Archaeological Museum of Ioannina

Museums Archaeological Museum of Ioannina

One of the most important landmarks of Ioannina, the Archaeological Museum, is located in the Litharitsia hill-park, in the center of the city.

Ever since its foundation in 1970, it has been the central museum hub for ancient times in Epirus. Exhibits from all geographical departments -coastal and hinterland- in its seven halls and the central corridor, unfold the history of the civilizations of Epirus and their particularities, from the Ice Age hunters, at least 200,000 years ago, to the end of the Roman Empire, in the 3rd-4th centuries AD.

With refreshed perspective of the museum’s role nowadays, since 2008, the thematic units that compose the museum narrative have highlighted -through the material remains of the past, and their interpretations- varied and multi-layered aspects of public and private life, finances, social, and state institutions, ideological transformations, relations and connections with the rest of Greece, the Balkans, the Mediterranean etc. In an interactive way, the exhibition invites and at the same time challenges the visitors to dialogue with the material programs of various eras, thus participating in questions and issues that are analyzed or touched upon in the museum network.

An exhibition hall of the Museum is dedicated exclusively to the famous religious center-sanctuary and oracle of Dodoni and its evolution through the centuries. Particularly impressive are the votive offerings (especially the bronze figurines and utensils) and the pilgrims’ agonizing questions to Zeus and his local wife, Dione, which are inscribed on small lead tablets. Among other evidence, the origins of the artifacts indicate the great influence of this particular place of worship in the ancient world. The site has also been the political and administrative center for the federations of ancient Epirus, with the corresponding edifices (e.g. bouleuterion, prytaneum).

The experience of visiting the Archaeological Museum of Ioannina is enhanced and expanded by modern means, such as the automatic guided tour system for selected exhibits (available free of charge at the entrance) and an innovative digital platform-tour adapted to the characteristics of different groups of audience (e.g. age), and freely accessible at for mobile devices (smart phones, tablets). These applications are supported by a rich archival and informative documentation.

The Archaeological Museum of Ioannina organizes a multitude of activities and events on a regular basis, educational as well as cultural, that are aimed at various groups of the public, thus strengthening the relations and synergies with local and other institutions. At the same time, its extensive collections it hosts are creatively deployed through periodical thematic exhibitions.

In addition, the building itself is one of the most famous examples of Greek Modernism, designed (in 1960s) by the enterprising architect Aris Konstantinidis. It stands out for its simplicity, the harmony of the volumes and its effortless integration in the natural and constructed built surrounding. Standing at the garden, visitors can enjoy the unobstructed view of the spacious basin with the lake and the Pindos Mountain range, as well as the historical castle of Ioannina.

Eleni Kotzampopoulou


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