A rather different museum, the only one of its kind in Greece, whose name may initially give you the creeps, but will certainly fascinate you once you enter its dark halls.


The “House of Shadows” in Xanthi has nothing to do with ghosts and spooky stories, nor with Traditional Greek Shadow Puppet Theatre, but it is a unique art space, where shadows of works of art made of useless materials and common garbage are “exhibited”, after being properly illuminated.

The creator and owner of the “House of Shadow”, Triantafyllos Vaitsis, is considered to be among the best of the so-called Shadow Art and not without reason, since his unique works will make you -literally- put your mind to work.

At first glance, the sculptures on the display pedestal may not make much of an impression, but when you see the shadows on the wall, you will be amazed at how objects that were destined for the dustbin became works of art, depicting the figures of Democritus, Constantine Cavafy, Albert Einstein, Che Guevara, Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, etc.

However, the artist is not content with portraits alone, but also creates entire scenes, many of which conceal deeper meanings, making the visitor ponder, think, reflect and feel.

The works are exhibited in four different sections, appropriately arranged in the dark interiors of the museum. The first section is called “Contrasts” and includes sculptures that are illuminated from two sides, thus creating two contrasting shadows. The second is called “Faces” and the third “Soul”, where the creator depicts the path of the soul. The fourth and final section is called “Caves of the Mind”, which is based on Plato’s well-known myth of the cave. In this section, the artist unfolds the story by “animating” the shadows. Many other works are presented in these spaces, while the artist often exhibits outside Xanthi, such as in Athens and Thessaloniki.

Shadow art is the construction of intricate works made of hard materials that, with appropriate lighting, display on surfaces the shadows of people, buildings and even ideas.

One of the most impressive works exhibited is the “Bell Tower”, which the artist created for the needs of George Kordellas’ film “Roza of Smyrna”. It is an impressive depiction of the bell tower of Agia Fotini in Smyrna, which was destroyed in the dramatic events of 1922. Triantafyllos and his wife Evdokia will fill you in on the “Bell Tower” and all the other works on display, and then let you tour the dark halls, through sculptures and shadows.

The “House of Shadow” is located in the heart of the picturesque old town (33, Orfeos Street) and is a favourite destination for those visiting the city of Xanthi. The ticket is optional (2€ adults, 1€ children), which means that you can pay at the end, provided you are happy with what you have seen. On site, there is also a shop with handmade souvenirs and works by the artist, as well as his workshop.

About the artist

Hailing from Sarantaporo in Larissa, Triantafyllos Vaitsis studied environmental engineering at the Polytechnic School of the Democritus University of Thrace and then worked as an environmental engineer.

From a very young age he was involved in various types of art, on an amateur level, such as painting, woodcarving, wire crafts, theatre and poetry. In 2008 he discovered Trash Art. Fascinated by it and looking for different techniques to deepen his knowledge, he was confronted with a “shadow sculpture” (Shadow Art). In 2013 he decided to leave the field of environmental engineering and to dedicate himself to Shadow Art. He is a member of the Greek Chamber of Fine Arts.