Museo Vasco (Basque Museum), Bilbao

Museo Vasco (Basque Museum), Bilbao

The Basque Museum, known as the Basque Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Historical Museum, opened in 1921. At present, it occupies the 17th-century Jesuit San Andreas Church and Cloister in Miguel de Unamuno Square. The museum has a collection of over 20,000 objects and artifacts from public and private sources.

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

Sight Name: Museo Vasco (Basque Museum)
Sight Location: Bilbao, Spain (See walking tours in Bilbao)
Sight Type: Museum/Gallery
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Bilbao, Spain

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