The first maritime museum in Greece was founded in 1928 and was housed in the 1870 building of the old City Hall. The idea of a local museum belonged to doctor Efthimios Vlantis, descendant of a naval family and for years mayor of Galaxidi. His initiative met with much enthusiasm by the locals, who donated precious heirlooms that adorned their houses for years and bore the historical import of a rich nautical tradition. These items formed an initial collection and led to the establishment of the first Maritime Museum of Greece. In 1932 was created the Archaeological Collection of Galaxidi, hitherto housed in the building of the Maritime Museum.
The continuous donations enriched considerably the museum collections
, which now include ship figureheads, parts of vessels, nautical tools and instruments, ship models, fighters' weapons of the 1821 Greek War of Independence. There is also a rich archive collection of ship documents and diaries, captains’ certificates, seamen’s books, as well as a collection of maps and photos.
Among the oldest acquisitions of the museum are the paintings of Greek sailing ships
. These comprise now the richest collection of its kind in Greece. In their majority, these aquarelle paintings
represent vessels from the local fleet of Galaxidi, attesting to the growth of navigation in Galaxidi during the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the small maritime town reached its heyday. The museum also owns a collection of paintings by the folk painter and sea captain Petros Petrantzas.
Furthermore, the Museum of Galaxidi holds a valuable treasure, the manuscript of the Chronicle of Galaxidi, a historical narration for the region from the 10th to the 17th century, written by the monk Efthimios in 1703. The manuscript was discovered among the ruins of a Byzantine monastery in 1864 and was published one year later by the pioneer researcher of Modern Greek literature Konstantinos Sathas.