Located on the highway that leads to Athens and being practically a landmark of the city of Patras, the Archaeological Museum dominates by its innovative architectural style and design. Spacious in layout, equipped with various facilities and amenities (conservation laboratories, conference and administration offices, multi-media room, parking lot etc), it accommodates an auditorium, museum-shop and a large hall (200s.m.) for periodical exhibitions. Thematically divided into units, the permanent collection is displayed in three imposing galleries allowing multiple views and good perspective of the exhibits. Exceptional, if not unique, about the Museum interior arrangement is the suspended / elevated passage, which allows overhead and overall view of two galleries. This smart and spectacular in terms of architectural design feature proves particularly useful during presentations and guided tours. More important, it allows ideal inspection of the enormous Roman mosaic floors, which define one of the Museum highlights.

Also outstanding is the building?s facade combining different materials (wood, metal, stone) in full harmony. Its geometry is equally groundbreaking, with a spherical dome of titanium above an artificial pool. In this way, the architect incorporated the element of water perhaps metaphorically alluding to the establishment of Patras by the sea - a strategic location with an impact upon the city s development over the centuries.

The Archaeological Museum of Patras was inaugurated in 2009. Its collections include finds from the broader district of Patras and Western Achaea, covering a wide chronological spectrum from 3000 BC until the 4th century AD. Via the exhibits, local population and students are encouraged to trace their ethnic identity and to familiarize themselves with local history but also with forms of art ranging from glassware to jewellery and mosaic. Moreover, the richness of the Museum permanent collections, with periodical exhibitions on archaeology and visual arts running in parallel, efficiently meets the quests and research interests of specialized scholars. Within the Museum holdings are masterpieces of sculpture, which attract visitors from all over the world. In this respect, the Museum is very much alive, crossing regional cultural borders and constantly in interactive relation with society.

Beside the many programs attended frequently and massively by groups of school-children, the frequent periodical exhibitions, the lectures and seminars, the concerts and poetry evenings organized by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Achaea on a regular basis and any given occasion, render the Museum an active cultural centre, not only serving educational purposes but also in tune with the city s pulse.
Dr Elena C. Partida