Paying a short visit to Athens during November, can be a bummer. First the weather even in Athens can be moody, and secondly…too many choices!! Follow our sculpture’s guide in Athens for some top-notch recommendations, even the Athenians sometimes ignore!
The choices of history and culture in Athens are unlimited, but when it comes to dedicated places specifically to sculpture there are a few musts. Our sculpture’s guide runs through antiquity, meets romantic and classical forms in early 20th century and finishes with modern and contemporary pieces of art. So, follow us through a journey in fine arts!
Sculptures Collection in National Archaeological Museum
Our first stop is the National Archaeological Museum and its extensive sculptures collection. In the museum’s ground floor you will find one of the most important sculptures collection in the whole world. The exhibits come from Greek antiquity, from 7th century BC to the 5th century AD. The collection contains about 17000 sculptures, and you will find them in the ground floor rooms, the patio and the Cypriot Collection. Also, specific sculptures are on display in the Egyptian Collection, the Vase Collection and the Stathatos Collection.
When to visit: Visits in museums and some archaeological sites is free of charge, the first Sundays from November till March
First Cemetery of Athens
The first cemetery of Athens is the oldest cemetery of modern Athens, and this is where the first Athenian families are buried. It is primarily built in accordance to the ancient Keramikos cemetery, but during the ages it expanded and enriched its style. The graveyard blends Christian (orthodox, catholic and protestants) and Jewish tombs. This is where old politicians are buried, alongside with famous actors, poets, musicians – even important figures from the revolution against Ottoman Empire! However, great you will find great sculptures above the tombs of everyday Athenians, whose families hired great sculptors to ornate their graves.
The majority of sculptures in the First Cemetery of Athens are of romantic and neoclassical style. You will find the cemetery behind the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Panathinaiko Stadium. The main entrance is at the top end of Anapafseos street, and its nature with pines and cypresses help to create feelings of awe and resort.
When to visit: You will need about 3-4 hours to visit the majority of cemetery, so you good, mild weather and time are your friends. Pick any date between fall or spring, when nature changes its colors vividly.
National Glyptotheque in Goudi
The National Glyptotheque is the national sculpture museum and it is an annex of the National Gallery. It is located in the twin building of the former royal stables, inside the Army Park in Goudi. In the first building, you will find the permanent collection of 19th and 20th century sculpture. This collection also expands in the garden, as an open-air sculpture museum. The second building hosts temporary collections and the museum’s library.
Apart from mere interest into sculptures, the National Glyptotheque is a great opportunity for activities with children. Every Saturday, from 11:00 to 15:00 there is a free children and art workshop that you can participate.
When to visit: Good weather is essential for visiting the National Glyptotheque. So our best advise is to visit during spring or summer months.
The Christos Capralos Sculpture Museum in Aegina
This sculpture travelogue comes to an end with an unexpected turn. We chose to finish our sculpture’s guide with a stop in beautiful Aegina. There you will find the sculpture museum of Christos Capralos. The painter and sculptor Chr. Capralos, studied sculpture in Paris. 2 years before his death, he created the Christos and Souli Capralos Foundation in Aegina. There, he exhibited his work from 1963-1993.
The Christos Capralos museum hosts its sculptures among 6 halls and an outdoor space. His inspiration were the everyday life of Greeks, themes of peace and war, as well as his relations with friends and relatives. Since 2006, the Christos Capralos sculpture museum belongs to the National Gallery, as its branch in Aegina
When to visit: Literally, any time of the year, with Athens Day Cruise! It can also be a great alternative for winter months, when roaming around local streets and swimming is not easy, due to weather.