National Archaeological Museum ​

Probably the most beautiful building in our district is the Archaeological Museum. The impressive row of large columns, the wide staircase to the entrance and the spacious forecourt of the Archaeological Museum can be seen from afar. The elongated building looks particularly great at night – then it is brightly lit and looks even more majestic than during the day.

The museum is mainly dedicated to Greek antiquity and, with around 11,000 objects on display, is considered one of the most important collections of Greek antiquity. It’s located (as the only one of Athens’ important museums) in our Exarchia district and I actually walk past it every day on my way to my favorite coffee shop. So of course it was a must to visit the museum during our time in Athens. On our second weekend here we finally found the time and then spent several hours there. Although we weren’t always sure of the exact direction for a perfect tour, we were very impressed by the great pieces of jewellery, vases and, above all, by the mighty yet filigree marble statues.

I always find the statues particularly cool, of which only individual parts have been preserved and one can only imagine how huge the entire statue must have been. I also find it amusing when you walk into a room and then individual limbs of statues are presented very prominently, such as a single arm or foot, which are displayed on large marble steles. This was also the case in the room in which I made this drawing: entering the room, one immediately notices the large, powerful but at the same time somewhat damaged marble head of Zeus. The nose section, which has meanwhile completely broken off and disappeared, leaves a very rough fracture in the middle of the face, which stands in contrast to the otherwise perfectly formed marble head. That was also the reason why I wanted to capture exactly this object in my sketchbook.

By the way, drawing in the middle of a museum full of tourists was more exhausting than I thought, but since I had already started drawing, I really wanted to finish it. Another photo with the original statue in the background and off we went to the next room.

In addition to the museum’s collection, I particularly liked the museum café. Not so much because of the drinks on offer (they were relatively expensive for Athens and only average quality), but because of the beautiful courtyard, which was full of olive trees and other great plants. If you are in Athens and are not interested in art and archeology, then you should definitely just visit the great museum café, which you can enter through an extra entrance even without a museum ticket!

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