You might think there’s nothing cultural to do in Zakynthos (or Zante), but you would be wrong. The Ionian island has a little collection of museums that, although small, are a lot worth exploring and discovering. Allow me to share probably the best museums you need to visit in Zakynthos, Greece.
Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos
Opened in 1960, the museum of Byzantine art is actually located on Solomos square, in Zakynthos town. Split into 3 levels, the museum has a set of Byzantine icons, wood carvings, a series of frescoes dating from the 15th, 17th-century, and 16th. Guests will also find paintings, ecclesiastical clothes, Zakynthos photos before the earthquake of 1953, and paintings of artists as Kantouni and Doxaras, among others.
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Solomos and Kalvos Museum
The Kalvos and Solomos museum, situated in Agios Markos square, is dedicated to poet Dionysios Solomos and other eminent Zakynthians. Built-in 1957, the museum first operated in 1968 because of private donations. A mausoleum actually occupies the first floor with the bones of Solomos and Andreas Kalvos and the wife of his. The other floors include displays of individual items of eminent personalities from the island and paintings, manuscripts, sculptures, and a collection of archaeological and folklore items.
Exhibition Center of National Marine Park
As one of probably the largest nesting grounds for the loggerhead sea turtle, Zakynthos is actually home to a museum or, perhaps, an exhibition center focusing on the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta. Located in Agios Ioannis, near Dafni beach, the center has the quest to inform visitors on loggerhead sea turtles and the several nesting beaches of the island. However, it does not limit itself to this particular species. Raising awareness of endemic and priority local fauna and flora species, the center is certainly a great place to visit with kids.
Helmi’s Natural History Museum
Located in Agia Marina’s village, in the center of the island, Helmi’s Natural History Museum is probably the best place to find out about the fauna, flora, and sea life Zakynthos. Started in 2000, the museum aims to familiarize the visitor with the island’s uniqueness, showcasing the rich ecosystem of its, which ranges from sandy beaches to verdant forests in its interior. The museum has a set of more than 1,500 specimens and species, with animals represented in the natural habitat and collections of fossils and rocks.
The Xenopoulos museum was created in 1998 and is actually dedicated to writer Grigorios Xenopoulos (1867 1951). Housed in the Xenopoulos residence in Faneromeni, close to the town’s center, the writer grew up and lived until 1883. Having created a massive contribution to Greek literature, Xenopoulos has written articles, short stories, novels, and a magazine dedicated to kids’ education. Now he’s considered the father of Greek prose and a big contributor to children’s literature. The museum includes many of the works of his as well as personal items.
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