THE MUSEUM OF THE OLIVE AND GREEK OLIVE OIL IN SPARTA
THE MUSEUM OF THE OLIVE:
The museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil, in Sparta has been founded and designed by the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP), which is also responsible for its operation and opened the doors to the public in December 2002.
It is housed in the renovated premises of the old Electricity Company, which were made available by the Municipality of Sparta. The project was included by the EU Second Framework, after inclusion in the Regional Operational Programmers for the Peloponnesus and the Museum operates under the direction of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation.
The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil is part of a network of thematic museums of technology created by the Foundation, which comprises the Silk Museum at Soufli,(1990), the Open – air Water – Power Museum at Dimitsana, Arcadia (1997), the Museum of Industrial Olive Oil Production at Agia Paraskevi, on the island of Lesvos, The Roof tile and Brickworks Museum at Volos, the Museum of Marble Crafts, at Pyrgos on the island of Tinos and the Museum of Traditional Crafts and Environment of Stymfalia.
On the Museum's upper floor the age-old history on the two life-giving commodities, the olive and the olive oil, throughout Greece is presented, while, at the same time, their multiform impact on the country's life, in the fields of economy, diet hygiene, religious ritual and folk customs is pointed out in graphic detail.
On the ground floor the presentation of the technological developments of the oil-mill in Greece is continued, here the times from the Post-Byzantine period up to the Twentieth century are covered. Various pieces of machinery that have been preserved and/or restored, as well as large-scale working models that help the visitor acquire some knowledge of the traditional techniques involved in olive oil production, are on show.
The exhibition is supported by digital shows. Further more, on the Museum's premises one can also find a cafe, a museum shop and a multipurpose hall.
In the outdoor exhibition the visitor will find references to the civilization of the olive tree and the harvesting of the olives as well as have the opportunity to examine from close up three oil-presses that have been installed on the museum grounds, dating respectively from Prehistoric, Classical and Byzantine times. During educational workshops and programs, one can observe these presses in operation.
The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil is the first of its kind to be established in Greece. Following the example of other Mediterranean countries, which have already established museums and various other venues for promoting their own products, the Museum aims- among other things - to bring to the attention of the public the serious effort that is being made in Greece towards preserving the technology involved in oil production in times past and to promote the time less cultural role that the olive and the olive oil have played in Greek society.
Opening hours: From March 1st to October 15th Daily 10.00 am - 6.00 pm (closed on Tuesdays).
From October 16th to February 28th Daily 10.00 am - 5.00 pm (closed on Tuesdays).
The Museum will be closed on the following holidays: January 1st, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, May 1st, August 15th, November 26th, December 25ht & 26th. Admission: 5 euro.