I adore this museum, well actually the whole building, it's layout, what it stands for and the fact that if you pause, quietly, you can feel the atmosphere of how it must have been just over 200 years ago as a busy family home, a center of operation during the Greek War of Independence and later during the political reformation of the modern Greek Government. Mrs Annemarie Rabias is the curator of the museum and I strongly recommend that you ask her for a tour. She has a way of describing life as it was lived in the 1800's that really makes it come to life. Ask her where the family slept - it's one of her favourite questions!
The Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion was built in 1780 by the largest shipowner of Hydra and the Mediterranean. Lazaros Koundouriotis (1769-1852) was the largest financier of the Greek War of Independence in 1821. Many great personalities of that time met in the audience hall of this stunning building in order to organize the Greek Revolution.
Georgios Koundouriotis (1782-1858) was Lazaros' brother and was also another political figure of that time who went on to play a crucial role in the first years of the newly founded Greek state.
The family, inparticular Lazaros who spent his entire life in Hydra and never held an official position, fully supported the struggle and sacrificed the family's fortune to strengthen the Greek naval force.
The name, Koundouriotis, is revered throughout Greece and there is a naval ship named for the family, which attends the annual celebration of Miaoulis in June and of course, later in the summer during the August Koundouriotis celebrations.
In 1979, his descendant Pantelis Koundouriotis, donated the mansion to the state Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece. Today it operates as a branch of the National Historical Museum.
Tributes to Lazaros Koundouriotis can be seen around Hydra in the form of statues, busts and paintings. He is easily recognised because he lost an eye and so he is always depicted with an eye patch which makes him look very much like the 'Pirate' that many during the height of his activities considered him to be! He certainly planned missions that caused the English, at the time, a lot of head-aches.
The building is on three levels.
In the basement paintings by Periklis and Constantine Byzantios are exhibited.
On the ground floor there are antiques and family heirlooms of Koundouriotis' family such as portraits, paintings, furniture, crockery.
Finally on the first floor you will find costumes, jewelry, needlework and ceramics from around Greece which illustrate the 17th century period.
March to October: daily except Monday, 10.00 - 14.00 and 17.30 - 20.30.
Group visits during the winter months upon request.
€4 per person
The shop offers the guide of the Historic House of Lazaros Koundouriotis (in Greek and English), posters, cards, versions of the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece, and other memorabilia with historical content.
Local Contact Details:
Curator: Mrs Annemarie Rabia
Tel: 22980 52421
The Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansions is operated by the Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece which is a branch of the National Historical Museum.
ΕΘΝΙΚΟ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΚΟ ΜΟΥΣΕΙΟ
ΜΕΓΑΡΟ ΠΑΛΑΙΑΣ ΒΟΥΛΗΣ
ΤΗΛ.: 210 - 3237617, 3226370, 3222266
FAX: 210 – 3213786