plans of architects Emmanuel Verouki (period 1965-1973) and Alekos Kaligas and Stephen Kaligas (period 1989-1997).

In 2000 the Museum re-opened and inaugurated by the President of the Democracy Konstantinos Stephanopoulos on June 7. It is worth noting that this is the oldest museum organization operating as a Foundation under Private Law in Greece. During its operation a great number of buildings were donated to the Benaki museum. Specifically, besides the main building, the museum counts seven buildings: The building at Piraeus, the Kerameikos building complex housing the collections of Islamic Art, the home of Penelope Delta in Kifissia, the neo-Gothic building Vera Kouloura bequeathed to the Museum, the Art Gallery building Nikos Hadjikyriakos-Gikas, the workshop of Yannis Pappas in Zografou and finally Mendis donation.

The museum carries many temporary exhibitions but has also many, especially notable permanent collections, archives and also the largest collection of books that operates a museum in Greece.

The permanent collections include the exhibitions of Islamic Art, Pre-Columbian Art, Chinese Art and Coptic Art. Permanent is also a collection of Games and Childhood which is housed in the Kouloura building and  includes 20,000 toys and childhood objects from antiquity until 1970.

The Gallery of Nikos Hatzikyriakos-Gikas as well as the workshop of the great Greek artist Yannis Pappas, are also included in the permanent collections of the Museum.

Finally, there is a great collection related to Greece, which is consisted of at least 40,000 items. These works are part of collections of prehistoric, ancient Greek and Roman art, Byzantine art and the collection of post-Byzantine and modern Greek art. Also this section includes the collection of historical relics as well as the collection of paintings, drawings and prints.

Of particular importance is the part of the photographic record, which was founded in 1973 and includes approximately 25,000 original photos, dark hall, maintenance workshop and study area.

Hours of operation of the main building:

Wednesday, Friday: 09:00-17:00

Thursday, Saturday: 09:00-24:00

Sunday: 09-15:00