The Open-air Museum Lychnostatis was founded in 1986-1992 by the doctor and collector Georgios Makrakis. The buildings themselves are some of the main exhibits as they were built thoroughly with the prevalent raw materials (stone-wood-clay). No bulldozers, excavators or other mechanical means have been used in the construction. It started in 1992 as a private museum and in 1993 the Friends of the Museum Association was founded. The museum has sections for audiovisual media and publications, educational programs, traditional products, documentation.
The thematic categories of the museum are the traditional architecture of Crete (Cretan urban and rural house, church, old school, etc.), the traditional occupations and professions (weaving workshops, natural dyes, pottery, apiary, mitato, threshing floor, press, raki distillery), modern Cretan art (exhibition with works by Cretan artists), pre-industrial technology (windmill, olive mill, carob mill, press of aromatic herbs).
The museum was nominated for the European Museum of the Year Award in 1996, while in 1997 it received praise from the University of Crete in the "Eleftherios Platakis" environmental protection competition.