To put the sea in a museum, you do not have to go around with little ones, it is convenient to take it in all its dimensions and to bottle it completely empty. This is how it keeps all its flavor and lasts over time. The Maritime Museum of Asturias, located in Luanco (Gozón) is a huge ship, but also a submarine, a giant can of food, a network from which you can not escape, a paradise of corals, a hook that makes us bite. It is also a museum with its own name: the dean of the Asturian museums. It was founded in 1948.
More than half a century of existence give much. A center with a tradition that has grown in attractiveness while it fattens its inventory and renews its facilities. It is flooded by sea drop by drop, but also by museum experience, both in its informative and conservationist aspect.
The ethnography, culture, the sea as a factor of human anthropology is reflected in fishing and all the ingenuity and utensils that can be imagined. A large sample that teaches us all kinds of gear and fishing gear used by the sailors of the Bay of Biscay. Some of the pieces are of great antiquity, like the needles to make and sew nets, the hooks, or the pins to braid ropes and rigging. Also included here is a special section dedicated to whale hunting, activity deeply rooted in the area until the s. XVII. Logically, there is also no shortage of models at the scale of fishing boats more characteristics of the North of Spain, at least those corresponding to the last hundred years: the trainera, the lanchona or major boat, the first steamers, the hake ...; and a wide exposure of riverside carpentry or traditional boat construction. Everything is perfectly documented, with images that illustrate the process from the placement of a keel to the launch, going through the essential ax, the tile and the irons for careening or caulking.
Marine biology it also shines with its own light in this untouchable museum. Samples of flora and fauna from the rich Asturian coast are exhibited in this section, whether they are dissected species, fossilized or alive. In any case, if one does not have enough with the Cantabrian Sea, it can also be recreated with a collection of exotic pieces from different parts of the world, such as corals from the Pacific, shark teeth or shells of African turtles. Undoubtedly they will be surprised by whale bones, which in this case are exotic but not from a distance, but because they are the last witnesses of the whaling past of the area. They were collected in the same beach of La Ribera, in Luanco, and some have spectacular dimensions.
Another outstanding section, as without a doubt are all of the museum, is the one that shows us clearly, and with a large amount of resources, the evolution of navigation and naval architecture from antiquity to our days. In total we can recreate with more than 50 scaled reproductions, patiently worked by another type of lovers of the sea and detail: artisans. Phoenician, Roman and Viking ships; the caravels of Columbus, the galleys and galleons of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, or the portentous ships of line, pride of the European monarchies of the s. XVIII. We also see the later schooners, brigantines and corvettes, or the fast clippers, which competed with the vapors. We continue sailing in time, at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th we came across the steam battleships, freighters, warships, and the current oil tankers and rescue ships. The appeal of this collection of models is completed by a unique collection of warehouses in ceramics, ivory, glass, and a curious assortment of toy boats belonging to the childhood of a good number of generations.
The living map of the museum also has printed territories that have contributed to date the sea and its travelers with the passage of time: an amazing collection of Nautical charts of all seas and epochs, cartographies, engravings, documents (logbooks, bills of lading, insurance policies ...), navigation instruments (compass, sextant, marine chronometer, log ...), photographs and many other objects.
We, privileged visitors of this great ship, sailors in short, we cross the sea to windward and leeward without restrictions, stopping at all the coordinates and feeling the true weight of the sea, that of its history and that of its almost infinite nature. Curiously, we do not step out of solid ground.Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestAddress / Location:
Street of Gijón, nº 6
33440, Luanco (Gozón)
Telephone: 985 88 01 01
More information: Maritime Museum of Asturias