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Naval Maritime Museum
Founded in 1956 by captain Antonis Dakoronias and located in the picturesque town of Oia on the northwest coast of the island, this museum exhibits his personal collection of maritime objects. Since 1990, it has been housed in a restored 19th-century traditional captain’s mansion donated by a local resident, Dina Manolessou-Birbili.
Some items on display include rare figureheads, anchors, carved nautical chests, old maritime equipment, models and watercolor paintings of old and new ships, uniforms, and different types of tools used back in the day. The interesting collection also exhibits rare manuscripts, books, maps, charters, marriage contracts, wills of seafarers, logbooks, photos of family and crew, and portraits of local captains.
The Hellenic Merchant Marine development took place around the middle of the 18th century. After the Greek Revolution of Independence in 1821, the Merchant Navy became the Revolutionary Naval Force. By 1850, Santorini’s (known then as Thira) nautical commercial activity had increased more than any other island’s in Greece. The island reached its peak of prosperity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Exporting Santorini’s renowned wine and pumice stones from its volcanic land, multiple shipping vessels traveled from Alexandria to Russia and all over the Eastern Mediterranean, and returned with goods such as grains, cherry tomatoes, porcelain, cotton, fabrics, and timber.
This 2-story museum is well laid out and easily navigable with well written descriptions in English. It is located just off the main footpath in Oia. Signs with directions to the museum are located at the beginning of a small footpath between Thalassia restaurant and Greek Designers-Speira Concept Store.
Naval Maritime Museum Hours and Information
- Season: Open beginning of April until the end of October.
- Hours: Open daily 10am to 2pm and 5pm to 8pm. Closed Tuesdays.
- Website: santorini.com
- Location: Fira, Santorini 847 00
- Telephone: +30 228 607 1156
- Admission Fee: General – €5. Students – €2.5. Special rates for groups.
- Parking: Free public parking availabe off the main road into Oia. During high season, finding parking is a challenge due to the volume of tourists and vehicles.
- Bus: Main bus stop just off main road into Oia. About a 750m walk to the museum from there.
- Transfers: Hotels can arrange transfers and pickups into Oia.
Naval Maritime Museum