The Archaeological Museum of Astros is housed in the Karytsiotis School, a local traditional style building.
Our great national benefactor Dimitrios Karytsiotis (1741-1819) was born in Agios Ioannis (Agiannis). In 1798 he built the magnificent and “marble” Karytsiotis School on Koutri hill in Agiannis and in 1805 he built the annex of the School of Agiannis in Astros. The school was a kind of university for that time, since students from all over Greece were taught ancient Greek authors, mathematics, physics – chemistry, French and Italian, etc. The “marble” school in Ayiannis was burned to the ground in 1826 by Ibrahim. The school in Astros was also destroyed in 1826 by Ibrahim, but was later restored by relatives of Karytsiotis and reopened in 1829 under the name “Museion Karytsiotis”. Agios Ioannis (Agiannis) Kynourias was the capital of revolutionary Greece, from August 20 to October 1, 1822.
The School of Karytsiotis (Archaeological Museum of Astros) and the neighboring “Sacred Space” of the Second National Assembly of the Greeks is undoubtedly one of the most important landmarks of Kynouria and our homeland and has been declared by the Ministry of Education as a “preservable historical monument of the doctorate in Astros” and by the Ministry of Culture “historic site”.
The entrance to the “Sacred Space” of the Second National Assembly of the Greeks and the Archaeological Museum of Astros is a historical monument. This is where the old man of Moria and the delegates of the national assembly walked to participate in the national assembly.
The revolutionary Greeks finally chose Astros Kynourias and Agrokipio Karytsiotis for the National Assembly as the “place of the Nation”. The Assembly, following the standards of the Constitutions of the French Revolution of 1789 AD, drew up the “Declaration of the Second Greek Assembly”. The proxies of the National Assembly and Kolokotronis honored our great national benefactor Dimitrios Karytsiotis, “He was published in Astrος within the Museum of Karytsiotιs,” says the proclamation of the National Assembly. The assembly responded with the proclamation, to the world and the greats of the time. “We are determined to become independent, as an autonomous and independent nation.” a bit topical today…
The site of the museum, the building of the Karytsiotis School. surrounded by the stone wall (mantra), together with the Courtyard of the Karytsiotis School (of the Astros Museum) where the chimneys of the rooms of the school’s boarding students are preserved to this day and the separate neighboring “Sacred Space” of the Second National Assembly of the Greeks is modest , harmonious and imposing, is a “preservable historical monument” and “a museum in itself”. Next to the School in the “historic site” of the Karytsiotis Agricultural Garden is the tilio which, according to Astrini tradition, became the Kolokotronei table in honor of Dimitrios Ypsilantis in 1821. G. Tercetis mentions “Dimitrios Ypsilantis and Kolokotronis eat together in the shade of the trees of Astros”.
With the reconstitution of the Greek state, the School Karytsioti functioned as a school until 1971 and today houses the Archaeological Museum. The idea of the Astros museum began and became a reality in 1959 in a building of the neighboring farm of Karytsiotis by our late respected professor “ancient Greek” Kyriakos (Koulis) Hasapoyannis. The Karytsiotis School was granted to the Ephorate of Antiquities Ministry of Culture )by the Municipality of Astros and after significant repairs and maintenance, it was turned into the Archaeological Museum of Astros in 1985.
The Museum’s collections include a collection of sculptures of the Roman Prefect and collaborator of the Roman conquerors Herodes Atticus from his mansion in Eva, Doliana Kynourias (4 km), with a multitude of works, which included both original sculptures of the classical and Hellenistic times, as well as Roman copies. The Museum’s collections also include sculptures, ceramics, bronze objects, inscriptions, coins and other finds from various sites of ancient Kynouria, such as Thyrea and Anthini. Sculptures and architectural members, such as capitals, are also exhibited in the open-air courtyard of the museum.
In 2008, under the “pretext of a crack”, the Ministry of the Interior closed the Archaeological Museum of Astros and to this day, under the revised “pretext of static adequacy”, it continues the “many and other studies” and recklessly does not open the museum.