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The Museum of Delphic Festivals – one of the modern places of interest in Delphi

Once in Delphi, do not miss the Museum of Delphic Festivals! Give yourself a little time to visit this small but very interesting museum, also known as the Museum of Angelos and Eva Sikelianos. The museum is housed at the Sikelianos former residence, which was restored by the European Cultural Centre of Delphi to honor their memory.

angelos-sikelianos-house-in-delphiThe beautiful establishment with Neoclassical style was constructed in 1927, the time when the famous poet Aggelos Sikelianos and his wife were trying to revive the ancient Delphic festivals. At last, they succeeded in their effort and organized two festivals, one in 1927 and the other in 1930. That time, the Delphic Festivals were the most important event for the country and attracted famous personalities from all over the world, among them politicians, artists, scholars and university teachers. Conferences were organized based on studies for the importance of Delphi in the ancient times. Also performances of ancient drama would take place in the ancient theatre, athletic competitions in the stadium, folk exhibitions and concerts of Byzantine music that marked the Delphic Festivals. Unfortunately, due to lack of financing, these festivals were interrupted.

 The Museum of Delphic Festivals is housed in the old two-storey house of Eva and Angelos Sikelianos in Delphi. The building is situated in an extremely privileged location, next to the archaeological site of Delphi, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, overlooking the valley of Amfissa and the sea. It was built in 1924-1926 by local craftsmen, under the supervision of Eva Sikelianos. The architectural elements of the carved stonework, its arched openings and its columns without stripes are reminiscent of the neo-Gothic style houses of Bar Harbor, where young Eva used to spend her summers. After 1933, the house ceased to be inhabited; it was abandoned and gradually fell into decay.

In the '60s it was expropriated in favour of the Greek National Tourism Organisation. In 1985 the European Cultural Centre of Delphi undertook its restoration to its original form.

The official opening of the Museum of Delphic Festivals was held on 12 July 1991 and since then ranks, together with the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, among the modern places of interest of the town of Delphi.

In the halls of the Museum, the visitor can admire items connected to the two festivals that the couple had organized, including rich photographic material, theatre costumes that Eva herself designed, several manuscripts of the poet, personal objects and the famous loom of Eva.

For more sightseeing from Delphi and surroundings, click here.