Kalymnos | travel guide to the maritime museum

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Museum of Maritime Findings at Vylchadia Kalymnos

The Museum of Maritime Findings is the life's work of former sponge diver Stavros Valdamides who created it without any financial help of any kind. The museum is packed with an eclectic mix of undersea findings that range from ancient amphorae to World War Two ammunition. The museum opens daily 9am - 7pm and Sunday 10am - 2pm and is free. There are a dozen or so rooms full of underwater treasures. Unlike many museums you are free to take photographs.

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Museum of Ocean Findings

The Museum of Ocean Finds or Museum of Maritime Findings at Vlychadia, Kalymnos is one of the best private museums in Greece. Amongst the noteworthy exhibits are the remains of an ancient Greek boat together with several of the urns or amphorae that it was carrying. This is a private museum, a lifetime work of the Valsamidis brothers who were born and raised in Kalymnos.

The brothers built the museum without any official financial assistance and the exhibits were gathered from thousands of dives and include just about anything you might expect to find when diving. There is a wide range of fish, shells, shellfish, starfish, corals, sharks and, of course, all manner of sponges.

Much of the museum is dedicated to the Kalymnos sponge diving industry and includes all the tools and diving suits that were used by divers from 1872 until the present day. There is also a collection of about 2,000 photographs about the the history and tradition of sponge divers in Greece. Sponges are processed inside the museum and on your way out is a shop selling sponges, corals and shells.

One room contains findings dating back to the First and Second World Wars, such as torpedoes and fragments of aeroplanes. In another are amphorae dating back to 2nd centuries BC.

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