The most curious museums in Galicia

There are museums in Galicia that are somewhat unknown. Perhaps they do not appear among the first on the list when it comes to tourist visits, but that does not detract from their value or interest, rather it gives them the grace of discovery.

For example, we may not know that Cangas is home to the MUVI, Video Game Museum, a pioneer in the sector, founded by Galo and Jacobo Martínez. It is an interactive and informative space that reviews the history of the microconsole, the computer and the video game. Shows more than 150 electronic systems. Here you can see the passage of time… Be careful, maybe we have some valuable electronic antiques at home.

Continuing with games, but the usual ones, in Galicia there are several toy museums. The Galician Toy Museum in Allariz, located in a manor house from the 18th century, was born from the donation of a neighbor, Alberto Oro Claro, from his collection of almost 800 toys from different periods, from the beginning of the 20th century to the middle of the 60s, approximately. There is also a Toy Museum in the Pazo de Liñares, in Lalín, with pieces donated by Antonio Chaves. In Ponteceso there is the MELGA, Ethnoludic Toy Museum, dedicated to traditional games and sports and the evolution of games since prehistory.

And, to finish with the toys, we can go to a place full of houses: the Doll House Museum in Monforte, in Station Square. A collection of Victorian houses, country houses, Andalusian patios… with all their tiny details. Admirable craftsmanship and patience.

In Monforte there is also the Galician Railway Museum, MUFERGA. The most peculiar part of the visit is the railway roundabout, an old traction workshop and locomotive depot facility, with 38 radial tracks and a rotating ferry bridge, unique in Spain. In addition, it has locomotives and wagons from different eras and a small-scale railway theme park. Guaranteed entertainment.

And from MUFERGA to MUVICLA, in Trasliste, Láncara. Attention, the initials mean: Living and integrated museum of the countryside and agrarian locomotion. In other words, the history of the current tractor and its ancestors, within the framework of a working farmhouse, in this case dedicated to apples and veal. We can even go for a ride on a classic tractor.

Here even the owls have a museum, you just have to go to Cerceda, where the Owl Museum, opened in 1994, houses a collection of more than 5,000 pieces (sculptures, paintings, goldsmith articles…) and interactive installations around this bird.

Santiago has so many museums that maybe some of them go unnoticed, for example the MUPEGA, Galicia Pedagogical Museum, where we see the evolution of the school with a lot of material from different periods and even the recreation of 19th century classrooms. On the other hand, in the Parque de Vista Alegre is the Natural History Museum, with dioramas that show the habitats of different animals, the malacological collection of Emilio Rolán, one of the most important in the world, the mineral collection…

Luckily for Ordes, Juanjo Linares was born there, the great dancer, teacher and researcher of traditional dances. The Juanjo Linares Costume Museum in Ordes arose from the donation he made of his collection of more than 1,000 dance costumes, of which around 260 pieces are on display. Many are traditional, from different eras; others, of himself, and some of historical figures of Spanish dance such as Antonia Mercé, Anita Delgado, and more recently such as Antonio Gades.

Since we’re talking about dancing, a little music, please. The Escola Provincial de Gaitas de Ourense is well known, in part for being the quarry of the Real Banda de Gaitas de Ourense. Perhaps the museum that is housed in the school itself is not so well known: the International Bagpipe Museum. It contains a collection of different varieties of bagpipes from Galicia and different areas of Europe, Africa and Asia.

As for ethnographic museums, there are many scattered throughout Galicia, studying and disseminating the culture of each area. One of the most original is the Barco Museo boniteiro «Reina del Carmen» (Museum Ship), in Burela, a wooden bonitero ship from the 1960s converted into an ethnographic museum. Within it, everything revolves around the maritime culture, life on board the ship and fishing gear.

To end with a laugh, how about we stop by the Humor Museum in Fene? The alma mater of the venue is Xaquín Marín, practically its architect. There are exhibitions of the leading representatives of Galician graphic humor, as well as spaces dedicated to caricatures, comics, humor publications and curious objects. Activities, prizes, performances…

If we don’t really feel like shutting ourselves up in a building, perhaps on a hot day, we will surely enjoy taking a walk through an open-air museum, such as the Rexo Ecospace, in Allariz, a natural museum next to the Arnoia, with interventions in stones and trees made by Ibarrola, or the Illa do Covo, also called the Island of Sculptures, in the Lérez reedbeds, in Pontevedra, with granite works by Leiro, Giovanni Anselmo, Jenny Holzer and Robert Morris, among others.

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