Museums in the province of Pontevedra
Preserving, researching, promoting and displaying the richness of our heritage are fundamental tasks of the museums, which are essential spaces for the evolution of a society. These places keep a large legacy, whose knowledge will be worth for future generations and for visitors who want to live a unique experience during their visit to As Rías Baixas.
Museo de Pontevedra (Pontevedra)
The museum was founded on December 30, 1927 by the Provincial Government of Pontevedra with the aim to continue the work of the Archaeologic Society of Pontevedra, which had previously gathered an extraordinary collection of works of art and documents. Today, the Museum has over 16,000 pieces including paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, archaeological artefacts, coins, musical instruments, furniture, jewellery, etc. Its collections are divided into Prehistory and Ancient history, Middle Ages, Art from the Renaissance and the Neoclassicism, Art from the 19th century, Art from the 20th century, as well as Numismatics, Decorative Arts, Ethnographic Collections and Naval Rooms.
Today, the complex is made up of six buildings, all located in the town of Pontevedra: the Ruins of Santo Domingo, which are the remains of the Dominic convent dating from the 14th and 15th centuries; the Sarmiento Building, displaying the Prehistory and Ceramics collection, as well as an important collection of contemporary and East Asian art; the Castro Monteagudo Building , the museum’s original headquarters; the García Flórez Building, a large urban manor house from the late 18th century; the Fernández López Building, which mainly houses paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries; and the Sixth Building, opened in 2013, with ten thousand square metres for exhibitions, conferences and workshops.
Museo Quiñones de León (Vigo)
The Pazo de Lavandeira, which now houses the Municipal Museum Quiñones de León, was donated by the marquis of Alcedo in 1924, although the donation would not be effective until ten years later. This free admission museum has an important collection of art including more than 1,500 pieces of art from disciplines such as painting, sculpture, drawing, engraving, and applied arts; as well as artefacts found in archaeological sites in Vigo, Galicia and other parts of the Iberian Peninsula. Moreover, its collections are a valuable source of interest for those who want to learn about the history of the city of Vigo from the 15th century to the present day.
One of the main attractions of the museum is the garden area, designed in the style of the French gardens of the 19th-century Baroque period. It consists of six parts: the entrance garden, the rose garden, the French garden, and the English garden -known as the pradeira do té (tea meadow)-, the sunny terrace at the back and the wood. There is a great variety of exotic and ornamental plants, which are a delight for visitors. Moreover, the 200-year old Japanese camellias are a botanical treasure which makes this place an essential must visit on the Route of the Camellia in the province.
Museo Galego da Marioneta (Lalín)
In 1998, an exhibition was held to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the first marionette show of the company Viravolta Títeres. And three years later, in 2001, the Galician Museum of the Marionette was opened, a benchmark for marionette lovers. Later, in 2010, the museum closed to change its headquarters, and on December 13, 2014, it reopened in its current location, the Pazo de Liñares, in Lalín, a 17th century baroque style manor house declared Site of Cultural Interest.
The museum houses two exhibition rooms including more than 300 marionettes, a library and a documentation centre specialized in the world of marionettes, and it offers an interesting programme of activities along the year. In addition, its collection is extended every year with new pieces, books, videos and other types of items related to the world of marionettes, which fascinates both young and old alike. A visit to this museum will make us discover our most imaginative and fun side.
Museo MARCO (Vigo)
At the very heart of the city of Vigo, one can visit the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo (MARCO), an art centre which is aimed at promoting new proposals of contemporary art. The MARCO building, which was designed by José M.ª Ortiz in 1861, used to house Vigo’s jail and courthouse. But since 2002 it has been dedicated to the latest artistic production of local and international renowned artists, which has turned this museum into the benchmark for the Galician and International avant-garde.
The educational programme of the museum includes visits and workshops intended for school children, activities for families, summer workshops for children, courses for adults, guided tours and workshops for artists. Side activities, such as seminars, concerts, conferences and cinema series, are also held. In addition, a library and a Documentation centre round off an offer aimed at promoting culture among visitors.
Museo Massó (Bueu)
The Massó Museum is located in the ancient industrial building of the canned food factory Massó Hermanos, near the port of Bueu, in O Morrazo Peninsula. The idea of creating a museum was suggested by Guillermo Marconi during his visit to the factory, in 1928. The factory had been previously built in 1883 on the site of one of the most important salting factories in Europe of the time. The museum shows information on the history of the leading canning factory and whale processing factory of the industrial complex, as well as the fishery activity of the lovely town of Bueu.
The wide collection of navigation instruments, documents and books published between the 15th and 19th centuries, peculiar objects and the models of historical ships kept by the brothers Massó, namely Gaspar, José María and Antonio, were the starting point of a museum built in the oldest part of the factory, which opened its doors in 1932. Today, it keeps important elements of the Galician maritime and industrial heritage, and allows us to discover the incredible world of sea workers for free.
Museo do Mar de Galicia (Vigo)
The Galician Museum of the Sea, designed by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi and the Galician architect César Portel a, was built on the site of the old canning factory of Alcabre, called Molino del Viento (1887), in Vigo. This 14,000 square-metre museum was opened to the public in 2002. It consists of a garden, five refurbished buildings, a square, a new building, a port with an aquarium and a lighthouse, everything surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
With both indoor and outdoor spaces, the museum has a free admission area, where visitors are in contact with the sea and can visit a fee-based permanent exhibition, which shows the social and economic history of the Galician fishing industry. In addition, in the aquarium one can get to know the ecosystems of the Galician coastal inlets, known as rías. It is also worth visiting the archaeological site in the surrounding area to learn more about how the fishing resources used to be exploited as early as in the Prehistory.
Museo MASAT (A Guarda)
The exhibition room of the Museo Arqueológico del Monte Santa Trega (MASAT), founded in 1917, provides information on the different periods of the castro (pre-Roman settlement) and the archaeological research work based on this castro, dated between the 4th and 1st centuries B.C. and A.D. In a tour from prehistory and the Bronze Age to the Castro and Roman period, we can see ancient scrapers, Asturian picks, axes, cave engravings, artefacts and elements of worship and ornamentation.
The first archaeological museum in Galicia , and one of the oldest in the region, is situated in a strategic location, on top of Monte Trega, an imposing 341-metre hill that offers stunning panoramic views over the natural border between Galicia and Portugal, and the Miño River’s estuary. The exhibition centre also has a classroom for educational workshops intended for students of all ages.
Museo Verbum (Vigo)
Also known as the House of Words, the Museo Verbum in Vigo is found in an idyllic setting, near Samil Beach. The building was designed by the Galician architect César Portela with the aim to create a cultural, entertaining and educational space. It is an interactive museum with games to learn about everything related to human communication: languages, words, letters, sounds, signs…
It consists of 29 cubes and a total of 81 modules which are part of a four-storey structure. A light box passes through the whole set as a set of Chinese boxes, each of which fits into the next larger box. This entertainment space in Vigo houses a temporary exhibition room, as well as an auditorium and a conference room, and it also organizes interactive activities for schoolchildren, cultural associations, families and visitors in general.