Crete is famous for the outstanding quality of its products and folk art, which is based on a long history of agricultural practices, production methods, and -of course- on a lifestyle that was harmonious with nature, seasons, and the climate.
If you appreciate local products and traditions, it is well worth learning more about the history and practices that made them special at the Menelaos Parlamas Museum of Rural Life & Theano Metaxa-Kanakaki Weaving Collection, the perfect place to start an amazing exploration of the Cretan rural culture.
Founded by the Society of Cretan Historical Studies in 1988, the Museum is housed in a 19th century stone-built olive mill and house at the village of Piskopiano, just 1.5km from the port of Hersonissos.
The Museum provides the perfect introduction to the culture of the Cretan countryside, as its collections are organized thematically. Most exhibits date from the 19th and mid-20th century and include tools, machinery, weaving tools and works of folk art. Plus, the collection was further enriched in 2011, with the addition of a new weaving section with textiles from the Theano Metaxa-Kanakaki Collections.
The Museum collections are centered on traditional production methods and weaving art. Here you can see a traditional wine press and a raki distillery, a stone-made oven, and agricultural tools. You can also see household items of the traditional Cretan house, and the workshops of a smith and carpenter.
The weaving art section accumulates the long history of traditional Cretan weaving art in a mesmerizing collection of textiles and tools from all the regions of the island and from different time periods. Take the time to observe the colors, patterns and motifs, inspired by everyday life, animals, nature, religion, and the long history of the island.
Visitor experience is enhanced with abundant visual materials and digital media that present interesting information about the exhibits and historical documents.
The Museum is accessible to visitors with disabilities and includes a small gift shop, a temporary exhibition room and rest areas.
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday from 10.00 to 18.00 (May to October).