Cyclades Olive Museum in Andros
The Cyclades Olive Museum is Pitrofos’ village olive mill, also known as the “Vida” (screw). Preserved by D. Helmis, the ground floor where the old olive mill is located has been transformed into a museum area as the Cyclades Olive Museum. It retains all of its equipment and travels you to the pre-industrial technology of olive oil production facilities. The aesthetics and functionality of Cycladic architecture reflect on its internal stonework and other remarkable architectural elements. The arches, the fireplace, the stone boiler, the tank, the stone staircases and many more.
The building dates back to 1857, a year that was sold along with its upper house as a fully functional olive mill. Several surviving data prove that the mill has been in operation since the 18th century. In Andros, several similar installations served the island’s residents even until the 1960’s. But this unit has a singularity. It has many areas in contrast to most of the mills, where the process was limited to just a small room.
The Cyclades Olive Museum is home to memories of traditional olive oil production. The periods of the traditional agricultural communities of Andros. From the Cyclades Olive Museum, you can carry with you the knowledge of olive and olive oil as well as printed material that will remind you of your visit.
The operation of the oil mills
The installation of the Olive Museum was open from October to February from 14 to 16 hours a day and sometimes the whole day. Three labourers, the “master” and two animals usually cows, gave life to the unit. The salary of both the “master” and the labourers was paid in pre-agreed quantities of olive oil by the customer, the producer of the olives.
Like most of the days, especially after a good harvest, at work ended in a feast. At the period of oil production, it was a gathering place where workers, customers and bypassers were drinking wine, turning hard work into fun. The oil mill operated earlier than 1857 until 1967.