Standing in Solomos Square we will admire the imposing building that houses the Post Byzantine Museum.
The building of the pre-earthquake museum collapsed with the destructive earthquake in 1953. After the earthquake, it was rebuilt from scratch in the same position and its architectural form was looked after Manolis Hatzidakis. The post-earthquake museum was opened to the public in 1960.
A visit in the Post Byzantine Museum is essential for the apprehension of the development of the Classic Fine Arts in Zakynthos (Zante), as through the exhibits, the visitor may approach the creation and growth of the fine arts and study the influence of the Byzantine, Kretan and West Art.
In the collection of the Museum we may admire works of the Byzantine, Kretan, Ionian, and Zakynthian style of great artists , which represent the Eptanisian School of Arts and the Renessaince Art in Zakynthos.
The Museum Collections include:
A great selection of Icons from the Cretan & Cretan-Ionian schools (15th-19th centuries)
Works in wood and wood carving from the Byzantine period until the 19th centuries, among them, the two wood carved temples from the churches of Pantocratoras and of St. Dimitrios which survived the earthquakes.
Works of Damaskinos, Doxaras, Koutouzis, Tzanes, Kallergis, Tsonis.
Sculptural works of the Hellenistic, Early Christian, Byzantine and Post-Byzantine periods
Wall paintings (12th-13th and 17th-18th centuries)
The most important exhibits in the Museum are:
The gilded carved wood templon from the church of St. Demetrios of Kola, dated by its inscription to the year 1690, the work of an unknown artist. It is decorated with floral and faunal designs. At the top six gorgons hold the arched prependoulia with painted representations of the two Incense Bearers, the Virgin, Ioannes and the two soldiers within a perforated floral pattern. The Crucifixion is shown in the centre with the evangelical symbols. Below the icons of the Twelve Church Festivals, the liturgical ikons of St. Demetrios (1730), the Theotokos Odhegetria, the Pantocrator (the work of Michael Damaskenos) and Ayios Ioannes the Prodromos (St. John the Baptist). The bema doors have full-figure life-size representations of the fathers of Rome, Clement, Sylvester and Leo. The panels are missing.
The procession with the relics of St. Charalambos, from the church of St. Charalambos to the river, a work by Ioannes Korais in 1756, measuring 7.55 x 0.785 m. The procession is represented with strict isocephaly and moving from left to right are shown all the social groups of the island : first come the children, behind them the young men holding the labari (the church standards), musicians, children with torches and priests carrying the icon of the saint on a cathedra. There follow priests, the head priest, spear bearers, noblemen, a sky below which a priest holds a reliquary, the officials and the people. In the background is seen the north side of the temple with bell tower and houses from whose open windows women and children follow the procession.
The prophet David, from the Phaneromene in Zakynthos - Zante. By N. Doxaras, measuring 107 x 195 cm., 18th century. The prophet is shown in bust, turned 3/4 to the left. He wears a turban with a crown on top. He lifts his head toward the upper left corner of the picture, his right hand is over his breast and with his left hand he plucks a lyre. In the background is a construction with an unfluted column.
The birth of the Theotokos (Virgin), from the Ceiling of the Phaneromene in the city of Zakynthos, a work of the 18th century by Nik. Doxaras. On the third level, St. Anna is shown stretched out on a couch. In front of her a servant holds in her arms the partly nude infant. On either side of the main figure are other maid-servants, a bearded form and in the foreground a young woman sitting on a step by a basket. In the background are vaulted stoas and in the upper part of the scene in a cloud are the winged heads of two angels.
The sanctuary door from the Panaghia (Virgin) Gavalousa, with the Apostles Peter and Paul, second half of the 16th century. It measures 115,5 cm. x 39 cm. x 37 cm. x 2 cm. On the left hand door Peter is shown holding an unopened scroll (eiletarion) and a pair of keys. His body is turned toward the inside of the doorway. Above to the left is an inscribed scroll. On the right hand door is Paul holding a closed book. He is turned toward Peter. Above to the right is another inscribed scroll. Each Apostle is being blessed by the hand of God.
Panaghia (Virgin) the Amolyntos, a work of Emm. Tzanes, from the Phaneromene in the town of Zakynthos Zante, 1641. It measures 106 x 85 x 2 cm. The Theotokos is depicted in bust. In her left arm is the Christ with head turned toward the angel in the upper right corner of the scene. He wears a whitish chiton adorned with flowers and an orange coloured himation with gold decoration. The Panaghia wears a deep green maphorion (veil) and red chiton. In the upper left corner an angel depicted in bust holds sponge and spear, and at the upper right another angel holds the Cross.
St. Anna, the Panaghia (Virgin) and Christ, a work of the 15th century, from the church of St. Nikolaos of Molos, measuring 86,9 x 60,5 x 2 cm. Ayia Anna is depicted enthroned. She wears a blue robe and a red maphorion (veil). On her lap she holds the Panaghia who is holding the Christchild, who has an unopened scroll and is giving the blessing. The lower edge of the ikon has been removed.
The Descent from the Cross, a work of N. Kantounes, from the church of St. Andreas of the Gardens, measuring 120 x 149,5 cm. (with the frame). The crucified Christ is depicted laid out before the Cross of which only the lower part of the vertical stem is shown. Around the Christ are the participants in the drama. In front of Him is a metal vessel, the crown of thorns and nails. At the bottom in the centre a rectangular stone bears the inscription of the donors.
Another important exhibit of the museum is the Model of the town of Zakynthos, during the period 1930-1950, prior to the earthquake. It is made of basswood, to a scale of 1 : 500 and measures 3.66 x 1.66 m. It was made between the years 1972 and 1986 by the artist Yianni Manesi.
The Museum hosts from time to time several collections (Pierides and Phrysira collections, exhibition in honour of Kostas Barba). In addition experimental educational programmes have been offered - guided tours for the handicapped, as part of the Horizon programme.
Discounted Entrance Ticket (for studens of countries outside EE , EU citizens over 65 years ) 400 drs.
Free entrance to all up to 18 years with presentation of Passport or ID.
Students of Universities of EU with presentation of their student ID
Students of Classic Studies or Art Studies for countries outside EU with presentation of their student ID.
Members of ICOM-ICOMOS
Tour Guides with presentation of their NTOG card
Journalists with presentatio of their ESIEA card
Members with Free entrance Cards