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Museum of Paxi


Legend tells that Paxi arose from the azure depths of the Ionian Sea because of Poseidon's love for the nymph Amphitrite and the need to find a haven for their love away from mankind. The island, having emerged from the crystal waters through the power of the divine couple's love and for their love, has charmed visitors from antiquity until the present with its mystical beauty.

 

A melting pot of different civilizations over the generations, the combination of constant interaction and interdependence with nations both near and far has created a distinct culture. Although sharing much in common with its neighbours, the island has always maintained its own individual cultural identity. The evidence gathered gradually over the centuries has been collected and is now displayed in the Museum of Paxi. Housed in the preserved building of the old municipal school dating from the early 20th century (1906), which was granted to the Cultural Association of Paxi by the local government, the museum is located on the southern side of the harbour in Gaios.

 

Entering the courtyard one can see parts of old olive presses, containers for measuring oil and various stone objects used in the olive oil making process. Displayed in the first exhibition room one can see fossils, prehistoric tools, amphorae and utensils from classical times, Venetian and more recent weapons and coins from all eras. Proceeding to the next room, the visitor can discover the way of life and comforts of bygone times including a rich collection of clothes and undergarments, a four hundred year old bed, an “anapavsolia”, a device given by fathers to their daughters for use on the wedding night as well as a baby's cradle and various other women's items. In the kitchen, the grandiose life of previous centuries is evident; on display are oil lamps, earthenware dishes (“garitsiotika”) and scales hanging from the ceiling along with weights in a variety of different units including okas, an Ottoman unit equal to 1,280 kg, while on the walls hang copper cooking utensils. The fire is ready to be lit and the table is set waiting for the lady of the house to serve the meal.

 

In the hall there is a copy of the most important book ever written about Paxi. This work was written by Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria in 1887 and translated several years later by the Paxiot Doctor of Philosophy Anastasios Mitsialis (Datsolos).

 

The museum was founded in 1996 by the Cultural Association of Paxi with the aim of safeguarding the island's cultural heritage and creating an organisation responsible for developing it in the future. An ambitious plan developed by the municipality of Paxi to expand the existing site in the future, with the addition of a new building on the grounds, is currently being considered by the Ministry of Culture.

 

 



Paxos Tourist Guide 2015
     
 
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Φωτογραφικό υλικό: Σπύρος Κολοβός & Δημήτριος Κίντζιος