During your lovely stay in Crete don't miss to visit one of the few literature museums in Greece which is exclusively dedicated to the life and work of great Cretan writer Nikos Kazantzakis.
Situated in the historical village of Myrtia or Varvaroi, just 15km from Heraklion town, the recently renovated Museum of Nikos Kazantzakis impresses with its sophisticated structure and aesthetics.
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum pays tribute to the important intellectual, author, thinker, philosopher, politician and traveller Nikos Kazantzakis.
The Museum is made up of a cluster of buildings in the central square of the historical village of Varvari, now known as Myrtia. The Museum Exhibition is housed on a site formerly occupied by the home of the Anemoyiannis family, which was related to Nikos Kazantzakis' father, Kapetan Michalis.
The Museum was founded by set and costume designer Yiorgos Anemoyiannis, a pioneering figure in Greek theatre. His fundamental aim was to preserve the author's memory and promote his work and thought. Significant assistance was offered by Eleni Kazantzaki, the author's second wife.
The Museum holds manuscripts and notes by the author; samples of his correspondence with major thinkers, politicians and authors of his time; first editions of his works in Greek and other languages; rare photographic material; souvenirs from his travels; personal effects; models, costumes and other material from theatre productions of his works in Greece and abroad; portraits and sculptures of the author; dozens of foreign-language editions of his works from all over the world, all a legacy that brings alive the memory of Nikos Kazatzakis and promotes his work and personality.
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum has quite literally become a site of worldwide intellectual pilgrimage. Every day, visitors arrive from all four corners of the globe, bearing witness to the lasting relevancy of the word expressed by the great Cretan, universal author and thinker.
The epitaph on his grave in Heraklion consists of his own words: "I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"
The visit starts with a 20 minute documentary screening (available in seven languages –just ask the person in the counter) on life and work of Nikos Kazantzakis. Your experience will be enriched with interactive audiovisual displays, including scenes from films that were based on Kazantzakis books (‘Τhe Last Τemptation’ and ‘Christ recrucified’).
At the end of the visit, remember to take a look into the souvenir shop where you will also find the books of Nikos Kazantzakis in various languages.
It is worth buying even something little, just to support this important self-funded Museum. You can also buy stuff online through the Museum’s website, which also provides interesting and updated information about the Museum and the writer.
Good to know
This small lovely Museum faces a contradictory situation.
On the one hand it was nominated for the “European Museum of the Year 2012” award by the European Museum Forum. The nomination is based on the criteria of innovation and quality of services, and this year 57 Museums are nominated along with the Museum of Nikos Kazantzakis.
On the other hand, the Museum of Nikos Kazantzakis is in danger of shutting down, as it is a self-funded institution solely based on ticket sales and the souvenir shop. These funds, however, are not sufficient to cover the basic expenses or the cultural activities of the Museum.
Donations were not sufficient either, so in 2011 the association “Friends of the Nikos Kazantzakis Museum” was founded, having as its main goal the economic survival of the Museum and its promotion in Greece and abroad. You can also become a “friend” of the Museum.
Opening Hours :
Contact Details :
Nikos Kazantzakis Museum
Fax: 2810 742232