The houses of Greek writers turned into museums

Greek writers At the House of Alexandros Papadiamantis/ Photo: Giorgos Detsis

Houses with a huge history that connected their existence with Greek writers

The truth is that for many years, interest in the residences of Greek writers and artists was limited. Inheritance disputes, arbitrariness and vandalism, were the fate of most of the residences in which great artists and writers created the cultural heritage of modern Greece.

In recent years, however, public interest has changed and has turned to the restoration and preservation of the countries that were associated with the great figures of Greek literature.

Below is a list - not exhaustive - of houses of great Greek writers that hosted some of the biggest names in Greek literature.

Papadiamantis House, Skiathos

 The house is a short distance from the port of Chora and is located next to the square and the main street, Papadiamantis/Photo: Giorgos Detsis
The house is a short distance from the port of Chora and is located next to the square and the main street, Papadiamantis/Photo: Giorgos Detsis

The ancestral home of Alexandros Papadiamantis in Skiathos is visited by Greeks and foreigners alike.

Like most writers, Papadiamantis lived the first years of his life in this house, and he then moved for many years to Athens, where he developed most of his work.

It is worth noting that the first house in which Papadiamantis was born was demolished sometime in 1860, and the family was forced to move to the new house that still stands today.

The Museum of Alexander Papadiamantis in Chora/Photo: Giorgos Detsis
The Museum of Alexander Papadiamantis in Chora/Photo: Giorgos Detsis

Shortly before his death, Papadiamantis returned to his birthplace and settled again in his paternal home, where he lived until the end of his life.

At first sight, the modest house perfectly fits the profile of the cosmopolitan Papadiamantis, who preferred a modest - almost ascetic - lifestyle away from accolades and distinctions.

Today, Papadiamantis' two-story house is open to the public and functions as a museum, exhibiting the writer's own personal items - from his bed to his inkwell - giving you a taste of the solitary and austere lifestyle that the saint of Greek letters led.

If you're a fan of his dynamic writing, you can also find collector's editions of his works.

Georgios Drosinis Tower, Gouves Evia

The Drosini Tower in Evia/Photo: Wikipedia
The Drosini Tower in Evia/Photo: Wikipedia

Although Georgios Drosinis lived in this space for a few years, it seems that this did not stand in the way of the partial utilisation of the space and its transformation into a small folklore museum connected to the life of Drosinis and to dark history from the period of Turkish occupation.

The dark history of the house begins when Ibrahim Agha killed in the room of the tower his Arab servant. The crime was so violent that for many years, no resident even dared to approach the tower.

It is even said that for many decades, the killer's room had never been cleaned, and the blood had remained on the stone walls.

As expected, the brutal murder of the servant shocked the small farming community, who for many years thought the tower was haunted and cursed.

The house remained deserted until somewhere in 1880; it was bought at a low price by Drosini's grandfather and, as a result, passed into the hands of the writer's family.

Kostis Palamas House, Patras

The imposing Palamas house in Patras/Photo: Wikipedia
The imposing Palamas house in Patras/Photo: Wikipedia

Kostis Palamas was born and spent his childhood in Patras. Although the house was the main residence of Palamas until the death of his parents, it was the place that was marked by the tragic fate of the writer's family.

At an early age, Kostis Palamas lost his parents and very quickly had to leave his paternal home for Messolonghi, where he would finish school while living with uncle, who had taken over the guardianship of two of the three children of the Palamas family.

The house was eventually sold to new owners, and since then, virtually any connection with the Palamas family was merely a memory of those who remembered that the Greek writer was once born and raised in that house.

For many years, the father's house of the Greek writer had been abandoned, and few knew that it was the first residence of the very important Greek writer. Accordingly, every attempt to acquire the space from the Greek government remained fruitless, resulting in the space standing half-forgotten and in disrepair.

However, in 2014, the expatriate Athanasios Stephanopoulos from California, a fan of the work of Palamas and a Patrino by origin, bought the almost dilapidated house on Corinthou Street in the centre of Patras and turned it into an art and culture centre with the aim of saving the name and the cultural identity of the place in which Kostis Palamas was born and lived.

Today, the place can be visited and hosts a multitude of cultural events, while organised guided tours are also provided in themed areas on the life of Kostis Palamas.

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This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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