The Museo das Mariñas is located in the Convent of Santo Domingo de Betanzos. The building, dating from the mid-16th century, has had various uses up to the present day, being the site of the convent itself, the Civil Guard barracks or a municipal institute. Likewise, it houses the Alfonsetti Cinema, one of the oldest in Spain.
The collection encompasses pieces from all historical periods, from references to life in the forts to more current pieces, all grouped in the two-story corridors and in several adjacent rooms. It also has a large ethnographic collection, with various items from everyday life and the old trades of the city.
Given the importance of Betanzos in medieval times, the collection from this period should be highlighted, with objects such as the tombs of Sancha Rodríguez (wife of Fernán Pérez de Andrade) or Alfonso de Carvallido and his wife, Betanzos merchants and leaders of the Irmandiña Revolt; or also pieces from the disappeared cloister of San Francisco and the granite sculpture of Santiago the pilgrim apostle.
Wine has been one of the pillars of the city’s economy and its history is present through different places and elements for its cultivation and manufacture. Also highlight the ethnographic collection on linen, which was so important in the history of the region.
Among the rooms, the so-called Sala del Traje stands out, which houses one of the best collections of traditional Galician clothing. Likewise, the collection of guild costumes from the city of Betanzos and the clothing donations from Betanzos families dating from the 19th century should be highlighted.
Another of the important rooms is the one dedicated to the old Hospital of San Antonio, with the doors of the hospital where its founders are portrayed and an apostolate acquired by them and coming from the school of Rubens.
On the upper floor, the recreation of the schools designed by the García Naveira brothers stands out, two Indians who, on their return from Argentina at the end of the 19th century, founded numerous welfare works in the city. This floor also has curious objects such as the flag of the Government of the Republic in exile in Paris, as well as documents and emblems of different groups such as the Irmandades da Fala or the Betanzos Center in Bos Aires.
In short, the Museo das Mariñas is simply the gateway to the vast heritage of the city of Betanzos, where it will be necessary to complement the visit by approaching other resources such as the medieval city itself, its temples, the Parque del Pasatiempo and the rest of the works de los García Naveira or the alleys where you can savor the wine and gastronomy of the area.