Galleries & Museums of Kalamata
Municipal Gallery of Kalamata “A.TASSOS”: In the historic centre of Kalamata, a renovated neoclassical mansion houses the Municipal Gallery. It was named after the Messinian engraver A. Tassos, because of the high number of works he has donated to the gallery. The collection, consisting exclusively of donations, includes 350 works of visual art mostly of the 1980’s. It mostly focuses on painting and sculpture but there are also remarkable engraved and ceramic artworks.
Gallery of Contemporary Greek Art: The Gallery was founded in 1962 on the initiative of the Popular Library of Kalamata and artist Kostas Giannoukopoulos. It is housed in specially designed areas of the Municipal Cultural Center, where are exhibited more than 100 works. The collection, which includes more than 430 works, consists of paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures of important Greek artists of the 20th century as well as works of local artists.
Archaeological Museum of Messinia: The Archaeological Museum of Messinia is in the same building which housed the ancient Municipal Market of Kalamata, in the historical centre of the city. The exhibition covers the history and the civilization of the area, from the prehistoric period to the Byzantine period. The exhibits derive from excavatio ns and researches and demonstrate the timeless character of the local civilization and the age-long history of the area. The history of the prefecture is presented on its four large geographical divisions: Pylia, with the chamber tombs and the castles, Trifylia, with Nestor’s Palace, Messene, the capital of the Messinian state and Kalamata, mostly for the Byzantine period. The Museum has the appropriate infrastructure to fully guide the visitors to their voyage in time; there is informative printed material while through the projection of videos and the possibility to use computers in the lobby, the visit becomes more interactive. There is also a special room for children who can participate in experiential games, by constructing a wall and a mosaic. The Museum can also host schools.
Historical and folklore museum of Kalamata: The museum is housed in a double- storeyed mansion, in the historic centre of Kalamata that was donated to the Municipality of Kalamata by Kyriakou family, for the Association for the Preservation of Arts& Letters. The ground floor of the museum creates a complete image of the pre-industrial lifestyle in Messinia. It is divided into thematic units, w hich represent the rural life, the manufacturing industry, the art of weaving and the pottery. At the second floor, there is the typesetting unit, since the first printing houses of liberated Greece were in Kalamata. In the same floor, there are also recreations of the traditional houses and coffee-houses of the city and finally there is a large room with objects from the Greek Revolution, as well as traditional costumes and works of the ecclesiastical and byzantine art.
Benakeio Archeological Museum of Kalamata: In the heart of the Historical Centre, it is accommodated in a beautiful residence of Venetian style built in 1742 and was donated by Antonios Benakis, founder of the homonym Museum in Athens. Some of the most impor tant exhibits are a mosaic from Koroni with scenes from the worship of Dionysus, tomb, columns, sculptures of Hellenistic and Roman years, pillar-heads, discoveries from vaulted graves, jewels and stone objects from many regions of Messinia while in the garden of the museum a stone sarcophagus and two burial jars are exhibited 5
Military Museum of Kalamata: The exhibition of the Museum aims to demonstrate the modern Greek history, from 1821 up to the present, through rich material. It includes costumes and material from the period of the Revolution and exhibits relevant to the Messinian Macedonian Fighters. The exhibition gradually continues to the present, referring in the meantime to the period of the Balkan Wars, the Asia Minor Catastrophe, World Wars I and II, to the National Resistance as well as to the peace-keeping expeditions of the country’s military forces abroad.
Municipal Railway Park of Kalamata: It is a park in the centre of the Messinian capital, which operates as an openair railway museum. Rambling around the park, the visitors can travel in time and discover the railway of the 19th and the 20th century. In a land plot of 54.000 square meters in area, in the pl ace where the old railway station used to be, there is the station of the area and the double-storeyed station master’s office, boarding platforms and a waiting hall. Faucets of vapor locomotives and steering – houses, a metallic pedestrian bridge, as well as other objects that were necessary for the organization of the railway station of that period are also exhibited..
The new museum of Traditional Greek Costumes is a cultural gem born of passion, perseverance and dedication of one woman in particular. Collector and donor Victoria Karelia is the president of the lyceum of Greek women of Kalamata, and the museum is a result of her efforts. The costumes and their various components narrate the history f local folk dress from the mid-18th to early 20th century, combining modern stage design and an exemplary use of sound and light. The signs describing the displays have replaced by touch screens that make the experience interactive and enjoyable. Each day, the guestbook is filled with praise from greek and foreign visitors alike following their fascinating introduction to the cultural heritage of this region in the Peloponnese.