In the eastern wing of St. Dimitrios Cathedral in Mystras operates a museum with significant byzantine exhibits. The collection which was officially founded in 1951, consists of small objects discovered in the archaeological site of Mystras, archaeological fragments of the temples of Mystras- a marble slab of the 14th century from the temple of Perivleptos, fragments and larger sections of wall paintings from abandoned chapels, an architrave from the shrine of the temple of Pantanassa- handwritten codes, jewelry and objects of body care, clothing and footwear. Amongst them stand the rare- and therefore extremely significant- pieces of silk clothing and the braid of a princess from a tomb found in the northern arcade of Agia Sofia. Furthermore, portable icons, orthodox shrines, miniature art, ceramic objects and coins enrich the collection. In 2001, the permanent exhibition was re-organized, with a new topic and a new approach, titled: “Byzantium and the West: the experience of the late Byzantine urban center of Mystras”.
North of the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios, in a building on the eastern side of the yard, there exists a museum that was founded and operates with very important byzantine exhibits. The first unofficial museum was founded by the French byzantinist Gabriel Millet in the end of the 19th century and operated in the eastern wing of the temple. There were placed architectural sculpted parts from the temples of Mystra while in the beginnings of the 20th century the collection was enriched with the contribution of the Bishop of Sparta. The museum was officially inaugurated in 1952 by the Antiquities’ curator Nikolaos Dandakis, and so the collection was transferred to the western wing. In the basement preserved the older sculptures exhibition that was enriched with byzantine objects, which were hosted until then in the Archaeological Museum of Sparta. The hall of the first floor hosts objects of miniature art and icons that were discovered in excavations conducted in the area. The exhibition was further expanded into the yard decorating it with sculptures.
Some of the most significant exhibits of the museum are the parts of architraves from shrines, a marble carved plaque of the 14th century of the floor of the temple of Perivleptos and represents the Ascension of Alexander the Great, the parts of the architrave of shrine of the temple of Pantanassa, the fragments of wall paintings from abandoned chapels of Mystra and the rare pieces of a silk clothing together with the braid of a princess, from a tomb found at the northern arcade of Agia Sofia. The collection also includes handwritten codes and manuscripts, jewelry and objects of body care, and it has been enriched with marble shrines, works of miniature art, ceramic objects and coins.
In 2001 the permanent exhibition reorganized, changing its topic and museum approach, and it was titled: “Byzantium and the West: the experience of the late Byzantine urban center of Mystras”. Since then it was divided in three different sectors according to the topic, “Political Ideology and Artistic Creation”, “Approaching everyday life topics of the Byzantium and the West” and “The influences of western art in artistic creation”.
Kastropoliteia Mystra, Mitropoli (Cathedral) (00302731083377)
Tuesday-Sunday 8:30 am-3 pm