Museo de Bellas Artes, Vitoria-Gasteiz

4.5
#2 of 11 in Museums in Vitoria-Gasteiz
The Museum of Fine Arts of Álava is located in Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country. Since its opening in 1942, it has undergone many transformations. The museum is dedicated to Spanish art from the 18th to the 20th century and to the Basque art from the period 1850-1950.
Augustin-Zulueta PalaceIn 1912, Elvira Zulueta and Ricardo Augustin started the construction of their private residence in the street Fray Francisco; what today is known as the Palace of Augustin. Elvira, daughter of Julián de Zulueta, belonged to a wealthy family in Vitoria, and after her marriage in 1905 with Ricardo Augustin, they decided to build a mansion in Vitoria´s wealthy neighborhood.
The management of the project was entrusted to the architects Julian Apraiz (1876-1962) and Francisco Javier de Luque (1871-1941), who had won the competition for designing Vitoria´s new Cathedral in 1906.
The work, which was very complex for that time, was completed in 1916. However, in September 1917, Elvira, died suddenly and Ricardo Augustin gradually abandoned the city, leaving the Palace empty for much of the year. In 1924 he reached an agreement with the diocese to begin construction of a seminary on part of the property, while he retained the area around the palace. As a thank, Augustin received the Papal title of "Count of Davila" in the 1920s. The count continued to be linked to the province until his death in 1965 and is buried along with his wife in the chapel of the Diocesan Seminary.
The Museum and its collectionsThe idea of creating a Museum in Álava dated back over a century. In 1792 the Royal Basque Society kept a library and a collection of Roman tombstones in the old Seminary Church of Aguirre de Vitoria. In 1844 the civil Governor established a "Gallery of Pictures" in a room of the Palace House. At the end of the 19th century, Federico Baraibar had gathered archaeological remains in what he called the "Incipient Museum" in the halls of the secondary school, which later served as the meeting place of the Basque Parliament. In addition, a school of Arts and crafts hosted rooms with works, primarily from local artists.
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Museo de Bellas Artes Reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This museum was free to visit and has some wonderful Basque paintings. The museum is partially housed in a beautiful old mansion and is a pleasure to visit. The lovely man on the desk was most...  more »
  • The Museum of fine Arts is a jewel. Amazing architecture outside and inside and is located in one of the most beautiful areas of the city. This is a must see attraction when visiting this beautiful...  more »
Google
  • Great museum built around and part of a historic mansion which is worth seing by itself. Some amazing oil paintings with a Basque theme in the main. Set in pretty formal gardens and it's free to visit.
  • Pretty traditional building with a nice small garden. It's also home to a free Basque art museum which will not be everyone's cup of tea. Note that it's also directly opposite the army museum and both have English audio guides available which are free I think
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