Ecological - Folklore Museum

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Ecological - Folklore Museum

This museum is a true gem to the Cycladic culture. The site is the location of an old family compound, the so-called “thimonia”, and is very interesting to see how people lived on the island in the 17th century to not long ago. It has well-preserved homes, tools, clothes, furniture and cooking equipment from the last few centuries, having been collected from all parts of the island. Many of them were made on the island, others were gifts sent by those who had migrated elsewhere, to their relatives living in Ano Meria. The museum was opened in the summer of 1988 and is located at the village of Ano Meria. It is the first Ecomuseum in Greece to have been restored only in those parts considered essential and with the same features and materials as the original form. The only newly-built part is the library.

Not all the buildings have been structured at the same time. The earliest building, on the right, is estimated to have been built in the 17th century. It is divided into three areas: the house, the oil-press and the oven. Parts of the buildings have been restored and the original old wooden doors have been replaced by as accurate copies as possible. The largest of the three buildings served as the residence of the family until the 19th century. At the end of the century, when a new homestead was built within the same «thimonia», it was used as a cellar in which the harvest was stored in large storage jars and other pottery vessels. The adjacent building housed the oil press and cheesery. The third area of the building is the oven, which was fired with scrub, furze and thyme. The settlement relied entirely on rainwater which ran off the roof and was collected in cisterns, two of which have been preserved in the «thimonia» and have been cleaned out and waterproofed. At the end of the 19th century a new residence was built on the west side of the «thimonia», exemplifying the diachronic development of the local culture, with three spacious rooms: the parlour, bedchamber and kitchen.

To reach the museum, you have to hike up a gravel road, not too easy to get to from the bus stop if you are disabled or have mobility issues. In recent years the operation of the Ecomuseum has been supported entirely by grants from the Municipality of Folegandros and contributions from visitors and friends, so there is no fee to enter but there is a collection box there to show your appreciation. The museum is open from 10/7 to 10/9 only in the afternoons from 17:00 to 20:00 and you will find there a guide to give you a tour. Although it is challenging to find it, it is definitely a must see.


Source: Folegandros Ecomuseum