Olive Tree Museum of Vouves

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The Olive Tree Museum of Vouves is located near the Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves in the settlement of Pano Vouves in West Crete, thus creating a uniform and harmonious ensemble.

  • Self-Guided
  • 1-4 Hours
  • History & Culture
  • Cretan Villages
  • Agrotourism/Ethnography

The museum is housed in a traditional building, which maintains all the characteristics of an austere and, at the same time, authentic, intelligent, and functional folk architecture of this area, the preservation of which constitutes one of the cultural objectives set by municipal authorities.

The building was donated to the Municipality by the family of Panagiotis Karapatakis, who used it as its residence.

Moreover, it is located in a primarily olive-producing area, in the mountainous region of this Municipality. Kolymbari olive oil is produced in this region: a famous, award-winning olive oil that is considered as one of the best in the world.

The Olive Museum Vouves has the great privilege of being located near the Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves, the oldest olive tree in the world, 3000-5000 years old, with a trunk circumference of 12.50 m and a diameter of 4.60 m.

The most renowned olive tree visit today about 20,000 people annually from around the world, with a view to the rapid growth of visitors. From the sacred tree was cut at a special ceremony, wreaths for marathoners winners at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008.  

Ιn 2012 the Mayor of Platanias, Mr. John Malandrakis, gave the Greek Olympic wreath, which accompanied the Olympic Flame on its journey to Greece and Greek athletes when they enter the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London, sending a worldwide message of peace, hope, and brotherhood of peoples.

At the Olive Tree Museum of Vouves, special emphasis is placed on the preservation and promotion of tools that were used until the middle of the previous century (the mid-1950s) in an uninterrupted, daily, and continuous manner for many centuries or even millenniums by the people of this land and then suddenly disappeared, not only from their lives but also from their memories.

A typical example of this is the wooden plow, which is exhibited in the museum hall dedicated to cultivation and olive processing. It was used to cultivate the land, from prehistoric times until the mid-1950s. It is called “Hesiod’s plow” because Hesiod was the first to describe it; nowadays, its existence is remembered by very few people.

Due to the especially close and important relationship of the plow with the life of the people of this land, who have worked hard and have fought to cultivate their land so that it may bear its valuable crop as well as many other products, the Municipality tried to recover a series of various items marking the evolution of the plow, which was used in the past before it was abandoned for power-driven tractors.

Such items include the classic iron plow, the single furrow, and the two-furrow plow, etc.

The Monumental Olive Tree of Vouves has been declared as a “natural heritage monument” by decision no 603/17-2-1997of the Secretary-General of the Region of Crete, due to its special ecological and historical importance.

There are at least ten more monumental olive trees in this area, namely the same number of trees as in the whole of Crete. This fact testifies to the long-standing relationship between the residents of this area with the olive tree that dates back to antiquity.

For all of the above reasons, the Municipal Council, having full knowledge of the responsibility that it bears to safeguard this great legacy, has decided to expand the present Olive Tree Museum and to update it so that in the future it may be turned into the Olive Tree Museum and Mediterranean Centre for the Study of Monumental Olive Trees.

The Municipality has already purchased a plot of 600 square meters in the area near the Museum in the settlement of Pano Vouves, in addition to the rest of the land that it owns in this area, and it has begun the preparation of relevant studies for that purpose.

Contact Details 

Olive Tree Museum of Vouves
Ano Vouves, Kolymbari,
Municipality  of Platanias
73006, Crete

Opening Hours
April to October daily 10:00-19:00
November to March after agreement
Free Entrance
Katerina Karapataki
tel. +3028240-22279, +306945157667
Email : karapataki76@gmail.com
Website : www.olivemuseumvouves.com


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