Museo Vasco (Euskal Museoa Bilbao) (Basque Museum of Bilbao)
Museo Vasco (Euskal Museoa Bilbao) (Basque Museum of Bilbao) Review
One of the standout, not-to-miss visits in Bilbao, this museum occupies an austerely elegant 16th-century convent. The collection centers on Basque ethnography, Bilbao history, and comprehensive displays from the lives of Basque shepherds, fishermen, and farmers—everything you ever wanted to know about this fascinating and little-known culture. Highlights include El Mikeldi in the cloister, a pre-Christian, Iron Age, stone, animal representation that may be 4,000 years old; the room dedicated to Basque shepherds and the pastoral way of life; the Mar de los Vascos (Sea of the Basques) exhibit featuring whaling, fishing, and maritime activities; the second-floor prehistoric exhibit featuring a wooden harpoon recovered in the Santimamiñe caves at Kortezubi that dates from the 10th century BC; and the third-floor scale model of Vizcaya province with the montes bocineros (bugling mountains), showing the five peaks of Vizcaya used for calling the different anteiglesias (parishes) with bonfires or txalaparta (percussive sticks) to the general assemblies held in Gernika.
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