MUSEUMS OF KALYMNOS
Traditional House of Kalymnos (“Kalymniko Spiti”)
The Traditional House of Kalymnos is a privately held folk museum, founded by Mrs. Scylla Chalkidiou.
The aim of the museum is to preserve and promote the Kalymnian lifestyle of the past century.It is located on the southern outskirts of Agioi Pantes Monastery, in the area Vothynoi, and includes objects of folk culture and old household furniture.
The museum is actually a restored traditional house in which you will find artifacts collected from across the island. They are exposed in a way that helps revive the story of a traditional urban house of the late 19th and early 20th century.Here you will travel back in time, by observing the main daily activities, the social events and of course the legendary life of the Kalymnian sponge catcher!
In this lovely home you will see, among others, traditional costumes, everyday utilitarian objects and representations of household activities and tasks.
The museum is open daily from 8:30 to 14:00.
For more information please contact the museum on 22430 51635.
Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos
Built in Pothia, in the center of the island’s capital, the new Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos was launched in 2009 and hosts ever since the “Lady of Kalymnos.
This great work of Hellenistic bronze sculpture depicts a woman with her body covered with a fringed tunic and a robe. It emerged unexpectedly from the Kalymnian sea in 1995, as it was caught into the nets of a local fisherman. It was then moved to Athens and after many months of conservation works, the “Lady” was exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum. Now, “she” is the premier exhibit of the Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos.
Other exhibits include antiquities from the Prehistoric and Post-Byzantine era, presenting thus timelessly the island’s history over millennia.
At the same time, the plurality of sculpted offerings found in the Temple of Delian Apollo and also a huge statue of Asclepius impresses every visitor.
Among the exhibits you will see bronze and marble sculptures, exquisite ceramics, coins, jewelry, pictures and manuscripts from the Byzantine era and much more.
While entering the exhibition, you will be briefly introduced to the history of the island. Right after, you will see a showcase of individual items, which have been either products of illegal excavations or delivered to the Ephorate. In short, their origin remains unknown.
The exhibition then develops into two galleries and also in the first floor of the museum. The first section is dedicated to the prehistoric life on the island, with findings from excavations in caves (tools, utensils, pots, etc.) and findings from the Minoan period.
A special section is reserved for the most important religious and political center of ancient Kalymnos, the sanctuary of Delian Apollo, where many offerings have been found and retrieved.The section closes with some inscriptions that offer valuable insight into the public life of the inhabitants, along with honorary decrees and testimonials for the status of women and the release of slaves.
Silver and bronze coins, cuts of Kalymnos, Kos and foreign cities are presented in the second room, which includes mainly the findings of the ancient settlement Damos.
Another section is dedicated to the Kalymnian necropolises and the valuable findings that emerged from the excavations held in them, such as gold jewelry, diadems, crowns, earrings, rings, ceramics and glass works. The room is however dominated by the “Lady of Kalymnos” and other parts of copper sculptures that were recovered from the seabed.
The museum is open Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, from 8:30 to 15:00.
For more information you can contact the museum on 22430 23113.
Valsamidis Sea World Museum
It is located at the coastal village Vlyhadia. It is a private museum, a life’s work of Valsamidis brothers, who were born and live in Kalymnos, with exhibits related to sponge fishing, a big variety of sea plants and sea animals and a collection of trade amphorae and other finds from ancient shipwrecks.
It is one of the richest private collections in Greece and they needed over forty (40) years to collect these findings. Various kinds of sponges, corals, shells, fish, strange sea creatures, sponge diving equipment, World War II findings, pictures, documents, coins, ancient amphora and even an ancient wreck, are included in their collection.
Part of the museum is dedicated to the profession of sponge-fishing and includes all the tools and protective suits used by divers, from 1872 until today. In a wing are exhibited findings of the First and Second World War such as torpedoes, pieces of airplanes etc. In a specially designed area the visitor has the opportunity to see amphorae of the 6th, 4th, 3rd and 2nd c.BC. There is also a collection of about 2,000 photographs related to the history and tradition of sponge-fishing.
Finally in the museum you will also witness the sponge processing and you may find nice souvenirs such as sponges, corals and shells in the store that operates within.