The definition of ”Masterpiece” is a work of outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship. The National Archaeology Museum in Athens is full of masterpieces, but the museum itself is a masterpiece on its own. This centrally located museum houses the largest collection of Ancient Greek art, antiquities, and artifacts in Greece.
For myself, it is a true joy to visit a museum that preserves and protects the largest collection of their own past civilizations. I do appreciate that many of Greece’s priceless treasures have stayed in their homeland, and in this museum for generations to learn from and enjoy.
A fraction of the world’s population has viewed authentic (non-replica) Greek art, and antiquities in museums outside of Greece, which is wonderful. For many that may be the only time they will ever view masterpieces from the ancient Greek civilization. If you are wanting to stretch your knowlege of Ancient Greece, and find yourself in Athens this National Museum a will be an enlightening experience.
The current building of the National Archaeology Museum is over one hundred years old, and was completed in 1889. It was designed in the neo-classical style, which was popular throughout Europe by the Mid-1800s. Over the years the museum’s building had expanded to house a greater collection of Greek artifacts.
As with many European museums, their works of art and masterpieces had been hidden during WWII, so they would not be destroyed or stolen. Greece’s National Archaeology Museum was no exception during those years. All of their priceless artifacts were sealed in protective boxes, and then buried.
Whenever I hear stories of those who risked their lives to save works of art during the times of war, I am humbled. It would be a different world today if they had not risked their lives to preserve priceless pieces of culture, during a time of war and uncertainty.
The National Archaeology Museum is massive, and can become overwhelming at times. Their enormous collection dates back to 1500 BC prehistoric era, and also contains many Egyptian artifacts .
My advice is to dedicate a certain time frame of your day to visit the museum, and view the collections that appeal to you. If you have time you can always go back, and visit more of the museum. This is an extensive museum, and I will admit that I did get lost a couple of times. Just remember to pick up a museum map when you pay for your ticket in the front hall.
When I had visited the National Archaeology Museum, I spent my time viewing several favorite collections including the sculptures, metal works, vases, and minor works. I also enjoyed their fine collection of the prehistoric era, which has always been an interest of mine. It is a wonder to observe preserved pieces of artwork made with primitive tools, and from natural materials.
My advice for the best experience is to arrive at the National Archaeology Museum before or when it opens. Take note that here are class trips, which visit the National Archaeology Museum during the year, so be prepared for crowds. It will be the same for high season and weekends. If you arrive early, more than likely you will be able to enjoy more museum quiet time.
Visit their official website to view their collections, take note what appeals to you and plan your day.
Transportation: Since the museum is centrally located in Athens, there are many ways to get there- walk, taxi, metro, electric train, and bus. As for myself, I took the Hop on Hop off Bus that dropped off/picked up in front of the museum.
For visiting information – National Archaeology Museum website
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