Museums and Galleries

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Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest

The Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest was established in 1994 in order to study, promote and protect the Lesvos Petrified Forest, which is a Protected Natural Monument with worldwide recognition. It is located at the village of Sigri in West Lesvos, in the center of the nature conservation area of the Petrified Forest.

The permanent exhibitions are divided into two rooms:

– Petrified Forest Hall

In this room there are the following exhibition sections:

  • The development of plant life on earth
  • The Flora of the Petrified Forest
  • The marine part of the Petrified Forest
  • Characteristic fossilized plants from fossil bearing sites in Greece
  • Proof of the existence of animals in the Petrified Forest
  • A presentation on Theophrastus who was born on Lesvos and is considered the father of Mineralogy, Botany and Ecology.

– “The evolution of the Aegean” Hall

In this second room, “The evolution of the Aegean” presents:

  • The geological phenomena and processes that led to the creation of the Petrified Forest,
  • the 20 million year long geological story of the Aegean basin.


Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest,

Archaeological Museum of Mytilene

The Museum aims at the presentation of the life style in Lesvos from the 2nd century BC to the 3rd century AD. It presents Roman villas with famous mosaics, sculptures and items of religious character or items that were symbols of power and wealth. Three of the six exhibition halls occupy a prominent position with their mosaic floors and among them those of the Roman villa of the 3rd century AD. The conventional name ” Menander’s Residence” is given to the villa, which was an association of theater people.


Odysseus, Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs

Archaeological Collection of Eressos

The Archaeological Collection of Eressos is housed in a stone building, covering 41 square meters, with an adjoining porch of 29 sq.m. and a spacious courtyard.

The Exhibition is divided into three sections: a) religion and worship (relief carvings and sculpted works) b) burial customs (tombstones, clay sarcophagus of a Clazomenian type, offerings) and c) daily life (objects that reflect public and private life).

In the sun porch several sizeable architectural items are exhibited (bases and flywheels of columns, Ionic and Doric capitals, parts of friezes and cornices), relief carvings and Hellenistic and Roman altars. A special space has been planned for a part of a Roman mosaic floor.

In the courtyard sarcophagi, pedestals, inscriptions and sculpted works are also exhibited.


Odysseus, Ministry of Culture, Education and Religious Affairs,

Vareltzidena Mansion

The Vareltzidena Mansion is located on the north side of Lesvos. It is an important example of urban architecture of the late Ottoman period of the island. The present name is a translation of the surname of the owners of the mansion, Bardaktsoglou (Bardak is a Turkish word that means barrel), who marketed the wine.

It was built in the end of the 18th century, the architectural form of which responds to the wider area of the Balkan peninsula. The building is two storey with thick stone walls in the ground floor, resembling a fortress and corresponding to the oldest fortified country houses. Instead, the first floor is built of light materials with the technique “bagdati” (wooden frame, coated with mud).

The internal layout of the rooms meet perfectly the daily needs and way of life of the residents. The ground floor was mainly used as a storeroom, while family life, everyday and formal, takes place in the first floor.

The walls of the reception hall are decorated with valuable frescoes of topographies where water dominates, illustrations of towns and beloved motifs of the era, such as palmettes, vases and garlands of flowers etc. The plaster decoration is also interesting, sometimes framing the painting and sometimes becoming autonomous, offering lightly decorated surfaces. The ceilings of the reception hall that are decorated with wood-carvings are also highly valued.


Odysseus, Ministry of Culture, Education and Sport,

The Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum of Mytilene

The Museum is at the city center, opposite the entrance of Agios Therapon Church. It houses valuable items of the Byzantine and Post – Byzantine Period: valuable icons , vessels and vestments used in worship, fretwork, rare manuscripts and missals. The collection of icons in the museum date from the period between the 13th and 19th century. Among them there are the icons of the Pantocrator, of St. John the Theologian and St. George, of some unknown icon painters, as well as the Assumption of Our Lady painted by Theophilos, the famous painter.

Information: Ecclesiastical Byzantine Museum of Mytilene


Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production in Lesvos

The Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production in Lesvos (MBEL) in Agia Paraskevi, of Lesvos, has been founded and designed by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), which is also responsible for its operation. It is housed in the premises of the old communal oil-mill, which has been given to the Foundation by the Municipality of Agia Paraskevi.

The old machinery and equipment that have been preserved, and fully restored, are being exhibited in a unique way by demonstrations, supported by digital shows. The development of the various machines is presented, with special emphasis on the changes of the introduction of mechanical power brought into the process of oil production. In the main building the three basic steps of the oil production process (crushing the olives, pressing the olive-pulp, separating oil from water) are shown, while reference is made to the auxiliary operation of the flour-mill.

The former storage areas of the olive crop are used as auxiliary exhibition halls, in which the human element is presented (the history of the oil-mill of Agia Paraskevi, the mechanization of oil production in Lesvos, the wider socio-economic background).

The Museum has also a Multi – Purpose hall, a cafe, and a small open-air theatre.


Odysseus, Ministry of Culture, Education and Sport,

Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, Museum Network

Vranas Olive Press Museum

Vranas Olive Press Museum is located in Lesvos, at Papados village, in the wider region of Gera, 20 km from Mytilene. It is one of the oldest Olive Mills of Lesvos which belonged to the family of Odysseas Elytis. In 1999 it became the property of Archipelagos Company – a non-profit organization with significant cultural action in the Aegean – which undertook the ambitious project of its restoration and conversion into a museum.

The restoration work lasted for about three years (2006-2009) showing every respect to the simple architecture of the buildings. At the same time, the historical machinery of the factory was repaired and it started to operate, giving the visitor a real picture of the traditional production process of the olive oil.

In addition, the 112 financial books of the former olive-oil press, which are part of the most rare and complete financial records ever found in Greece, were preserved by the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation.

Finally, a unique thematic gallery of modern art was created including paintings from great Greek artists, who were inspired by the restoration of this important monument and offered their paintings to Archipelagos Company.


Vranas Olive Press Museum,

The Digital Museum “Georgios Iakovidis” is located at the painter’s birthplace, the village of Chydira of Lesbos. It is the first fully digital museum of art in Greece. Organized according to a special museological study based on new technologies, it presents the life and work of the renowned Greek painter through a variety of digital digital means of projection and interaction.

The ground floor presents the personality of the painter Iakovidis through the main events of his life (1853-1932), with digital applications based on archive material from family gatherings, business achievements and his social environment

The first floor is dedicated to the multi-faceted works of George Iakovidis. His works from the early years of apprenticeship next to his teacher Nikiforos Litras and paintings of his maturity in Munich, as well as the portraits of his grandsons, painted at the end of his life, and mythological themes, scenes from childhood, landscapes, portraits, still life, floriography, all these are analyzed and come alive through a variety of electronic digital systems of projection and interaction.

A video about the artistic career of Iakovidis is shown in the basement, while at the same place various educational activities take place.


Digital Museum “Georgios Iakovidis”

The Museum – Library of Stratis Eleftheriadis - Teriade

The Museum of Modern Art – Library of Stratis Eleftheriadis – Teriade has been operating since 1979 in the suburb of Varia, very close to Theophilos Museum and hosts the entire publishing work of Teriade, as a result of his cooperation and friendship with the leading representatives of modern art of the 20th century.

One of the important exhibits of the Museum is the 26 picture books, the so-called «Grands Livres», combining text and picture and forming original artwork of famous painters such as Matisse, Picasso and Chagall. The «Grands Livres» are handmade and only a limited number of copies have survived. In the museum there are also the issues of the magazine VERVE, through which Tériade tried to initiate a constructive dialogue between great artists, hosting in their pages existing reproductions of paintings and drawings. These issues have the stamp of great artists such as Matisse, Braque, Bonnard, Rouault and Maillol.

Finally the museum hosts works of Baudin, Bores, Chagall, Giacometti, Gromaire, Layrence, Le Corbusier, Leger, Matisse, Miro, Picasso, as well as the works of Greek artists, such as Vakirtzis, Theophilus Kalliyianis, Kanellis, Maroudas, Rorris and Tsarouchis. All these come from the personal collection of Teriade. Besides the permanent exhibition, the Museum organizes retrospective exhibitions of Fine Arts.


Odysseus, Ministry of Culture, Education and Sport,

Museum-Library of Stratis Eleftheriadis-Tèriade,

Theophilos Museum

The Theophilos Museum was built in 1964 in Varia, a suburb of Mytilene (3,5 km north of the city), where the popular artist was born and spent his childhood years. Its construction was financed by the famous Mytilenian publisher of art books in Paris, Stratis Eleftheriades (Teriade).

In 1965, Teriade donated the Museum to the Municipality of Mytilene, together with 86 paintings of Theophilos from his own private collection. Their subjects are inspired from history, mythology and folk art. They also depict scenes of everyday life, costumes, landscapes, etc.


Odysseus, Ministry of Culture, Education and Sport,

Natural History Collection of Vrisa

The Natural History Collection of Vrisa was inaugurated in September 1999 and is housed in the old girls’ schoolhouse at Vrisa. Fossils of vertebrates and invertebrates that lived in the area two million years ago are exhibited, as well as samples of minerals, rocks and ores of Lesvos. It also includes a section of Zoology and a section of Botany with unique value not only in Greece but throughout Europe.

More specifically, the main animal fossils that have been found are: the jawbone and parts of the skeletons of two proboscidean ancestors of the modern elephant. In some other locations fossilized horse bones of various sizes have been detected, as well as bones and jaws of the carnivorous Nyctereutes megamastoides, related to today’s raccoon (Nyctereutes). Bones of giraffes, deer, antelopes, gazelles, cattle and turtles have been also found (impressive findings are the bones of a giant tortoise 2.5 m length). But the most amazing among the findings is a family of giant apes of the genus of Paradolipithecus, the newest ones that have been found in Europe.


Natural History Collection of Vrisa, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens,

Municipal Art Gallery of Mytilene

The Municipal Art Gallery is housed in an old three-floor building (it belonged to Halim Bey) and it is a typical sample of the local architecture. This impressive mansion is located in Epano Skala area.

It hosts one of the most valuable art collections, which George Simos- Petris and his sister Elli Simou donated to the Municipality of Mytilene. George Simos – Petris was one of the country’s most important art critics, a “thinker” of visual art and a close friend of the greatest Greek artists.

Today Petris’ collection, which is exhibited in the Municipal Art Gallery, includes 138 paintings, rare engravings, books and gravures. Among others, the visitors can view works of G. Tsarouchis, G. Gounaropoulos, A. Protopatsis, Or. Kanelis, Picasso, Matis, Moralis, Fassianos, Chr. Botsoglou, as well as Vaso Katrakis’ engravings and a series of paintings of other well-known Greek artists.

Apart from the very important Petris’ collection, the Municipal Art Gallery also has a remarkable collection of works of Lesbian painters, such as Str. Axiotis, G. Gavalas, G. Perros, I. Moutzourellis, Str. Athineos, K. Messinezis, M. Kallipolitou, Dem. Karapiperis and others.


Adramyttiou 46, 81100, Mytilene

Tel .: (30) 48 002 22510


Municipal Art Gallery of Mithymna

The Municipal Art Gallery of Mithymna was set up in August 1981 with 77 works of art which artists themselves and art collectors donated to the Gallery.

The Gallery’s collection includes some old artworks like two drafts of Giannoulis Halepas, but also many works of a new generation of artists who were active during 1960s and 1970s. A characteristic feature of this art is a new realism that brings in contact the current Greek reality with the rest of Europe. Most of these artists taught later for a long time in the School of Fine Arts in Athens. Today, the Gallery widens its collection with new works of modern artists. Thus, except for the traditional means, the visitors have the chance to view documents, varying from installations in nature to constructions and conceptual projects.


Mithymna Lesvos, 81108

Τηλ.: (+30) 22530 71323

Κιν.: (+30) 6947174563, (+30) 6983611849