Discovering the traditions and customs of the local people will help us to understand them as well as the place where they live. In the province of Pontevedra there are numerous centres aimed at preserving the culture of this territory where different civilisations have left their mark: a rich heritage of great value. If you want to enrich your experience and keep good memories of your visit to As Rías Baixas, while learning at the same time, a good option is to visit some of the following ethnographic centres.
Museo Etnográfico e do Viño (Cambados)
The Wine Museum, in the town of Cambados in the old rectory known as Casa de Ricoi, dating back to the 16th century, was the first in Galicia, and among the firsts in Spain, devoted to the study of wine. Nearby are the Ruins of Santa Mariña de Dozo , a historic monument in the town of Cambados dating from the 15th century, and declared Monument of National Tourist Interest. The centre describes, in an entertaining way, the process of wine production, as well as its bonds with the traditional art and culture of a town that every year celebrates the traditional Albariño Wine Festival.
The museum comprises two different spaces. The first is the old rectory, displaying information on the history of wine. It is connected through a glass walkway to the new building, which has different rooms displaying information on research, grapevine growing, winemaking, and other processes related to wine production. Moreover, in the museum, visitors can enjoy other didactic activities for groups, tastings and guided tours along the Wine Route.
Centro Liste (Vigo)
Preserving and exhibiting the splendid collection of Olimpo Liste Regueiro has been the main aim of the Museo Liste de Vigo, a museum that shows in its nine permanent exhibition rooms true samples of the Galician ethnographic heritage. In fact, it gathers more than 2,500 pieces belonging to the traditional Galician culture. There, visitors will have the opportunity to discover the main Galician trades, the rye culture, the traditional wheel, some examples of the locksmiths’ work, the fabrics, the carved wood, the light, the materials related to faith and the art of healing.
The museum also offers activities and workshops for schoolchildren of different educational levels, activities for adult groups, didactic auditions, audiovisual projections, urban camps and field research activities. In addition, its mid-20th century building is located in a 5,000 square-metre garden boasting remarkable tree species as well as constructions of great ethnographic value, such as an hórreo (Galician raised granary), a fountain and a washhouse.
Centro Etnográfico de Terra de Montes (Forcarei)
In the inland and rural town of Forcarei the complex Centro Etnográfico de Terra de Montes (CETMO) is well-worth a visit. This museum displays more than 700 pieces related to the everyday life of the locals as well as others used by the traditional trades, which provide an insight into the life in the countryside since the 19th century until the pre-industrial period, in the 1960s. The aim of this museum, created in 2000 by the García Ruibal family, is to preserve the ancestors’ heritage, showing the life of locals in the countryside as well other men and women which were part of the social structure of the time.
The Museum is located in an old house, which is a good example of traditional Galician architecture. It is made up of several rooms where one can learn about the typical Galician houses, the work in the fields, the household, the handcrafted linen in the 19th century, the children, emigration and the tools used by different trades: postmen, blacksmiths, carpenters, etc. In addition, CETMO has audiovisuals that will help visitors to travel back in a not-so-distant time.
Casa do Patrón (Lalín)
The ethnographic museum Casa do Patrón is made up of three buildings, covering an area of about 2,000 square metres and displaying more than 4,500 pieces from all around Galicia. It is surrounded by a beautiful natural area with oaks and chestnut trees and located by the Asneiro River. The centre has thirteen theme-based exhibition rooms in which you can learn about the ancestors' everyday life, as well as about the former schools. In addition, it features a typical village tavern, a traditional wood-burning oven or a traditional forge.
The Casa do Patrón, which is considered the largest ethnographic museum in Galicia, carries out annual projects to preserve local traditions, such as the mown grain, the mesh, the milling or the slaughtering. In addition, activities are also programmed for all kinds of audiences, for families and schoolchildren, with the aim of keeping alive the history, culture, spirituality and beauty of the Galician countryside.
Museo del Molino de Mareas de A Seca (Cambados)
A Seca Tide Mill is located on the Ría de Arousa, in the parish of Corbillón, between the points of Tragove and Fefiñáns. It is called A Seca because it works with water that is stored at high tide and when the sea level falls it generates a stream that can drive the four wheels of the mill. The milling process takes place at low tide and it lasts about three hours. In the past, people used to work both night and day shifts, milling up to 800 kilograms of grain.
Explaining how a tide mill works, a type of construction not very common in the Galician region, is the main aim of this space. The complex used to have a dam with five gates, a mill, a house, stables and a shed. The mill was restored and today it houses a museum centre where one can learn about the everyday life of the past inhabitants of this beautiful town of As Rías Baixas as well as the functioning of these interesting buildings.
Pazo da Cruz (Covelo)
The ethnographic museum Pazo da Cruz, in the town of Covelo, displays more than 3,800 pieces belonging to one of the most important private collections in Galicia. In addition, the 16th-century building preserves all the characteristic elements of the Galician pazos: a gate with a cross and pinnacles, a cobblestone courtyard, grapevines, an hórreo (Galician raised granary), a stone oven for bread, a lareira (wood-fire oven), and hundreds of pieces that belong to the Galician past.
The centre houses a permanent exhibition where one can learn more about the history of bread, grains, mills and ovens. In addition, there you will have the opportunity to admire period furniture, traditional toys, old photos and hundreds of pieces. This is a good option to discover what life was like more than 300 years ago and to get to know the historical, ethnographic and natural heritage of the area and the Galician region.