© Ministry of Culture and Sports
Bema door with The Annunciation, last quarter of 15th c.
The Byzantine Museum of Kastoria is situated at the highest point of the city next to the former Xenia Hotel. The Museum after its recent renovation through the project NSRF-ROP Macedonia- Thrace 2007-2013 in October 2016 reopened its doors to the public featuring a new permanent exhibition. It is a unique theme museum of icons, since its collections are mainly consisted of portable works of religious paintings of Byzantine and post- Byzantine times.

The three galleries that are located around a central atrium present the artistic production of Kastoria on an equal number of thematic units: "Byzantine Kastoria", "Post-Byzantine Kastoria", "Artistic post-Byzantine workshops".

The exhibition includes portable panel icons of all kinds such as, ?despotikes?, processional, icons for veneration, epistyle icons and sanctuary doors. Many of them depict rare iconography and painting. Few fragments of wall paintings, coins and jewelry complement our knowledge of the thriving local community and art of the era.

Informative signs with visual material in direct correlation with the exhibits, compose small fascinating human stories that illuminate unknown aspects of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine fortress, featuring the founders of churches, local officials, noblewomen and famous artists. At the same time, through modern digital applications, the visitor discovers in an interactive way the numerous monuments of the city while learning the secrets behind the art of constructing a Byzantine icon. The new exhibition highlights the importance and the influence of Kastoria through the Byzantine Empire era and also through the post-Byzantine years and highlights the unique wealth of its icons. At the same time it offers the visitor a spur for understanding the conditions that favored the region's particular artistic flourishing.

The exhibition is in an open dialogue with the churches of the historic city center from which these precious icons mainly come from. So the museum serves as a starting point for a tour to the old neighbourhoods and the stone pavements of the Byzantine castle, a journey through space and time to a magnificent ?open ?air? museum such as Kastoria.