Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mercado de la Bretxa and the San Telmo Museum in San Sebastian

In the morning, we walk over to Mercado de la Bretxa, with stalls above ground and a full market underground.  We're just walking through on our way to the San Telmo Museum, but we stop to admire the great offerings for sale.  Spanish markets are famous for their variety and quality and this market on the edge of Old Town does not disappoint.  Opened in 1871, the market takes its name from its position as the weakest point in the original city wall, with invaders breaking through the wall at this point in 1719 and 1813.

 Bay of Biscay in the morning

 Market stalls in the plaza

 Mercado de la Bretxa

From the market, we walk several blocks to the San Telmo Museum, built in 1900 to house objects and donations from the citizens of the city.  In 1932, the museum was moved to its present location in an old Domican monastary at the base of Mount Urgull.  The museum includes a library, permanent exhibits on the history of the region and temporary exhibits, one of which we see today on photobook production.

Model of the museum at the base of Mount Urgull

More photobooks than ever are produced, read, traded, and collected, including independent publishing and self-publishing.  The exhibition focuses on contemporary photobooks, including a section on the private collection of Gabriela Cendoya, recently added to the museum library.  We wander and enjoy the stories of making, and stories told, in the photographic collections.

 Photobook exhibition

Entering the permanent exhibition of the museum, we immerse ourselves in the culture, story, and history of the Basque region.

 Museum interior architecture

 Basque funeral stallae from the head of tombs

 Early Basque tools and implements

 Basque clothing through the ages

Leaving the early Basque exhibits, we head upstairs to Basque art and industry.

 Art of the Basque region

 Industry of the Basque region

We are getting a great overview of the Basque area, people, and life and gaining a good understanding and appreciation of the region.  We leave the museum and look back on the modern front covering the old monastery and see it as a metaphor for the collection inside.

Modern entrance to museum

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