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Lychnostatis Museum

The Cretan Open-air Museum 'LYCHNOSTATIS ' aims to promote the understanding and awareness of the Cretan folk cultural heritage.
Its scope lies on the following themes :


  • Cretan Folk Tradition and Ethnology

[ life-style in the pre-industrial Crete ( 19th - 20th century ), traditional occupations and customs , living legends , ethnological information e.t.c.]


  • Cretan Nature and Environment
    [ vegetation , mineral wealth, environmental administrative process ]
  • Cretan Folk Culture
    [ self - taught artists who promote the folk cultural heritage with their artistic work ] .








The museum comprises the following buildings and locations :

  • Traditional Dwellings
    ( a farmer's house and a merchant's house )
  • Chapel
  • Windmill
  • Olive oil - press
  • Wine-press
  • Distillery for ' raki ' ( alcoholic beverage )
  • Threshing - floor
  • Shepherd's shelter
  • Ceramic workshop
  • Weaving and plant-dying workshop
  • Herbarium
  • Garden with Cretan fruit - trees
  • Herb - garden
  • Flora and cactus - garden
  • Mineral and stone exhibition
  • Cretan folk artists' gallery
  • Auditorium [150 seats] for audio-visual shows , seminars , e.t.c.
  • Open-air theatre [250 seats] for cultural and artistic events
  • Library stocked with books and periodicals on Cretan folk culture
  • Cafe (where typical beverages and sweets are served)
  • Museum-shop (where mementoes and products of the museum are sold).



Construction - Operation - Finance

The Museum 'LYCHNOSTATIS' is an autonomous private Foundation, operating since July 1992. In March 1994, the Association of Members of the Museum was established, to support the museum's future initiatives and obtain sponsorships and grants .

Two more bodies, a Scientific Committee and an Organising Committee, composed by academics , artists and businessmen , provide valuable advice in the museum's development .
The museum has its origins in a private collection formed over a period of thirty years by Yiorgos Markakis , professor of opthalmology, lecturer and writer.

The vast work of construction was carried out in seven years (1986 - 1992) by all 5 members of the Markakis family and 3 local workers , in a volunteer basis , together with a bank loan. The buildings themselves are some of the main exhibits. Built thoroughly with the prevalent raw materials (stone-wood-clay), under the creative architectural improvising of the founder, they possess an aesthetic quality unique in the area. No bulldozers, excavators or other mechanical means have been used in the construction.
The collections are broad in scope, from agricultural implements to embroideries and from herbs to rhymes.
The approach is by no means intellectual; all exhibits are left to speak for themselves, and visitors are allowed to touch objects and encouraged to smell and taste the various plants, fruits and products of the museum.

Compatible to this both emotional and hospitable atmosphere, it is the museum's policy to welcome with a free admission all visitors who come for a second visit.

Free guided tours are available every hour in English, Deutsch, Dutch (also French on request) to provide accurate information to the large number of tourists who visit the museum.

The maintainance and running cost is met by the operation of the museum (admission fees, cafe and shop sales), along with donations, memberships and subscriptions in the Association of Members of the Museum.
The museum holds regular activities, including "Traditional September", an annual public event as well as Greek dancing performances, audio-visual shows (dioramas), grape-feasts, wine-tasting and several others.

Located in one of the principal tourist areas in Crete, the museum is, apart from a valuable tourist asset, an exemplary self - motivated conduct on tradition, culture and environment of the island.



Educational Programs

The Department of Educational Programs tries to convert the children's visit to the museum to a pleasant educative experience.
It has organized 7 educational programs up to now and continues to generate new programs.

The programs are built around the three main themes of the museum:
Folk culture and traditional life, environment and folk art.

The objectives set for them are:
  • To familiarize the children with the museum exhibits and the sense of tradition.
  • To make them realize the interrelation between man and nature.
  • To nurture their aesthetic criterion.
  • To encourage them to undertake action for the preservation of our folk culture and environment.
  • To cultivate the children's special skills and competences (imagination, creativity, critical thinking, initiative, autonomy, social interaction).

Theoretical basis and methods

The educational programs are based on constructive learning.
The children are not considered as passive receivers of information but as active creators of knowledge.
They are called to discover and generate knowledge, which is built gradually upon their previous experience.
The learning is child-centric, dialogic, and connected with the national curriculum.

It is achieved through the activation of all the senses in role games, acting, dancing, story telling, artistic creation etc.
The educational material consists of audiovisuals, cases with educational objects, leaflets and questionnaires.
The latter are in the form of multiple-choice test and are used as a knowledge game.

The educational programs -generally concerning children between 4-12 years old- are the following:

1. "The aroma of tradition".
This program is based on aspects of the Cretan folk culture and environment and its interrelation with the local people. It is applied in the museum's windmill, threshing- floor and herb garden, and introduces the traditional occupations of milling and threshing as well as the fascinating world of Cretan herbs and rhymes.
Period of realization: April-October


2. "The anonymous artist".
This program takes place in the gallery of folk art exhibits as well as around the open-air art exhibits. It concerns folk art and aesthetic education. It attempts to familiarize the children with the materials, techniques and topics preferred by naive artists. The children are called to observe, discuss, play and create their own pieces of art.

Period of realization: April-October

3. "The rainbow of nature".
The program takes place in the gallery of recyclable material. It concerns environmental education. At first the children observe and identify plants and then they come to realize how useless material can be converted to useful objects with a different use through recycling.

Period of realization: April-October

4. "The coastal lily returns to the coast".
This program is in the context of environmental education.
Lilies where flourishing in the coasts of Hersonisos before the development of "package tourism".
The program contains the re-planting of the endangered species at the coast around the museum through a team activity with specific roles for each participant.

Period of realization: November- December

5. "Child and tradition"
The program takes place at the open-air theater and the museum courtyard. It contains the theatrical version of a local tale and an activity about traditional toys.

Period of realization: September

6. "Feast with the bees"
It attempts to familiarize the children with the bees' society and the production of honey and wax. Using the "spider strategy" the children gather information, create the "tale of the honeycomb" and act it.

Period of realization: April-October

7. "Hersonisos, the history of a sunk town".
The program concerns adolescents between 12-14 years old. It takes place at archaeological sites and monuments of Hersonisos.
It attempts to make the students realize the historical continuity of the area and to re-conceptualize life during the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian years. It motivates the students to gather information from various sources, -using also oral history-, and prepare a short publication or poster.

Period of realization: October




Visit Lychnostatis from 09:00 to 14:00

Closed on Mondays

Adults: 5
Students: 3
Children (till 12 years' old): 2
Groups (more than 12 persons): 4,5 per person

You can contact us by:

Tel: +3028970-23660

Fax: +3028970-24674

e-mail: infolychnostatis.gr





SOURCE : http://www.lychnostatis.gr

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