Τhe “House of Mosaics” constitutes a unique architectural space, the story of which begins in the Roman Imperial period and continues to this today. The two mosaics, depicting the abduction of Europa and Orheus playing his music, are elaborate floors of two spaces of adjacent luxurious roman villas, dating to the second half of the 3rd and in the beginning of the 4th c. AD, respectively. The erection of the two buildings, in the late 19th century, which constitute in essence the new “House” of the ancient mosaic pavements, was of catalytic importance for their protection. Within the framework of a donation by Stavros Niarchos Foundation, in the year 2020, the structure was renovated and is now opening to the public.
The mosaic pavement of Europa was found by chance, in 1872, in the garden of Antonis Foustanos, at Dioskouron street. It was the first mosaic pavement unearthed in the newly established city of Sparta. The State takes immediate action by sending to Sparta the Laconian archaeologist Panagiotis Stamatakis, in order to pursue the purchase of the property and the protection of the mosaic. In 1881, for the purpose of protecting and highlighting it, a peristyle building with a wooden roof and tile coverage was built. The building imitates the plan of a house of neoclassical type. The second mosaic pavement was uncovered in the 1890s on the adjacent property, where a winery existed. This property was also expropriated and the covering was extended and included the new mosaic.
Roman period second half of the 3rd century A.D.
Mosaic pavement with the depiction of the abduction of Europa by Zeus transformed into a bull. Winged cupids hold the veil of the young woman.
Roman period early 4th century A.D.
Mosaic pavement with the depiction of Orpheus playing the lyre and charming the animals (mammals, birds and reptiles).