The Cretan Lyra Museum is deeply rooted in the island’s culture and music. The lyra is the island’s traditional musical instrument, and tourists will hear it played in all of Crete’s villages, particularly in the interior. This museum is really a Cretan lyra workshop.
This workshop was created by Manolis Stagakis, a well-known lyra artist, in 1940. (lyraris). When the musical instruments of his period no longer satisfied him, he resolved to create his own lyra. This is how the workshop began, and the family tradition continues to this day. The most notable lyra painters of Crete have utilized lyras from the Stagakis family over the years.
In reality, Michalis Stagakis, Manolis’ son, made significant contributions to the lyra-making method. In 1978, he flew to Venice (Italy), where he developed his own lyra strings in partnership with the renowned instrument string maker Dogal, which are now known worldwide as Lyra di Creta and are considered a standard in lyra building across Greece.
Manolis Stagakis Jr maintains the family lyra-making legacy today. He has transformed one room into an exhibition room with a collection of lyras and other traditional musical instruments, in addition to the workshop. Visitors will be given an overview of the many steps of lyra production, and they will be able to play the lyra for free or purchase it.
The Museum of Cretan Lyra is located in Rethymnon Town’s contemporary section, 2 kilometers from the ancient town and just across from the Municipal Hospital. The entrance fee is waived, as is the cost of the tour.
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