While walking on the paved street of Staikopoulou, in the heart of the old town of Nafplio, you will come across a building with the inscription “Museum of Komboloi”. You will feel more than intrigued to cross the doorstep of the stately, two-story neoclassical. The museum is not spacious but it will immediately smother you with its warmth and hospitality.
The Komboloi Museum was established in 1998 to showcase the history of chaplets. It was opened in 1998 by the Evangeline family. The grandfather Evangelos, a resident of Alexandria in Egypt, collected rosaries from all over the world and emblematic symbols of many religions. He disseminated the accumulated knowledge to his descendants which is now hosted to the first of its kind and still unique to the world museum.
Visitors can admire the museum’s four sections: one has prayer beads from Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic tradition; one has Christian rosaries; and two have Greek chaplets.
After this acquaintance with personal and rare collections dating from 1550-1950, the visitor realizes that the very Greek rosary has now “escaped” from its original identification with the lower-class society and has been evolved to a sophisticated object, a collectible item or even a decorative piece.
On the ground floor, is a shop where visitors can buy authentic handmade chaplets from a huge selection of materials and prices. To date, more than 200.000 visitors have enjoyed the contemplative and restorative experience the museum has to offer.