This museum is temporarily closed for renovations
One of Spain's best museums devoted to Basque culture takes visitors on a journey from Palaeolithic days to the 21st century, giving an overview of life among the boat builders, mariners, shepherds and artists who have left their mark on modern Basque identity. Displays of clothing, looms, fishing nets, model boats, woodcutters' axes, sheep bells and navigational instruments illustrate everyday life, while iconic round funerary stones help segue into topics of Basque rituals and beliefs.
Don't miss the photographs of Eulalia Abaitua Allende-Salazar, whose black-and-white images of fishmongers, pastoral families and dock workers capture early 20th-century Basque life. The museum is housed in a fine old building that was part of an original 17th-century Jesuit college. In the cloister is the Mikeldi Idol, a powerful pre-Christian symbolic figure, possibly from the Iron Age. Found near Durango, this zoomorphic sculpture was carved from a single block of sandstone and retains an element of pure mystery.
Signage is in Spanish and Basque, though rooms have handouts with English translations of some of the sections.