Over Lake Stymphalia, on the slope of a lush green hill, is the country’s first Environmental Museum. It was there, according to the mythology, that Hercules accomplished his 6th feat by killing the Stymphalian Birds. The myth says, that these birds were so many, that when they flew they hid the sun. So, Hercules killed these Birds and freed the people from the diseases and misery that plagued them.
The Museum is divided into two different sections according to their theme, on the one hand is the environment of the area and on the other hand the way that it defined the professions and the activities of the inhabitants. The geology, the people and the settlements, all these things are part of the Museum. It also presents the Hadrian Aqueduct, the Gothic monument of the Cistercian monks during the Frankish Rule but also human activity, stock farming and the crops that evolved around the lake. These activities assisted and allowed for the environment preservation of the wider area. The main goal of the Museum is to attract more and more visitors and to render sensitivity in people for the protection of the lake and the general area.
The plateau of Stymphalia is surrounded by Zireia, Oligyrtos, Mavrovounion and Gravias Mountains, on the southern side of the Corinthian Prefecture. The pond of Stymphalia is considered the largest pond in Peloponnese, while it constitutes the southerner mountain wetland of the Balkan Peninsula. The reason why this specific lake draws such a big interest is because of its rich fauna and flora and the underground and visible water circulation passages.
The Museum offers visitors a great experience, since it has new technological facilities. The way in which the traditional items and the educational material are combined, is more than fulfilling and aims for the better understanding of the exhibits and the history. It is also the first time tourists have the chance to watch the fauna and flora of the area so closely. Moreover, there is detailed information about the habits, the traditions and the local customs, in order to preserve them intact with the world’s evolution.
The building, designed by Tasos Papaioannou and Dimitris Isaias, was built with the intent of having as a main point of interest the lake and the unhindered view of it. Its construction was based on the spirit of the environmental architecture, natural materials were used, and the architects took into account the characteristics of the local climate, the cool winds, the natural cooling and the sunshine. It was honored with special reference in the 2008 Architecture Awards, organized by the Hellenic Institute of Architecture and it was included in the issue “The Phaedon Atlas of the 21st Century World Architecture”.
Stymphalia, P.C. 20016 Stymphalia
Tel. 0030 27470 22296
Every day except Tuesday
Summer: (March 1st – October 15th)
Winter (October 16th –February 28th)