Museo Vasco (Basque Museum), Bilbao
The museum is articulated around the cloister and its courtyard. The cloister has four bays with several sections. There are three levels of arcades of semicircular arches and pillars. The Jesuits were evicted in 1767. The property has been a Latin school, a hospital, and a factory. In 1914 the cloister became the museum.
The lowest level is for tombstones and heraldry. In the center of the courtyard is the Idol of Mikeldi (a statue depicting a bull with a solar disc between its legs). Probably dating from the 4th century BC, it is a single sandstone block in the zoomorphic shape of a hog. In the stairwell is a replica of the 15th-century Kurutziaga cross of Durango.
The first floor is devoted to weapons, the sea, ceramics, and textiles. The second floor is concerned with the prehistoric phase of Vizcaya. On the third floor are a colossal scale model of the province and 18th-century furnishings from rooms of the Bilbao consulate.
Since 1962 the Basque Museum has been an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC), with the category of National Historic-Artistic Monument.
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Museo Vasco (Basque Museum) on Map
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