10 unusual museums in Andalusia

There are hundreds of museums in Andalusia, to please all visitors and interests. Malaga, to start with, it’s now home to 37 museums that cover all kinds of topics – from Picasso Museum to the Museum of Glass, Museum of the Imagination or the Museum of Popular Arts, there is a museum for everyone.

There is, however, a different kind of museums in Andalusia, too. Museums that are so specialised you would be surprised. We have carefully selected what we believe are the most unusual or different museums any visitor will find during their stay in Andalusia.

 

Museo de Belenes

The Museo de Belenes (Nativity Scenes Museum) is located in Mollina, a bit less than an hour from Malaga. There, the visitor will find over 60 nativity scenes, all different in size and style, including a 25-metre long display that represents the 8 provinces of Andalusia. The nativity scene tradition is deeply rooted in Spain and Italy, where every Christmas families install a nativity scene at home.

This museum is the biggest in the world of its kind and it was first opened in 2017. It also boasts two meeting rooms with capacity for up to 300 people, fully equipped with screen, projector and AV system. There is also an outdoor area, ideal for cocktails and open-air events. Easily reachable from Malaga, Seville, Granada and Cordoba.

 

Museo del Mantecado

Mantecados are a Christmas sweet, typical from Andalusia but very well known in the rest of the country, too. They are made of lard, flour, eggs and sugar, as main ingredients. Cinnamon, sesame seeds, lemon zest or even icing sugar can also be added.

Estepa, in the heart of Andalusia, and 1 hour and 15 minutes from Seville, is the capital of mantecados. Since the 16th century, they have been traditionally made in Estepa and in nearby Antequera. The recipe and production have not changed in centuries, with  23 factories that produce over 22,000 tonnes of mantecados every year.

The visitor can discover the museum, located in one of the above-mentioned factories, and explore how mantecados are made, the tools and techniques used on its production and sample some of the all-time favourites. Easily reachable from Seville, Malaga and Cordoba.

 

Museo del Bandolero

Brigandage was a common practice around the Ronda area around the 18th and the 19th centuries. Brigands, or bandoleros, main activities included smuggling, robbery, armed robbery, cattle rustling and similar activities. The history of bandoleros is also tied to Romanticism, picturing brigands as polite and considerate people that did not shed blood during their mischief, some of them sharing their loot with the needed.

The Museo del Bandolero is the only one of its kind in Spain and boasts over 1,400 pieces related to brigandage and Ronda, closely tied. A very interesting visit to discover a part of the history of both Ronda and Andalusia. Easily reachable from Malaga, Marbella, Jerez and Seville.

 

El Carromato de Mijas

In the gorgeous town of Mijas, located less than half an hour from Malaga, there are many things worth a visit. From its white-washed historical centre, its lovely views of the Mediterranean Sea and the Costa del Sol, its traditional donkey taxis and its small arena, Mijas has another charming place that is worth a visit.

For almost 50 years, the cart has welcomed visitors from all over the world, that have admired some of its most famous miniatures, such as Lincoln’s head drawn on a pinhead, a bullfight designed over a lentil and a collection of stuffed dressed fleas. A must-see when in Mijas! Easily reachable from Malaga and Marbella.

 

Cotidiana Vitae

Would you like to know how was life in 2nd century Rome? Located in Santiponce, on the outskirts of Seville and near Italica, the visitor will find Cotidiana Vitae, a recreation of a traditional Roman city, with both public and private areas, such as the thermae, tavern and grandstand as well as the Domus, with its central court, kitchen and bedroom.

The guided visits are an hour-long and are a great opportunity to learn more about life in Hispania, one of the territories of the Roman Empire. Located in Seville, easily reachable from Jerez and Cadiz.

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Galería de la Inquisición

This museum, located in the historic centre of Cordoba, near the world-known Mosque-Cathedral is dedicated to the history of the Inquisition. The Inquisition was an institution whose aim was to combat heresy, blasphemy and witchery, amongst other activities considered a sin at the time. It existed between the 12th and the 19th centuries and took place in the whole continent of Europe.

The purpose of the museum is to highlight and make people aware of the liberty, freedom and rights the citizens of Europe have achieved over the centuries. It displays a wide array of tools and methods of torture used during the Inquisition. Easily reachable from Granada, Seville and Malaga.

 

Museo de la Manzanilla

Manzanilla is a variety of fino sherry that has been produced for over two centuries around Sanlúcar de Barrameda, in Jerez de la Frontera area, where sherry wine is produced.

The Museum of Manzanilla is located precisely in Sanlucar, where the Guadalquivir river meets the Atlantic ocean, giving the wine a light salty flavour. The visitor will be able to see the bodega, or wine cellar, where wine is stored in barrels, but also the Cathedral, the main area of the bodega, with vaulted ceilings and piled barrels. Wine tastings, corporate events and parties can also be hosted at the building itself or the gardens that surround the complex. Easily reachable from Jerez, Cadiz, Seville and Ronda.

 

Museo del Jamón

Located in Aracena, right in the middle of Huelva mountains, the visitor will find the Museum of the Iberian Ham. Iberian Ham is one of Spain’s most recognised gastronomic features and one of the selected food with denominación de origen, a regulatory classification system used for cheese, wine, hams and meats. Aracena is one of the towns within the Jamón de Jabugo area, where hams have been cured for over three centuries.

The museum is solely dedicated to this delicious product and relates the history of ham production in the area, describing the traditional methods -that have not changed much, but above all, the museum is focused on the Iberian pig, its breeding, diet, its life on the Dehesa (or grassland) and how hams are cured. Easily reachable from Seville.

 

Museo Cuevas del Sacromonte

In the heart of the Sacromonte, one of the most traditional neighbourhoods in Granada, we find the Museum of Sacromonte Caves. This museum shows how life in the caves was. The caves in the Sacromonte neighbourhood have been used as houses for over five centuries when Jews and Moors were expelled from the city of Granada.

The museum, through recreations, displays also the daily life of its inhabitants, including the different trades that they carried out, such as basketry, forge, pottery and loom, as well as narrating the history of flamenco, deeply rooted in the neighbourhood. Located in Granada, easily reachable from Malaga.

 

Museo del Carruaje

The Museum of Carriages, located in Seville, first opened its doors 20 years ago with the purpose of bringing the horse-drawn carriages and coaches‘ world to the general public.

The visitor will find a vast space with some of the finest coaches, such as Gala Coupé carriage and a Mail coach, as well as the history behind harnesses and horses. Easily reachable from Cordoba, Ronda and Malaga.

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As you can see, there are plenty of options should you wish to see a different side of Andalusia, off the beaten track. If you are interested in a particular subject, let us know, we will prepare a tailor-made itinerary to suit your needs.

Meridional Events is your local DMC for all corporate and MICE events in Andalusia and the South of Spain, where we organise meetings, conferences, incentives, golf breaks and special interest groups. Get in touch with us today!

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