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Melina Cultural Centre- Charidimos Shadow Theatre Museum

Melina Cultural Centre- Charidimos Shadow Theatre Museum is a historic industrial building that is now a municipal cultural centre.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1886 The factory was built.

    1988 After many years of abandonment, the building was bought by the municipality of Athens.

    1996 “Travelogue in old Athens” was created.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

It is a noteworthy example of late 19th-century industrial architecture. There are scattered neoclassical elements, such as the windows’ pilasters with Doric capitals. The holes on the building are from the shootings of the 1944 December events of the Greek civil war. Today, it houses the “Melina Merkouri” cultural centre of the Municipality of Athens, which hosts two collections of exceptional importance. The first operates as an independent museum and is the shadow theatre collection of the Charidimos family, which – for three generations – identified its name with shadow theatre and the symbolic folk hero Karagiozis. In the approximately 1000 exhibits, we find figures, fabrics, paintings, sets, sketches, texts, and photographs. The second is the “Travelogue in old Athens”. In this room, an entire Athenian neighbourhood of the early 20th century is represented in natural size, and includes buildings, houses, shops, photographs, and many objects. Moreover, the cultural centre has two additional spaces for periodic exhibitions.

What I can't see

The hat factory (Pilopiion in Greek) belonged to businessman Helias Poulopoulos, which is why it was also known as PIL-POL. Approximately 250 workers used to work here and was one of the most successful industrial units in the country, with a major contribution to the Greek economy. The factory premises were developed around a central atrium. Today, only a part of the complex survives.


  • Address: 66 Irakleidon & Thessalonikis St.
  • Τηλέφωνο: +30 210 3452150


Archaeology of the city of Athens (d.u.), Οικία Finlay, [Finlay House] ΕΙΕ,

Last visit 24/3/2023


Agriantoni H., (2003), Η ελληνική οικονομία, η συγκρότηση του ελληνικού καπιταλισμού, 1870- 1909, [The Greek economy, the formation of Greek capitalism, 1870-1909], in Ιστορία του νέου ελληνισμού, 1770-2000, [History of modern Hellenism], Ellinika Grammata, v.5, p.p. 55- 70


OPANDA, (d.u.), Πολιτιστικό Κέντρο «Μελίνα», [“Melina” cultural centre]

Last visit 24/3/2023


Filippidis D., (2006), Αρχιτεκτονικές Μεταμορφώσεις, Ι. μητροπολιτικά κέντρα, [Architectural Transformations, I. metropolitan centres], Melissa


Ministry of Culture, (2014), Navigating the routes of Art and Culture, Part 1, Athens, Ministry of Culture and Sports