Fodor's Expert Review Melina Mercouri Cultural Centre
Named in honor of the famous Never on Sunday Greek actress who became a political figure in the 1980s, this center is installed in the former Poulopoulos hat factory built in 1886. Throughout the year the center has a calendar of temporary exhibitions, usually featuring contemporary Greek art. But the permanent collection is interesting, too. Several rooms give a rare glimpse of Athens during the 19th century. You can walk through a reconstructed Athens street with facades of neoclassical homes that evoke the civilized elegance of the past, along with a pharmacy, printing press, tailor's, kafeneio (coffeehouse), a mayor's home, and hairdressers, all painstakingly fitted out with authentic objects collected by the Greek Literary and Historical Archives. The other permanent exhibition showcases the shadow theater puppets of the traditional Greek shadow theater (Karagiozis), thanks to a vast collection amassed by the Haridimos performing family.