Visit the Olive and Oil Museum in Vatolakkos at Chania!
The Olive and Oil Museum – Dermitzaki Folklore Collection is housed in a fabrica, a 18th-century olive oil factory in Vatolakkos – Chania. Being the only surviving building from the pre-industrial times in the Prefecture of Chania, the fabrica was officially listed as a monument by the Department of Byzantine Antiquities of the Greek Ministry of Culture. Its refurbishment was included in the EU Rural Development Program (LEADER), which covered part of its costs. The owners’ intention was to bring the fabrica back to its original form and turn it into a museum. It took them years to reassemble its machinery, while they had already gathered a small collection of old objects of daily life in Cretan villages.
During the refurbishment of the building and since its reopening on 14 July 2008, the folklore collection keeps expanding thanks to its owners’ dedication but also the generous offers of their friends and fellow villagers who regard the Olive and Oil Museum as an ideal place for sharing valuable local traditions and cherished family memories.
The Dermitzaki Folklore Collection consists of more than 100 old objects that are displayed in the Olive and Oil Museum according to their function. Most of them were used in the olive oil production, in basic agricultural tasks, such as threshing, or in important household duties, such as bread making: The old stone oven at the Museum’s yard completes the picture of this process — besides, a slice of hot bread dipped in the fresh oil was the best way to test its quality.
The Museum’s collection also includes various objects of everyday domestic life, giving visitors a rare glimpse into the lives and habits of the people of those times. Being transformed into an old Cretan house’s (bed)room, the wooden loft of the Museum provides a more all-rounded idea.
The Olive and Oil Museum is like a time machine that takes visitors on a fantasy trip to the past.