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Folklore Museum Chania Cretan House

Folklore Museum in the old town of Chania

“Cretan House”

At the Folklore Museum of Chania – Cretan House, the visitor has the opportunity to observe the way of life in Crete up to the middle of the 20th century, both inside the houses and outside them, as for example in the workplaces.

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Through photographic material we will try to transport you to the magical world of the Chania Folklore Museum of Cretan culture as we captured them in the Folklore Museum in the old town of Chania, and among the exhibits we will see agricultural and pastoral objects, household utensils, and weaving tools.

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We will also see folklore performances about various survival activities of the Cretan as a farmer, craftsman, and craftsman.
And finally, representations of the interiors of rural houses as they were in the specific times that are represented in the Folklore Museum.
At the same time, copies are made in the Museum of various representations of the Cretan way of life.

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Crete has a prominent place in tradition whether it concerns traditional dances, traditional music, marriage, cultivation of fields and agricultural work, eating habits, cheese making, olive growing and vine growing, even household utensils that they are made to serve the daily needs of the season.

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The land of Crete is very fertile, while the people went through wars, famine and poverty, and ingenuity together with practicality created a Cretan culture. , so that even today there are numerous researches on the Cretan leventia, the Cretan culture, the Cretan culture, the Cretan diet which has now prevailed over the Mediterranean diet. – The Cretan diet proved to be quite superior to the Mediterranean diet-.

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In order to feel the Cretan culture, one should experience its culture from the inside, and give space and time to get to know what is hidden behind the blinding gaze of the innocent Cretan.

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In the Folklore museum, we will enter with absolute respect and care to see all the material they have collected, as if they want to recreate the nostalgic old times we lived in the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s.

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At the same time, Naïve art embroidery works are created with very beautiful colors and performances from Cretan culture. The term naïf is used for paintings as well as embroideries that were primarily born of instinctual creators, showing little affinity – both in inspiration and technique – with the mainstream academic visual currents of their time. This technique was born in the middle of the 19th century, and it came mainly from folk artists. Naif art is found in ceramics, woodcarving, metalwork, folk weaving, embroidery, shop signs painted on wood, labels and labels, emblems and diplomas.

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It is characterized by a childlike simplicity, either in the choice of material and subject, or in the technique or the writing.
In the works of the Museum which are produced and renewed continuously, they focus on Cretan History, Mythology, Cretan tradition, daily life in the countryside and daily agricultural occupations.



The Folklore House was created in 1973 by teacher Aspasia Bikakis and her student Irini Koumandraki. They were distinguished by passion and creativity, as they were dedicated to collecting original materials to organize the space. It is characteristic that while they sewed dowries for brides, they were paid with old objects that were in the in-laws’ house to complete their collection. It is a duo that creates and resurrects the true tradition of Crete. They went from village to village and collected whatever old things they found. Their long-term toil was recognized many times.Belle Verte Homes Chania 20221226 140315

In 1978, at the European Crafts fair, their work “Cretan Wedding” was awarded.
In 1980 they exhibit in Zurich and the Swiss are excited
In 1982, the Philological Association of Chania, in its effort to honor the two folk art workers, organized an exhibition, displaying their embroideries.
In 1985 they were invited by the Athens Hilton to show the old Cretan House.
IN 1991 they gather all the material they have collected and create at 46 Chalidon Street opposite the Metropolis of Chania, the Folklore Museum with faithful representations of agricultural occupations and household arts.

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The work done by the two owners of the Folklore Museum is divided into three parts.
First of all, in the gathering of old material. They traveled and searched the villages of Crete to get this unique material before it was lost through the hands of itinerant merchants.
In the second stage, the two embroiderers carefully and conscientiously tried to faithfully copy and save old embroideries that decorated the homes of our grandparents.

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In this way they rescued old embroideries that would have been lost over time, and gave value to our folk tradition.
In the third stage, they created inspired compositions in embroidery, starting with the pencil and needle and creating scenes from the customs and traditions of the place of Crete, expressions and movements of people that artfully arranged present unique ensembles.

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They are self-taught designs, full of movement and life, showing artistic creation and source of inspiration.
In the present time, when valuable samples of the life of our ancestors have been swept away and lost, works such as those of Aspasia Bikakis and Irini Koumandrakis Markakis, are valuable because they contain and present excellent examples of modern Greek folk art.
In addition to embroideries, the Cretan House has a rich collection of tools, raw materials and products of traditional homemaking, small handicrafts and rural life.

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Throughout the museum there are representations of agricultural work such as e.g. plowing with cows, reaping, etc., domestic arts such as cobbler, tailor, etc., handicrafts such as the production and processing of the silkworm, and representations of farm house interiors such as the firebox where we cooked the food.
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Where is it located: Chalidon Street 46 b΄ Chania (Catholic Church portico)
Working hours:
Every day 09:00-18:00
Sundays and holidays 11:00 – 18:00
Phone: 28210 90816


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