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Industrial site museums on the caminos de Santiago

peregrina2000

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Staff member
There have been two recent descriptions by forum members who have visited former industrial sites turned into museums.

The first was @jungleboy and @Wendy Werneth’s trip to the hat museum in Sao Joao da Madeira on the Camino Portugués.

Interesting information from Nick and wendy here. More information about the museum here.

Now @filly has told us all about two museums in Ponferrada — one about energy in an old electricity building (official website here) and the other about railroads (official museum info here)

I can think of three in Lisbon.

Tram museum (about public transport in Lisbon, housed in the old facility). Sad to say I have never been.

Water museum (in two sites, very interesting, and I have been here!)

Electricity museum (never been, but I see that in addition to being housed in an old power station, there is a new very modern building that has opened nearby).

Can others think of similar industrial museums along any camino?
 
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Marc S.

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
Museo de la Industria in Portugalete (on the Camino del Norte, just after Bilbao) which is about the industrial heritage of this region (containing art work about this subject, and also items related to the Vizcaya Bridge). (website: http://www.portugalete.org/ES-ES/RIALIA/Paginas/default.aspx)

And of course the Vizcaya Bridge (declared as a UNESCO world industrial heritage site) is a sight to see.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Las Medulas near Ponferrada, off the CF but on the Invierno, is a magnificent working gold mine dating from Roman times. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.

Below is my blog entry from November 26, 2014

"It is always a joy for me to be in the mountains and thus the long stretch between Leon and the Galician border is one of my camino favorites. One of my dreams these past years while walking this stretch was to visit the UNESCO World Heritage site, Las Medulas, near Ponferrada.This is a unique area of Roman gold mines marked by most distinctive channels, caves and giant cones of bright orange rock. After learning that the Camino Inverno route passed these mines I rather casually decided to make the detour this year. Imagine my delight when pausing at Foncebadon for tea I met a woman pilgrim who works in Indonesia and who agreed to also make the detour! At El Acebo as dense fog rolled in we stopped at the simple Meson bar/albergue when I often stay. Worried about how to easily and safely see as much of the Medulas area as possible we were delighted to learn of the guide/taxi services of a local man who next day met us at Campo. Jorge hosted us in his 15th century hacienda and drove us far and wide throughout this almost surreal landscape. What a day and what a detour!"
 
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Blintintin

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
I guess this would constitute Camino de Madrid:

Renfe Train Museum in Madrid, of course there is one train with an open bar car, at http://www.museodelferrocarril.org/index.asp,

and, the former El Aguila Beer Factory complex, not a museum but now an archive/ library / exposition centre. You can see a few pieces of old machinery still; the huge silos (once filled with grain / hops I suppose) are now filled with books! you can see the train tracks / platform where materials were loaded/unloaded. My dad used to work there in 1950s, in his early 20s! They were kind enough to let us see behind a few closed doors and also the silos with books. at https://www.comunidad.madrid/centros/sala-aguila.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
Hello fellow pilgrims,

I visited two museums on my CF:
the Burgos based Museum of Human Evolution* with many objects from the digging site in Atapuerca (it was extremly hot that day and the museum got a/c ;))
and the
Tram Museum of Porto

The visit in Burgos was too short (only 2,5h) b/c I stayed in the Albergue "Emaus", that closes the doors at 8pm.

* website non functional at the moment

BC
Roland
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
And the museum of the Galician people in Santiago has some interesting exhibits related to printing on the lower floor.
The Pobo Galego museum can be boring for people without knowledge of European rural stuff. Nevertheless its famous stairs and the room dedicated to fishing gear can be interesting for everybody.
When I visited the Dolomites (Italy). I enjoyed a lot the museum of Ladinia in Vigo de Fassa because my knowledge of rural Galicia.
 
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Terry Callery

Chi Walker
In Porto --the Musea da Misericordia is connected to the church there by the same name.

In addition to all the religious art there is a fascinating collection of medical related objects.
This is because the Catholic Church was the social safety net for the past 500 years since the church was founded by Manual I in 1499.

If you were blind or deaf for example--- the only help you were likely to get came from the church.
So I viewed there a collection of strait-jackets, books in Braille, electro-shock devices and antique hearing aides. Photos of nuns teaching the deaf to lip -read.

There was a small admission charge and the museum was housed in a natural- light atrium on the 3rd floor.

The church is small, intimate--just lovely ---- rebuilt by Baroque architect Nicolau Nasoni in the 18th century.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014), Portuguese (2015), Primitivo (2016), Lucca to Rome (2017), VDLP (2019)
On the VDLP: the beautifully preserved and restored 1914 flour mill at the Casa El Molino de Castilla in Montamarta and in Monesterio the Museo Jamon.
 

lindam

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
While we did not visit this museum, we saw it while walking the Catalan Camino. Located in the town of Tàrrega, the J. Trepat Factory Museum (http://www.museutrepat.cat/en) showcases agricultural machinery produced from the 1930s to the 1960s in its original site. Nearby in the town of Cervera, also on the Catalan Camino, one can find the magnificent building that was once a flour mill and water tower (see http://cesarmartinell.com/projects/flour-mill-and-water-tower-cervera-1921). When I was last there, in 2019, it was in the final stages of being repurposed into a museum and community space. The grandeur of the building itself speaks volumes about the historical importance of local farming/agriculture in Catalunya.
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
In Besancon on the Via Francigena is the wonderful Musee du Temps - Besancon was a watch and clock making centre (there are still some small producers) and the museum looks at clocks, watches and time. I loved looking at the range of timepieces through time!
(Also worth going to see the elaborate astronominical clock within the cathedral - special ticket needed for this - and the presentation is only in French but still worth it with minimal French as there are multiple dials and moving parts)
 
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Heikki

Member
Past OR future Camino
Burgos to Santiago 2008, Madrid to Sáhagun 2012, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2014, Camino del Norte 2020
Museo del Jamon in Monesterio on the Via de la Plata:

Museo del Ferrocarril de Asturias in Gijon:

These two came in mind. Sadly, the last mentioned was closed last February when we went by.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Just when you think the forum has run the gamut of nearly every topic and possible questions, up pops something new to read about and take an interest in. Thanks, Laurie, for starting this thread.
Agree! Interesting topic. Thanks, Laurie.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker

IMG_0450 (2).JPG IMG_0456 (2).JPG On the start of the Ingles Route​

Ferrol Naval Museum​

The museum​


Located in the historic Ferrol Arsenal, known as "Presidio de San Campio", built in the second half of the eighteenth century, the building that houses the Museum is already an architectural jewel of Baroque-Neoclassical style, worthy of admiration in its own right. Located within the Navy's "Herrerías Centre" complex, access to the museum is from Cantón de Molíns. Among its resources, the Museum has more than 2,650 catalogued records, including sets and collections of historical, artistic and technical value related to the activity of the Navy, its intimate relationship with Ferrol, and the naval and maritime history of Spain.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
The first was @jungleboy and @Wendy Werneth’s trip to the hat museum in Sao Joao da Madeira on the Camino Portugués.

Interesting information from Nick and wendy here. More information about the museum here.

Tram museum (about public transport in Lisbon, housed in the old facility). Sad to say I have never been.

What would you do without us going to all these places for you?! 🤣

Inspired by this thread, and needing a cultural activity to do for this week's 'Lisbon Friday' afternoon/evening out, we went to the tram museum for the first time today. It was great!

The best part was getting to take a small ride in a tram from 1901. Look at the fancy interior decorations!

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There were also other trams to explore, including two that were open at the side - one which was drawn by horses (how Lisbon public transport began in 1873), and another that is the last open-sided electrical tram left in Lisbon.

IMG_1728.jpg

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'Do you need a ticket? Put your phone away, I'll print you a ticket right here, and in under an hour too!'

IMG_1730.jpg
 
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Past OR future Camino
Geneva to Irun then Norte to SDC 2015, Piemont Pyreneen 2018
Decazeville, France on the Via Podiensis between Congues and Figeac it was once the world's largest open pit mine and a center of France's industrial revolution. Interesting Geological Museum and old industrial buildings. Could be a French Ironbridge but needs a lot of money and work.
A few kilometers from l'Hopital St. Blaise on the Piemonts Pyrenees is the former WWll concentration camp of Gurs. A place for reflecting on what has gone before and hopefully not to be repeated.
 
Past OR future Camino
2014, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
Various routes...
What a fun thread!
Coming to it late to say I found this:

It's woefully incomplete, but still there are gems listed there.
There's an Orange Museum in Valencia.
Of course there is! 😁
You can even visit it from home:
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Asturias and Galicia are similar regions but they have notorious differences like landscape, houses/horreos and language. On the Primitivo there is a transition area that starts more or less in Tineo. The Museo Etnografico de Grandas de Salime has things from Asturias, Galicia and the transition area so it is possible but not easy for a foreign to compare the differences.
The museum has also a classroom from Franco times, an old shop grocery, a chapel and more things. On my Primitivo in 2013 I was talking for a while with its founder Pepe el Ferreiro at bar A Reigada.
Also in Grandas (Castro) the museum of the arquelogical site.
 
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Mike Wells

author of 'Cycling the Camino Frances'
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (1995) (2017 twice) (2018); Via de la Plata (1996); Finisterre (2018)
I am only aware of two true industrial museums on the CF. First there is the Museum of Energy in an old electricity generating station passed by the CF as it leaves Ponferrada, reflecting the fact that Ponferrada is the only industrial city passed through by CF pelegrinos en route to Santiago. Secondly is the Museum of Chocolate by the station in Astorga. Both are well worth visiting.

Slightly less industrial, the bodega Irache passed soon after leaving Estella and best known for its 'wine fountain' where hundreds of peleginos pause daily for a free swig of red wine, has a Museum of Wine.

Though not a museum, the archaeological site at Atapuerca was discovered as a result of 19th-century industrialisation. When a railway was constructed to bring limestone, coal and iron ore down from the Sierra de la Demanda to Burgos for use in the steel works around Bilbao, it cut through a limestone ridge opening up a previously unknown network of caves with human and animal remains going back 850,000 years. The discoveries from Atapuerca now form the basis of the ultra-modern Museum of Human Evolution in Burgos.
 

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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
D

Deleted member 73526

Guest
are you going to tell us what this thing is? Please?
The Cable Inglés? (Cargadero de mineral El Alquife). Sorry I misspelled it in my original post.

It's a loading dock that was constructed by the Alquife Mines and Railways Company in the early 1900s. It was built to facilitate more efficient loading of bulk cargo ships with iron ore from the mines in Alquife. Trains carried the iron ore out onto the loading dock. I believe it functioned as a hopper with a series of chutes that directed the bulk ore into the ships' holds. In the second video below, you can see some images of the chutes in lowered position, which gives an idea of how the equipment was operated.

Almeria province also exported other minerals - Sulphur, lead, zinc, copper, and gold, but I guess the quantity of iron ore (hematite from Alquife) was so great that it justified the construction of this dock. If you visit Alquife, you get some idea of the scale of the operation.

On YouTube, you can find some interesting videos:

A general historical overview:

A photo montage that shows the construction process and the modern city. At the end is a photo of the monument next to the Cable Inglés, dedicated to the Spanish people who perished in Mauthausen concentration camp:

img_5298.jpg
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filly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
In Besancon on the Via Francigena is the wonderful Musee du Temps - Besancon was a watch and clock making centre (there are still some small producers) and the museum looks at clocks, watches and time. I loved looking at the range of timepieces through time!
(Also worth going to see the elaborate astronominical clock within the cathedral - special ticket needed for this - and the presentation is only in French but still worth it with minimal French as there are multiple dials and moving parts)
There is also a clock museum in the bell tower of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, next to the church - good views from the top too!
 

filly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
There have been two recent descriptions by forum members who have visited former industrial sites turned into museums.

The first was @jungleboy and @Wendy Werneth’s trip to the hat museum in Sao Joao da Madeira on the Camino Portugués.

Interesting information from Nick and wendy here. More information about the museum here.

Now @filly has told us all about two museums in Ponferrada — one about energy in an old electricity building (official website here) and the other about railroads (official museum info here)

I can think of three in Lisbon.

Tram museum (about public transport in Lisbon, housed in the old facility). Sad to say I have never been.

Water museum (in two sites, very interesting, and I have been here!)

Electricity museum (never been, but I see that in addition to being housed in an old power station, there is a new very modern building that has opened nearby).

Can others think of similar industrial museums along any camino?
Filly again! Please note that very near to the Hat Museum in Sao Joao da Madeira (camino Portugues) is an equally unmissable SHOE MUSEUM - both were major industries of the area.

... and back to beloved Ponferrada. Please don’t forget the RADIO MUSEUM - fab artefacts and sound bites of important events in Spain (located opposite the Tourist Office by the Castle).
 

filly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
... and just come to mind, but not in an industrial building is the charming Museo da Terra de Melide on the Plaza del Convento
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
Not industrial in the sense of factories, but in the sense of the local industry (how people earned their living) there are a couple of small museums on the Camino Portugues north of Porto that are attached to albergues:

In Vila Chã, there was one devoted to the local fishing industry.
20181001_190201.jpg 20181001_190216.jpg

And then in Rates, the next day, there was one focusing on the local flax/linen industry.
20181002_184359.jpg 20181002_184336.jpg 20181002_184321.jpg
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012. Hoping now for 2022.
There were some abandoned industrial sites on the Camino Mozárabe that were interesting to prowl around on foot:
  • Talc quarry between La Peza and Quéntar - This is a very spooky place, but I was in awe. I was just following the arrows, walking along in a reverie, and there it appeared. I had no idea that it existed, or even (at the time) what it was.
  • Museo de Cobre in Cerro Muriano, just after Cordoba - The museum was closed at the time, but the abandoned structures were there for climbing and trying to figure out what was what.
 

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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Oh, no! As I was doing some research for a virtual Olvidado thread, I saw that there is another hat museum in an old hat factory! This one is in Balmaseda, in País Vasco, which means that the hats made there were those typical Basque boinas (berets) that are seen all over the region.

Now I have missed a visit to two hat museums, so I am hoping @jungleboy will report back on this as well when he gets to the Olvidado.
 
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Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
and for the truly obscure, on the western branch of the Via de la Plata in Ciudad Rodrigo, you will find the splendid Museo del Orinal: the Chamber Pot Museum. The cream of a private collection started by an expat Englishman, it fills several rooms in the old seminary. There's even a bronze one designed by Gaudi!
 

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