Museums of National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (E.K.P.A.-N.K.U.A.) is the oldest University in Greece and the first Higher Education Institution in the Balkan and Eastern Mediterranean area. A plethora of Museums (15 in number) that belong to E.K.P.A.-N.K.U.A. are waiting to be explored by visitors.

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The Museum of Anthropology of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was founded in 1886, and it is one of the earliest museums in Europe. Its collections are quite exceptional and some of them rare. It is open to the public and many schools visits yearly. It is located at 75th Mikras Asias Street at Goudi.

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The Museum of Archaeology and History of Art was established nearly 80 years ago. Today its eleven Educational Collections comprise more than 8.800 objects, either originals or copies, which are housed in the building of the School of Philosophy (located at Panepistimioupoli, Zografou area, 2nd and 3rd floor). In 2004 an open-air Archaeological Park was inaugurated, including finds that came to light following excavations at Syntagma Square, during the construction of the Athens Metropolitan Railway. In 2010 a fully-equipped Conservation Laboratory was established within the Museum.

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The Biblical Archaeological Μuseum of the Theology School in the University of Athens started in 1969 and was established in 1982. The first collection was a commission of copies from different museums such as the Louvre and the British Museum of London. The Museum now holds a number of exhibitions such as the Tabernacle of the congregation, Temple of Solomon and Herod, Geophysical map of Palestine, the attires of High Priest and Priest, the Code of Hammurabi stele, the stele of Mesa and the Black Obelisk of Salmanassar. It is located in Panepistimioupoli, Zografou area.

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The Botanical Museum of Athens University comprises a wealth of specimens. It is located in Panepistimioupoli, Zografou area. The exact number of specimens is not known since no full listing has ever been made; it is estimated that the collections may reach or exceed 100,000 vouchers. As of primary importance, the botanical collections by T.von Heldreich (subset of his herbarium), Th. Orphanides (full herbarium) and V. Tuntas (subset of his herbarium) are considered, since they include several specimens that serve as ‘Typi’ for published  names of species, most of them endemic to Greece. Modern plant collections cover large parts of mainland and insular Greece and are carefully documented. They are registered in a database that permits to store, retrieve and analyze data in efficient ways. In order to contribute towards the raise of environmental awareness for the public and particularly the student community, the Botanical Museum also hosts an exhibition, which presents the spatial and temporal dynamics of natural and anthropogenic environment in the geographical area of Attica, particularly the Athens Metropolitan Area.

The Botanical Garden οf National and Kapodistrian University of Athens was founded in 1835 and located in a 12-hectare area of the Chaseki estate along the Iera Odos (and 56th Spirou Patsi street). The Botanical Garden was enriched with some 2.500 plants mainly through seed exchange with Gardens from various countries all over the world. Two small greenhouses (known as “thermastiria” at that time) together with a central pool for the needs of aquatic plants and a seedbed were constructed in the Garden. The Botanical Garden was recognised as a scientific branch of the University of Athens in 1867.

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The original collections of the Mineralogy and Petrology Museum were created at the Natural History Society that was established in Athens in 1835. The University acquired the collections in 1837. The University Museum of Mineralogy-Petrography was created in 1908. It has been part of the Geology Department since 1982. It is not only the oldest collection of minerals and rocks in Greece, but it is also one of international repute. The importance of the collection does not reside solely in the presentation of particularly beautiful samples, but in the abundance and quality of the minerals from “classical” sites in former states of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the German Empire and Tsarist Russia, primarily from sites which have today been exhausted and are known only from the literature.

The collection of the Museum of Paleontology & Geology includes fossils of animals and plants from all over Greece, thus covering more than 300 million years of the geological history of our country. The collection is very rich, with samples recovered since the late 19th century, and it is distinguished for the excellent preservation and uniqueness of its exhibits. It also includes samples from abroad, micropaleontological and stratigraphic collections, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions.

Both Museums are housed at the Department of Geology and Geoenvironment, located at Panepistimioupoli, Zografou araea.

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The Zoological Museum of the University of Athens belongs to the Department of Biology (located at Panepistimioupoli, Zografou area). Its story began 150 years ago, as part of the Physiographic Museum of the University of Athens, in the form of a small collection of stuffed animals. Today it is the oldest and richest zoological museum of Greece. The Museum’s collections include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, marine invertebrates, snails, insects and other invertebrates from Greece and other countries as well as anthropological findings.

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The Criminology Museum belongs to and functions in the grounds of the Medical School of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. It is a unique museum of its kind in Greece, which illustrates history of crime by presenting some of the most notorious crimes that took place during 19th and early 20th centuries. The Museum’s collections present a rich source of data for researchers in forensic medicine and toxicology, and other forensic sciences, and also areas of sociology that focuses on the study of crimes and their causes, effects, and social impact. It is located in Panepistimioupoli, Zografou area. Due to the nature of its exhibits, the Criminology Museum is open to the public only by appointment.

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The Athens University History Museum is located in one of the oldest residential buildings still standing in Athens today (5th Tholou street, Kleanthous House at Plaka area). The building dates long before the 18th century and it is situated beneath the imposing heights of the Acropolis with a panoramic view of the old city centre. Its collections consist of old and rare book editions, manuscripts, diplomas, scientific instruments, portraits, photographs, medals, seals and other University memorabilia. The Museum hosts lectures, conferences, seminars, temporary exhibitions, performances, film screenings, etc., while from May till October, it hosts a plethora of activities for the general public at its courtyards.

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Apart from the above mentioned museums there also the following ones that belong to the Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.

“Education is the power that heals the soul”
Plato, Greek Philosopher (427-347 D.C.)