Then: The Post Office Building
The Old Post Office of Piraeus is located at the intersection of Filonos St and Karaoli & Dimitriou St. The historic building itself is certainly – after the restoration / renovation it has undergone – one of the most majestic and handsome samples of neoclassical architecture in the city of Piraeus.
Based on the exemplar model of the Post Office of Geneva, the Old Post Office was constructed during the first years of the 20th century in order to house the services of the Post Office, Telegraph and Telephony (PTT), in a time when, in most parts of the country, postal services were housed in private lodges.
The building is a two-storey manor with two façades and two main entrances, with the Post Office wing facing Filonos street and the Telegraph and Telephony wing facing Karaoli & Dimitriou street. Today, only the entrance on Filonos street is still in use. The visitor is impressed by a large, glass roofed octagonal room, known as “atrium” which predominates the ground floor. This hall was the main public service area while, nowadays, it is the place where civil wedding ceremonies are performed.
For 70-plus years this building was at the city’s service, handling the citizens’ correspondence safely and swiftly. In 1973 the Post Office of Piraeus was transferred to a modern building and the old Post Office building was characterized as preserved by the Ministry of Culture, in 1974.
Now: The Municipal Art Gallery
Opened in 1957, initially as a part of the Municipal Library, the Municipal Art Gallery of Piraeus has been housed in the Old Post Office since 2005.
The Municipal Gallery’s collections include:
- Paintings of Litras, Alexos, Vizantios, Volanakis, Geralis and other 20th century artists from Piraeus
- A major representation of the sculpture of G. Kastriotis (1899-1969)
- An extensive collection of folk art by St. Lazarou (1916-1988)
- Theatrical costumes, remarkable photographic material and personal effects, donated by the Greek actor Manos Katrakis (1908-1984).
In addition, many painting exhibitions and speeches are being held there, like the Cuban artists’ painting exhibition from the collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana.
In a plot opposite the Municipal Art Gallery, where once stood the premises of the “Hellenic Army Academy”, there is a small park.