© Enma.gr

April 20, 2016

Numismatic Museum of Athens

Address: Panepistimiou 12, Athens  Telephone: 0030.210.36320.57 Website: Enma.gr

The Numismatic Museum is one of the oldest public museums in Greece.It was established in 1834, the same year as the National Archaeological Museum. The love for Antiquity, prevalent at the time in Europe, and the recent foundation of the Modern Greek state had created the conditions of protecting the national cultural heritage. Hence, from the beginning, the history of the Museum was directly related with that of the Modern Greek state, the social circumstances and the cultural directives of each age. However, a decisive role in its progress was played by the personalities of those who directed it. In 1843, the Museum was co-housed with the National Library in a room at the University of Athens. In 1856, Achilles Postolakas was appointed as the numismatic expert at the Museum until 1888 when he retired from its directorship. Postolakas set the basis of the scientific organisation of the Museum, attended to the increase of its collections, reported and published numismatic collections and systematically cared for the enrichment of its library. In 1867, the Numismatic Museum was officially defined by law as an annex to the National Library.The Numismatic Museum owns 500.000 acquisitions –mostly coins as well as medals, lead bullae, gems, weights, obeloi and talents- dated from the 14th century BC until today. The richest collections are those of the ancient coins dated from the 6th century BC to the 5th century AD. These are the coins of the city-states, the kings and rulers of the ancient Greek and Hellenistic world, the Roman Republic, the Roman emperors and the Roman Imperial provinces. Of similar importance are the collections of the Byzantine and Medieval coins dated from the 6th century to the 15th century. There is a large number of coins of the Byzantine empire and representative issues of all the emperors and mints, issues of states and monarchs of the Medieval West and East as well as issues of the Frankish kingdoms created in Greece since the 13th century. The period from the 15th to the 20th century is covered through the coins of most of the Modern and contemporary era states. An emphasis is shown to coins circulated in Greece, such as issues of the Ottoman empire, coins of European states and empires and coins and banknotes of the Modern Greek state. The museum is housed within the building of Iliou Melathron in downtown Athens.It was built in 1878-1879 and designed by the German architect Ernst Ziller, as the residence of the Schliemann family. Its name, meaning the Palace of Troy, was associated with the discovery of the ancient city by Heinrich Schliemann. It is a two-storey building impressively decorated. The first floor functioned mainly as the place where the social life of the family unfolded. The Hesperides Hall was designed for the receptions and the literature salon for literary evenings; the guest room and the dining room were situated around a central area. The bedrooms, offices and the library were on the second floor. The auxiliary areas, the servants’ rooms and a hall where the artifacts from the excavations in Troy were in display, were located on the ground floor. The coach-house and the stable were at the back of the house in the big garden which now operates as a café. It is a small green oasis in downtown Athens. The garden, of 800m2, contains numerous plants of the Greek flora and is decorated with copies of ancient Greek statues.The visitors to the Museum and others who spend time in the area can enjoy a pleasant break for coffee or light lunch in a serene and cool environment. Following contact with the person in charge of the Café and the Museum’s Public Relations office, the place can also accommodate special happenings.

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