Zakynthos is one of the most beautiful islands in the Ionian Sea. It boasts supreme natural beauty with evergreen landscapes and emerald waters. But alongside its impressive beauty and unspoiled nature, there is also huge cultural and historic heritage on the island. And this very heritage is imprinted on every single museum and art gallery in Zakynthos. Let’s have a closer look at some of the “must-see” museums in Zakynthos, to give you an idea of what to expect when visiting the island.
The Byzantine Museum is probably the most famous on the island. It has been open to the public from 1960, after the terrible earthquake of 1953 that devastated Zakynthos and the Ionian islands alike. But the collections indoors are stunning and will compensate you for your choice to visit. There are Byzantine icons carved in the wood, as well as frescoes from the 15th and 16th to 17th century. The neoclassical building with the fabulous arches is located in a central location, on the square of Dionysios Solomos. Then, it is the Museum of Dionysios Solomos and Andreas Kalvos that should make it to the list. Obviously, these two prominent men from Zakynthos have earned their place in the island’s history. You should go to Agios Markos square and visit the museum, so as to see rare manuscripts and findings from the daily life of these two famous poets. The museum also serves a s a mausoleum and features their portraits and busts.
The Exhibition Center of National Marine Park definitely ranks among the finest museums in Zakynthos. Zante is home to the loggerhead sea turtle Caretta Caretta and monk seal Monachus Monachus, as well as hundreds of other rare species in flora and fauna. This museum serves as a capping stone to the island’s unique ecosystem and wonderful habitats. You will find it in Dafni, a region which is actually part of the marine park. Helmis Museum of Natural History in the village of Agia Marina also pays tribute to nature and is worth a visit. There you can see fossils and shells, rocks and minerals from the rich Zakynthian, seabed among other findings.
There is also the Naval Museum in Tsilivi and the Cultural & Agricultural Museum in Pigadakia village, Grigorios Xenopoulos Museum in the town of Zakynthos and the Town Hall Library. In fact, every nook and cranny on the island highlights the island’s rich history and glorious past. So go ahead and enjoy!