Culture of Arta

Like the rest of Epirus, Arta has a great historical heritage, stretching back into the mists of time. Its liberation came on 28 March 1881, when the town was seceded to Greece and the Turks withdrew from the area to northern Epirus. A few years later, specifically by 1912-1913 after the liberation of Thesprotia, Ioannina and Preveza, Arta began to enjoy substantial growth as a part of Epirus. Public works and redevelopment of the area took place in more recent times, and it has continued to gradually expand to include the building of a hospital, the archaeological museum, and the Pournari Dam, which has advanced the economic growth of the area for its inhabitants.

Before the museum, the Archaeological Collection of Arta, established in 1972, was housed in the dining room of the Parigoritissa Monastery. The huge volume of exhibits eventually led to the establishment in 2009 of the museum, now widely appreciated as one of the most important cultural locations in the region, which is situated near the historic Bridge of Arta.

Here visitors from near or far can find an abundance of material pertaining to Ambracia, the ancient city beneath Arta. Visitors are able to explore three separate sections: public (municipal) life, private (home) life, and the cemeteries (burial customs) of the Ambracians. At the same time, there is also the opportunity for closer examination of many historical objects, which are on display in chronological order from the Paleolithic to Roman times. Specifically, there are clay pots, coins, bronze vases, weapons, gold, silver and bronze jewelry, and other small personal or household items made of iron, lead, bone, and glass.

Apart from the museum, visitors can tour Arta’s Yannis Moralis Municipal Art Gallery and the Skoufa Association Folklore and Historical Museums of Arta, where the history of the region is recreated in scenes from everyday life and important events. The folklore museum near the famous bridge is of particular cultural interest.

Our recommendation:

– A visit to the Skoufa Library, which  is housed in the Garoufalias Mansion House in the town and boasts a huge number of rare books and documents, which carry the weight of entire decades of human history.

-The Kahal Kadosh Yashan Synagogue of the Jewish community in Ioannina, also known as the Inner Synagogue, which is in the city castle on Ioustinianou Street. The synagogue, built in 1826, is the largest and most beautiful of the surviving religious buildings of the Greek Jews.

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