03 June, 2010

New Entry: Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

I added a page on Benaki Museum of Islamic Art to the Gate to Greece website.

Benaki Museum of Islamic Art

It is a sympathetic middle-size museum near Thissio metro station. Although I guess it has lesser interest to the Tourists, as it does not contain anything related directly to Greece, it is no doubt an excellent cultural treasure for the residents.

As the other Benaki museum it is also conscious about cafeteria and giftshop. The cafeteria is at the top of the building and the visitors can enjoy drinks looking the Acropolis and the Keramikos archaeological site.

When I visited the museum I came across a Synagogue nearby.


As it was closed then, I visited it on another day. It is open for visitors from 10-12 o'clock except Saturdays, but when I tried to enter, I was stopped by a guardman and asked to produce my ID (passport) and to show him contents of my bag. And I was asked why I speak Greek; I am not sure if it was out of his curiosity or because I looked suspicious. Anyway, it was the day when the Israeli troop attacked the "Free Gaza", cruiser carrying humanitarian aid to Palestine, and that might be why he was particularly attentive.

Inside, a group of Israeli tourists was having a meeting (I don't understand Hebrew, but it looked to me that the visitors were being told about history and situation of the Jews in Greece).

According to the guardman, the synagogue was built in 1939. It is quite interesting that it was built just before the beginning of the World War II. I need to dig its history.

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