Castro de Viladonga page 2

The Castro de Viladonga Museum

In 1983 the Ministry of Culture decided that the quantity and quality of artifacts uncovered at the Viladonga excavations justified the creation and funding of a dedicated museum at the site.

The original building was constructed in the late 1970's, but opened in 1986 and was expanded between 1992 and 1994 through the support of the Galician Xunta (regional government). In 1989 the "Friends of Viladonga museum" was set up to promote the center and it now attracts a significant number of visitors. The museum is located at the foot of the castro's excavations and is around 23km from Lugo city on the N640. It is comparatively well signposted.

Content and layout of the museum

Below, one of the many displays in the museum of the Castro de Viladonga.

The museum at Castro de Viladonga, pic 3

The museum has 4 rooms with distinct displays. One houses artifacts that relate to the habitat and nature of the area, two more display cultural finds, one concerned with the material that the inhabitants used like stone and bronze, and the other jewelry and coinage. A fourth room is dedicated to the museum itself and what it does and how it does it.

Language support is in English, French and German and is offered through a multi page guide that you can borrow whilst in the building. A further high point of the exhibition is a mock-up of how historians thought the Castro would have looked 1500 years ago. This takes the form of a model encased in glass and has sectionalized descriptions of the assumed uses of different elements in graphic representations surrounding the display. Each drawing has a button which, if you press it, illuminates lights around the area in question on the scale model. By Galician standards the whole enterprise is well designed and run, but is one of few you will find when exploring similar sites.

The museum at Castro de Viladonga, pic 2

To the right is a small model of what the castro may originally have looked like. This is not the larger model that is referred to above.

All told we found the exhibit very good and apparently the items on display represents only a fraction of the digs actual findings. As a word of caution, cameras and videos are not allowed in the museum. I always look for signs and never saw any, but was promptly reprimanded when I got my camcorder out and started to film.

Should you visit the Castro de Viladonga

This photo, with the man in the bottom of the shot, will give some indication of the size and perspective of a small section of the castro.

The Castro de Viladonga in perspective

Galicia has only just started to value its archeological heritage and Castros are becoming popular with historians and visitors alike. If you visit Galicia and want to take in a castro, then this is definitely one of the best (and most easily reached) and it is enhanced greatly by the excellent visitors center. It took us 20 to 25 minutes to reach from Lugo, where the problem is finding the right road to exit the city. That said, we would recommend it and, on a clear bright day, you also command some great scenic views from the far end of the castro's surrounding mound (as below).

Hopefully the pictures on this page, showing the inside of the museum, will remain. They were (as you may have read) taken accidentally without consent, so I may have to remove them. That said, the link I am giving the Castro's site may encourage the museum to allow me to retain them.

A view from the Castro de Viladonga

The museum has a web site and as ever I am including a link to it. The site does not however support English, French or German.

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