Archaeological Museum of Tripoli

Archaeological Museum of Tripoli

The Archaeological Museum of Tripoli is housed in a two-storey neoclassical building created by Ernst Ziller. Between 1895 and 1905 the building housed the Pan-Arcadian Hospital of “Evangelistria”. Its transformation into a Museum began in 1980 and six years later it was inaugurated by then-Minister of Culture Melina Mercouri.

The Museum is an important center for archaeological activities in the wider area of Arcadia and it also regularly hosts important educational and cultural events. The Museum includes a remarkable number of collections, with findings that range from the Neolithic, the Geometric and the Mycenaean periods, up to the Hellenistic, Roman and Classical times, as well as a few from the early-Christian and early-Byzantine periods. The findings include vessels, sculptures, inscriptions, utensils, as well as fragments from an ancient cemetery. The exhibits include some really interesting ones: a copper helmet from the early Hellenistic period (end of 4th century B.C.) from Megalopolis, a relief plaque that depicts the Nine Muses and Apollo, of the 2nd century B.C., and worship statuettes of variations that deviate from their typical form, to name but a few.

The Archaeological Museum of Tripoli was founded between the years 1980-1986 by Ephor of Antiquities, Theodoros Spyropoulos, and was inaugurated by Melina Mercouri, Minister of Culture at the time. The museum is housed in a beautiful two-storey neoclassical building, designed by Ernst Ziller, and consists of the main building and a later annex, which created more space for the museum. This museum is the administrative centre of the archaeological services of the entire Arcadia prefecture.

Exhibits of the Archaeological Museum of Tripoli

Several thousands of objects have found their place within the museum, coming from excavations all over Arcadia. Among its collections, one can find the following: sculptures from the Archaic and Classical Period from Asea and Mantineia; various inscriptions from Roman and Classical times; sculptures from the Roman and Hellenistic periods from Eva (an ancient city in Kynouria), Tegea and Mantineia; vases from the Hellenistic period from Megalopoli and Kynouria; various findings from the sanctuaries of ancient Arcadia; findings from the Classical and Hellenistic periods from Megalopoli and Orchomenus; as well as other, even older, artefacts from the Neolithic, Geometric and Archaic periods from the wider region of Arcadia, which serves as evidence of the region’s lively historical past.

As visitors enter the Museum, they are welcomed by 50 tombstones and inscriptions. Then, as they walk around, they have the opportunity of seeing a number of archaeological exhibits, included in the above collections. Some of the most impressive include a bronze helmet from the early Hellenistic period, found in Megalopoli and connected to the campaigns of Alexander the Great; a headless marble statue, which probably represents the goddess Athena, seated, and is attributed to the Athenian sculptor Endoios; a stirrup jar from the late Mycenaean era, from Palaiokastro, Gortynia; a relief tablet representing Apollo with the Nine Muses; a work dating to the 2nd century BC from the villa of Herodes Atticus in Eva, Kynouria, as well as various jars, figurines and votive reliefs.