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The Museum Building

  The Ethnographic Museum of Arachova is housed in an old building of neoclassical style at a conspicuous location in the centre of today’s town, next to the impressive rock occupied by the clock tower of “Ora”. It was built in 1908 thanks to a donation by the great Greek donor Andreas Syngros, in a plot offered by the Arachova Municipality, so as to be used as Elementary School. It thus replaced the village’s old, first Elementary School, which was built at Arachova in 1830, funded by state money at the time of Governor Ioannis Kapodistrias, but also thanks to the Arachova people’s personal work and money collected through fundraising.

  The construction of the School started on the 21st June of 1909 and was completed two years later. It consisted of two large rectangular rooms on either side of a central hall, two lateral rooms located symmetrically on its northern and southern sides, as well as a frontal long columned porch. A separate oblong room was located on the building’s northern side. Several interventions were done at the building during the School’s long history, in order to improve certain elements. In 1984, it was decided by the Minister of Culture Melina Merkouri that Arachova’s old Elementary School had to be preserved as a heritage monument, “as a building directly connected with the city’s modern history”.

  In 2003 the building finally stopped working as a School, since a new Elementary School was constructed on the western side of Arachova. The building of the old Elementary School was renovated in 2009. The works were co-funded by the European Union and Greece so that the building could be used as a Museum and workshop area for traditional and artistic activities. At the same time, the northern room was fully renovated and turned into a modern amphitheatre, a venue for scientific seminars and conferences, while restoration works were also done at the canteen in the building’s courtyard, on the way to the clock tower of “Ora”.

  Today, the old Elementary School building, fully restored and renovated, houses Arachova’s Ethnographic Museum and Workshops of Traditional Arts, thus advancing our hometown’s traditional culture.

   

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