Host Country Studies Trip to the Museums of Byzantine Culture and the YMCA Basket Ball!

Visiting the Thessaloniki Museum for Byzantine Culture is a true cultural experience. In 1989, the Museum’s architect, Kyriakos Krokos, wrote: Iwanted a space within which movement would create a feeling of freedom, stirring up the senses, and where the exhibit would be a surprise within the movement. I believe, that as we walked around the Museum with our students, we had many pleasant surprises. The floor and wall mosaics in the first Early Christian Period Room, attracted everybody’s attention, the Byzantine tunics with their fine embroideries were eye-catching, the icons and the intricately enameled bracelets in the Middle Byzantine Period Room were definitely noticed by our students. Finally, as we were leaving, one last surprise, a beautiful Post-Byzantine golden eikonostaasi, one last startling work of art to ponder about.

Thessaloniki is considered by many scholars, to be a Byzantine city with many first-rate monuments, particularly Byzantine Churches. We continued, however, our day-trip with something entirely different. We visited the YMCA (ΧΑΝΘ) Basketball Museum. Our students were amazed to find out that Greece was one of the very first countries in the world to introduce Basketball as a sport and organize Basketball National Tournaments. Mr. Yorgos Bousvaros, the YMCA President and one of the most important Basketball coaches of Greece, guided us around the Museum, making us feel the excitement of the Game. It was a full, fun day!

Amalia Spiliakou
Host Country Studies