The Byzantine and Christian Museum on Vasilissis Sofias Street is one of the most important Byzantine and post-Byzantine museums in the world, with over 25,000 objects dating from the 2nd century AC to the present.
With exhibits from Greece as well as Asia Minor and the Balkans, the museum, housed in the Villa Ilissia, is a magnificent example of 19th-century architecture dating from the earliest years of Greece’s liberation.
Designed by Stamatios Kleanthis, the complex was originally built for the Duchess of Placentia, a resident of Athens for many years. The main two-storey building was the Duchess’ primary residence. After her death, ownership of the property was transferred to the state, along with the other buildings. In 1926 the complex was updated and opened its doors to visitors as the Byzantine and Christian Museum.