Galician sea museums

To get to know our sea and the marine culture in depth, so important in Galicia, there is nothing like immersing yourself in one of the museums dedicated to the sea. Here we have a few:

Naval Museum and Shipbuilding Museum of Ferrol. It is in the As Ferrerías building, from the 18th century, in the Dikes Arsenal, the building is already an architectural jewel of Baroque-Neoclassical style. Among its resources, the Museum has more than 2,650 catalogued records, including sets and collections of historical, artistic and technical value related to the activity of the Navy, its intimate relationship with Ferrol, and the naval and maritime history of Spain.

Of course, if we want to know the history of Ferrol, it is an obligatory stop. On the ground floor there is a review of ship construction techniques. The outstanding piece is the large-scale model of the Magdalena frigate, sunk in Viveiro in 1810, and many objects from the ship recovered from the seabed. The first floor is dedicated to temporary exhibitions and theme rooms (lighthouses, maritime signals…).

Galician Sea Museum (Vigo). In Alcabre, with views of the Cíes, an old canning factory had a second life as a slaughterhouse and a third as a museum. Between Aldo Rossi and César Portela they remodeled and enlarged the building to adapt it to its new use. The result was an impressive complex that integrates the old factory, a new building, the tavern, the lighthouse and the aquarium.

The central room is a pier, which gives access to the collections, the auditorium and the work areas. In the permanent exhibition we find video and audio documents, interactive screens and original objects related to fishing. In addition, there are temporary exhibitions. The museum also functions as a research institution. One of the most important pieces is the submarine from the end of the 19th century designed by Sanjurjo Badía, perhaps inspired by Verne, whom he personally knew.

In addition to everything we discovered in the museum, let’s not forget the good views. The facilities also house the remains of the castro of A Punta do Muíño. And there is even more: an aquarium. It is not a huge aquarium with exotic species, but a window to the ecosystem of the coast, estuary and islands of our landscape, where we find conger eels, sardines, monkfish, barnacles…

Laxe Sea Museum. It occupies the old Laxe civil guard barracks, in the old town. Here, the rich anthropological heritage of Laxe and the Bergantiños and Soneira regions awaits us from the end of the 19th century to the 1970s, which goes a long way, specifically for four floors. The permanent collection houses the Vidal photographic archive, with more than 60,000 photos of Plácido Vidal and his son José María. It also features a 20th century digital background. To complete it all, a repertoire of pieces of riverside carpentry.

Caión Sea Museum. It is located in the Historical Archive of the Caión Fishermen’s Association. The museum introduces us to the town through fishing, from the times of whaling, around the 16th century, to modern fishing in the 20th century. All this is well documented, with explanatory panels, objects, audiovisual material…

Provincial Museum of the Sea (Cervo). The museum building was once the San Cibrao unitary school. Before entering, a huge rudder already gives us a clue as to what we are going to find inside. There are four rooms with varied themes: graphic documentation and naval mechanics; collections of ethnography and marine fauna and traditional fishing gear; fauna and flora (algarians, corals, fossils…) and shipbuilding (with a collection of nautical charts, instruments, signals, etc.). Also, outside there is a collection of anchors and cannons.

A Guarda Sea Museum. At the end of the promenade, in the reconstruction of the old watchtower of the port, we have this museum, with two important collections: on the one hand, an ethnographic one, on the old fishing gear and tackle, and on the other, a malacological collection, with shells from around the world. There are also videos about the people of the sea, legends, treasures…

Seas of Cedeira Museum. This museum was born from the collaboration of the town hall, the Fraternity of Percadores and the Mar de Cedeira Association. The objective is to make work at sea known, without which Cedeira cannot be understood. The collection shows us models of ships, of the old salting and canning factories in the area, of fishing gear, the work of barnacle fishermen and shellfish collectors… There are also pieces that come from the bottom of the sea, and the Manuel malacological collection Suarez.

Baiona Navigation House Museum. In Casa Carvajal, the old Town Hall in the historic center of Baiona, we can consult all the documentation that exists and will be around the municipality, which reflects its importance over time. Testimonies of the splendor of Baiona in the 15th century, when it was the only port in Galicia, along with A Coruña, which was allowed to trade abroad, or the arrival of La Pinta on its return from the discovery of America, which today is commemorates the first weekend of March. The museum also has a good assortment of pieces recovered from the bottom of the sea.

Rianxo Sea Museum. It is in the Casa do Coxo, which was the former owner of the building, in the heart of Rianxo. It offers us a tour of the different tasks of a fishing village: how they build boats, the different fishing gear, etc. And, above all, it shows us Rianxo’s relationship with the sea. On the first floor there is an exhibition on the municipality, fishing and the sea and, in the basement, a riverside carpentry workshop. By the way, in Rianxo there is also the “Santiago Gallego Picard” Active Sea Classroom, which teaches us about the maritime environment, the different types of coastlines, their conservation, etc.

Massó Museum (Bueu). This museum was born in 1932, when the canning factory that gives it its name was still in operation. And, enlarging its contained spaces over the years, it has become a necessary destination to learn about the history of the salting, canning, and whaling factories industries. In addition, it has a large collection of maritime antiquities, a library and temporary exhibitions.

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