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Venice - Greek Institute of Byzantine studies

The Flangini Hall of the Greek Institute of Venice.

"The greatest satisfaction for me here in Venice is when I see the joy on young scholars' faces, every time they discover files related to the historical course of Hellenism in the Institute's libraries".

Cradle of byzantine memory

Chrissa Maltezos, a professor in Athens University and headmistress of the Greek Institute of Byzantine and The building of the Greek Institute of Venice.Post-Byzantine Studies in Venice, is surrounded by a group of Greek post-graduate students, who are working on their PhD theses under her supervision.

They sit on the same couch where centuries ago, professors and students of the Flanginian School of the Greek brotherhood of Venice used to sit. Only their clothes set them apart from their medieval ancestors, everything else is the same. Their mission is the same; to discover Hellenic traces and discover the paths taken by the Greeks of the past. With the help of these exquisite scientists, we were given the opportunity to 'listen' to the Greek heart of Venice.

The Greek Institute of Byzantine Studies is located in the Greek islet Campo dei Greci in Venice, next to the Greek church of Saint George.

After the end of World War II, Italy consented to the founding of the Greek Institute, which was housed in the Flanginian building, The headmistress of the Greek Institute professor Chrissa Maltezos with some Greek scholars.donated by the Greek community of Venice. In exchange, the Greek state allowed the reopening of the Italian Archaeological School and the Italian Institute of Athens, while at the same time it took over the subsidy of the preservation of the Greek community of Venice.

The Greek Institute, which opened its doors in 1955, is the only Greek research centre abroad. It mainly concentrates on studies of the byzantine and post-byzantine history, emphasizing on the history of the Greek-Latin regions. The Institute's Greek researchers can get a scholarship after passing exams at the Academy of Athens and are obliged to write relevant PhD theses.

Priceless treasures

In the building where the Greek brotherhood's hospital once stood, which is at the same residential complex with the Greek Institute and the church of Saint George, there is a unique Museum of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons. Its exhibits come mostly from donations of the Greeks who live in Venice, Constantinople (Istanbul) and other cities, but some were also created by Greek hagiographers who used to live in Venice.The Institute's old Registry. Among these icons, are there are works of Michael Damascenos, George Klontzas, Emmanuel Manpardos, Theodore Poulakis, Emmanuel Tzane-Mpounialιs.

The Institute created an impressive library on the premises, which was filled with the thousands of books printed by Greek press shops from the 16th to the 19th century and salvaged by the Flanginian School. Most of the old books are religious and educational. The rest were bought, donated and exchanged after that. Up until today, the library is constantly enriched with new books and scientific magazines, mostly Greek ones. Scientists from many countries visit the library to do archival research.

The Greek canal, as we can see it through the Greek Institute.The Greek Institute also holds a precious registry, through which one can discover the history of the Greek community in Venice . The Registry has two divisions, the old one (1498-1830) and the new one (1830 till today). The old Registry includes account books belonging to the presidents of the Greek brotherhood, and thousands of other documents as well. The new ones include financial and administrative books, protocols, mail, documents of the college and the Flangini hospital, convention proceedings, asset inventories and more.

Moving testaments

The wills and testaments of the Greeks of Venice, also kept in the Instiutute, are of extreme interest.  Synodal edict signet of the Patriarch of Istanbul, 1651.In these testaments, one can see the obsession the Greeks had with Orthodoxy and their Greek identity. It is moving to read the instructions they left their kin, explaining in detail the kinds of schools and churches they wanted built in their villages in Greece.

A scholar recently unearthed an old testament of a Greek man, kept in the State Institute of Venice, in which he stated his final wishes. His impressive library was to be transferred to Tyrnavos of Thessaly. He had also left a respectable amount of money to build the library and all the furniture needed. It was also his wish that the library be open to everyone, because, as he wrote, education is something that everyone should be entitled to. 

The most impressive thing in the testaments is that in almost all of them icons are also passed on. The references to the icons of Virgin Mary, each one of them having a different name, are countless. Virgin Mary had always been the patroness of the Greek family and was never absent from Greek houses.


Patriarch Ioannikios's letter's seal, 1651. Patriarch Ioannikios's letter's seal, 1651.
Noli me tangere, 16th century. Noli me tangere, 16th century.
Noah's Ark, T.Poulakis, 17th century. Noah's Ark, T.Poulakis, 17th century.


*Mandatory Fields


Ritsona, Euboea - The heart aches when you play the ney

He makes a reed musical instrument called the ney. The instrument produces a warm and hoarse sound. The ney has its roots in the Near East and gives Greek traditional music a special quality.

Oia, Santorini Island - The worship of the sun

Every afternoon, crowds from every corner of the earth are gathered at Oia in order to enjoy the sunset in the Aegean sea.

Katerinoscala, Pieria - Pilot leader of the pack

He owns a farm with 500 happy animals and birds. Their hearts are grateful to him and they love him dearly. He is a special kind of "king".

Dimitsana, Gortynia - Football on the slopes of Maenalus Mount

When a player made a hard misplaced kick towards the goal which was at the edge of the cliff, the ball fell into the abyss of the mountain and was lost forever.

Constantinople (Istanbul) - Zografeion Greek High School

The graduates of Zografeion are a Greek core of enormous cohesion that can never be broken. They withstand the persecutions, because they draw strength from one another.

Constantinople (Istanbul) - Where is the king sleeping?

A exciting tour in Constantinople to investigate credible information regarding the burial ground of the last Byzantine emperor Constantine Palaiologos. The information we gathered is astounding!

Constantinople (Istanbul) - Pilgrimage in seven Greek Orthodox ep…

Every Holy Friday the Greeks of Constantinople observe the custom of worshiping the seven epitaphs.

Santorini Island - A feast at the edge of the crater

In the cleft of the rock, which looms threateningly above, and under unbearable heat, the faithful Christians sing and dance nonstop for 24 hours.