Established in 1964, the Faltaits Museum was one of the first local
historical - folk art museums. It was created by Manos Faltaits towards preserving
the traditional Skyrian heritage and emphasising the importance of the Greek
traditional culture for both the present and future generations.
Housed in the residence of the "Faldai" family - a family
whose roots go back to Byzantium - the museum dominates the north-eastern side
of the town. It stands on the biggest tower, known locally as "Paleopyrgos",
over the very ancient Pelasgian walls of Skyros.
Rich in both myths and history, the museum has developed into one
of the most well-endowed and best-organised folk art museums in Greece.
It contains four separate collections:
I. Numerous items of the traditional and contemporary folk art of
Skyros, i.e. embroideries,
costumes, ceramics, textiles, woodcarvings, metalwork, furniture and everyday-use
The "Skyrian House" is part of this collection, and is represented
in one of the halls of the museum in its traditional form, including all the special
woodwork for which the island is famous, such as the "boulme", the shelves,
the "pagos" and the "stamnoustatis". All the decorative items
typical of the Skyrian house are present: old ceramics, glass, embroideries, copper
and bronze items, traditional furniture, etc.
The collection also includes the traditional costumes of the island,
reflecting the social structure and the aesthetics of the inhabitants.
II. The library of the museum. Includes rare publications dating from
the 16th to the 19th century, covering the "Greek Enlightenment" period,
and picturing the cultural level and aims of Hellenism at that period. These books
where collected under the guidance and care of the intellectual Dimitrios Faltaits,
grandfather of Manos Faltaits.
III. The rich collection of historical documents includes documents
dating from the Byzantine era and the period of Turkish occupation, and documents
relating to the time of the War of Independence. The latter
include the Declaration of the War of Independence as issued by the
"Filiki Etairia", and the only copy preserved of the repudiation of the revolution
by the then Patriarch of Constantinople.
IV. A unique collection of over 3000 objects and tools collected from
all over Greece and representing its traditional economy.
The items of the collection are displayed in dedicated roofed and
partly roofed areas of the park of the museum, picturing the traditional trades
and workshops of Greece.
In these areas and in the park, which is full of trees and flowers,
the museum organises model programs for learning traditional crafts and workshops.
The programs combine teaching with actual practice.
Conferences, meetings, and educational programs relevant to Greek
culture and tradition are organised in the same grounds and premises, in co-operation
with other institutions.