Another of the many unknown things about the Principality of Andorra is that it is one of the countries with the most museums per square meter in the world. As this jurisdiction is so small and has such a concentration of museums, it is easy for him to obtain this recognition.
Although the majority are small, there are museums about absolutely different and curious things. From the largest museum of Bibles in the world that we already mentioned in another article to an extensive Perfume Museum, the exhibitions and collections of these Andorran cultural institutions will not leave you indifferent.
So, today we are going to review all the current museums that exist in Andorra in order, explaining what is shown in each one and the reason for its origin. We hope you like it.
Reig Factory Museum
Starting with the only museum located in Sant Julià de Lòria, the parish adjacent to the Andorran border with Spain, this museum shows how they worked in an old tobacco factory in Andorra, the Reig Factory. The building that houses the museum is emblematic of the early twentieth century, since the factory operated from 1909 to 1957, a time when the cultivation and manufacture of tobacco were fundamental in the lives of the Andorran people and peoples .
Through a multimedia system, the visitor is guided through the tour of the factory and the different work processes with tobacco, the manufacture of products and their commercialization are explained. The museum houses tools, devices, machines, furniture and aromas that were used in tobacco factories during the first half of the 20th century. In addition, it also has temporary exhibition rooms with a variety of themes.
The museum has a cloakroom, shop, cafeteria and terrace, and the price is € 7 the normal rate, € 5 the reduced rate (students, young people, groups of more than 20 people, retired people) and the entrance for children under 8 years and national schools is free. Between September and June they open from 9am to 6pm on weekdays, closing at 8pm on Saturdays and opening only in the morning on Sundays. In July and August during the week they always close at 8pm.
That is the name given to an exhibition in Santa Coloma that builds a story from the mural paintings of the urbanization and its history, which allows you to discover the Romanesque style of the Andorran valleys, pretending to be a diffuser of it. For this, he also uses different liturgical objects of the country and the visit is complemented by that of the Church of Santa Coloma, one of the oldest in the country and containing these paintings, started in the 30s of the last century.
One particular thing about this museum is that inside the temple there is a video-map projection that allows to see the original interior of the church, showing its approximate appearance in the 12th century and mentally transporting the visitor to those times.
The normal ticket price is € 7, the reduced ticket price is € 3.5 and access is free for certain people (see rates). They can get more information, such as the schedule, here.
House of the Vall
The Andorran Parliament, founded in 1419, is one of the oldest in Europe. The Casa de la Vall was the parliamentary seat from 1702 to 2011, the year in which the new General Council building came into operation, next to the historic building.
Since then, it has been used to carry out formal acts, as Andorran cultural heritage and as a historical museum. The guided tour inside the house allows us to know the history of the building, linked to the history of the country. The house, from the late 16th century, belonged to the Busquets family, who a little more than a century later sold it to the General Council.
One of the most prominent brands in Andorra are the Júlia Perfumeries, which have many stores throughout the Principality. Well, the Júlia Bonet Foundation, of the same brand, is the owner of the Perfume Museum, located in the largest store they have on Carlemany Avenue, just in front of the Illa Carlemany shopping center.
The Perfume Museum, according to the institution itself, "collects the stories and sensations of thousands of essences from all ages" and has been added to the great Andorran museum offer. There you will find boats from all over Andorran and world history.
Normal admission costs € 5, for groups of +10 it is € 3 and those under 12 and over 65 have free entry if they have the Júlia card. The museum is closed on Monday, open from Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 1pm and from 4pm to 8pm, on Saturday the same but until 2pm and on Sunday only from 10am to 2pm.
Escaldes-Engordany Art Center (CAEE)
It is a cultural institution where the collection of models of Romanesque art and the collection of sculptures by Josep Viladomat are preserved. It also has a temporary exhibition hall where you can see samples of international and local artists, exhibitions of historical themes and ancient civilizations. In addition, the CAEE is a dynamic space with a wide cultural program with activities for all types of audiences.
Its entrance is completely free, and it opens from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. In July and August every day and from September to June they close on Sundays.
Carmen Thyssen Andorra Museum
The Carmen Thyssen Museum of Andorra It is an artistic museum of painting, although not only. The building houses the Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, one of the most important private art collections in the world. The collection belongs to the Baroness Carmen Thyssen or Carmen Cervera, who has always expressed her love for art, as well as the need to share in this case with the Principality of Andorra.
The museum collection is mainly made up of works from the 19th and 20th centuries, with iconic paintings such as the Mata Mua by Paul Gauguin, although it also contains works from the 16th century to the present day. Thanks to the annual temporary exhibitions, visitors can enjoy new works and this makes the visit to the museum a mandatory annual cultural event in the Principality.
In addition, this dynamic favors that the museum is in constant renovation and periodic new features are added, such as the content of the digital consultation screens, that of the audio guides (included in the ticket price) and the design of the exhibition hall, which it also changes with each exposure.
The Museum is located on the ground floor of Hostal Valira, a landmark and landmark building in Andorra, where it was inaugurated in 2017. The granite blocks on the façade, arranged according to a honeycomb structure, are a singular distinctive of the culture. Andorran, since the building is framed within the so-called granite architecture, characteristic of the Principality.
The art gallery was nominated for the best European novel museum of the year 2018 by UNESCO and has been placed, among others, among the twenty museums in the world to visit, according to The Guardian magazine. An experience to enjoy for only € 9 (€ 5 reduced). Minors, meanwhile, have free admission. The hours are from 10am to 7pm except Sunday, from 10am to 2pm.
Following the road that leaves from the capital cities, Andorra la Vella and Escaldes-Engordany towards Encamp, is the Electricity Museum in charge of the FEDA (Forces Eléctricas De Andorra). This institution proposes a journey to discover what energy is and the historical evolution of electricity production in Andorra.
You can also experiment and check various laws of electricity with fun didactic experiments and see the room where the generators that produce Andorran electricity are located. The normal ticket price is € 5, while that of the reduced € 2.5. Admission is free for certain people such as those under 10 years old and Admission includes a visit to the Engolasters hydroelectric road. The schedule is from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
National Automobile Museum
Already inside Encamp, one of the two museums that we find is the National Automobile Museum. There you can discover the origins and evolution of automobiles, from steam engines such as the Pinette of 1885 to sports vehicles of the 1980s. A journey of a century through the history of the motor. The eighty vehicles on display show the evolution of aesthetics and mechanics to adapt to the needs of each era, and how speed limits and powers have been exceeded.
The museum is also home to a hundred bicycles, witness to the challenges that the evolution of technology has achieved by transforming a clumsy, uncomfortable and dangerous widget into a stylish, reliable and practical machine. The collection, largely made up of pieces from various private collections, is considered one of the most important in Europe in terms of cars and a world reference in terms of bicycles.
The normal entrance to this museum is also € 5, leaving € 2.5 the reduced one and being free for a certain group of people. The supplement for a guided tour is € 1.5 and the schedule, which is a bit cumbersome, can be found here.
Casa Cristo Ethnographic Museum
This museum offers the unique opportunity to discover the way of life of the authentic and humble Andorran people of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Divided into a ground floor and two floors, it is much more than a simple house-museum: it is a true journey back in time that transports the visitor, showing them the humble stratum of society at that time, a family of farmers.
This three-story town house was built at the end of the 18th century, but both the layout and the original elements have remained intact, as a true first-hand witness. A pile of cigarette butts, a complete linen closet or a centennial christening gown are among the many small details scattered around the house. Although the construction is narrow, it has a cellar, a warehouse to store the tools of the field and the room above, a room with a more social and festive character on the roof.
In a similar way to the previous museum, the normal admission is € 5, the reduced € 2.5 and it is free for certain people. In the museum website You can get more information, such as the schedule:
- From September to June: from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2.30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday, closed.
- July and August: from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday from 10am to 2pm.
Rull House Museum
Continuing along the La Massana route before going to the Canillo museums, and following the theme of the previous museum, in the Andorran town of Sispony is Casa Rull, a museum where you can learn how a family of wealthy farmers lived until the beginning of the twentieth century, touring every corner of the main house and discovering what role was reserved for each member of the family.
In traditional Pyrenean societies, such as Andorran, the house was the main element, since the heritage and the family prevailed over the person. Each individual was due to the house, he had to look after the patrimony and marriages were agreed between families thinking of beneficial alliances. Although the Rull house was rich, do not expect to find great luxuries, at least as we understand them today.
The price of the normal ticket is also € 5, with a reduced ticket being € 2.5 and certain people having free admission. The supplement for a guided tour is € 1.5 and the museum's normal hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., closing on Sunday afternoons and Mondays.
The Rossell Farga
The valleys of Andorra were an iron producing area between the 17th and 19th centuries. Of this iron and steel past, the Farga Rossell is one of the best preserved testimonies of the Pyrenees. In this museum you can discover how iron was made, since in the present century it was rebuilt and reopened as an interpretation center that explains the process of transformation of iron ore into ingots and its subsequent commercialization in the Catalan markets.
An immersive show and various audiovisuals introduce the visitor to the world of iron and, in addition, you can also enjoy a demonstration of how the pile driver worked in situ. The normal rate is € 5, the reduced rate is € 2.5 and there are free entry options.
La Massana Comic Museum - Joan Pieras
This museum, managed by the Andorran Association of Comics, Illustration and Animation, aims to preserve and promote the important graphic and bibliographic collection it has, as well as to organize temporary exhibitions, workshops and activities on comics, illustration and animation.
It has hosted exhibitions by Alfonso Font, Ana Miralles, Jan, Joan Mundet, Carlos Ezquerra, Jordi Planellas and Paco Roca, among many others, and since 2019 has had a space to consult the bibliographic collection made up of more than a thousand copies of comics references from all eras and genres, movies on VHS and DVD and art books about films. The museum's bibliographic collection can be consulted at the Andorran national libraries website.
Admission is completely free and the hours are Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 3pm to 7pm, Wednesday from 10am to 2pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm and from 3pm to 7pm.
One of the most particular and interesting Andorran museums is the Miniature Museum in Ordino, passing La Massana. It houses a permanent exhibition of the collection of the Ukrainian miniaturist Mikola Siadristyi, considered the world's genius of miniature. His 14-piece work, unique in the world, has to be observed under a microscope and represents eight years of work. The works present historical, cultural, philosophical, plastic and varied themes. Made with gold, platinum and natural materials, each creation presents a different technical problem perfectly solved by the artist.
The museum also presents the work of Chinese artist Liu Shouben, holder of the title of Grand Master of Beijing. The collection is made up of small Chinese bottles called "snuff-bottles", 5 cm in size, painted inside with motifs about Andorra where you can see some of the main characters, landscapes and monuments of Andorra.
In response to the international tourism that visits us, Liu Shouben has also produced "snuff-bottles" that reproduce outstanding international motifs, such as the Chambord Castle, La Sagrada Familia or the Park Güell. Every year the museum expands its content with new pieces. Finally, the museum completes its offer with a magnificent collection of traditional Russian dolls called matrioskas of enchanting plastic beauty, and a sample of papier-mâché boxes from the main schools of the Moscow gold ring.
The general admission price to this museum is € 7, and the reduced € 4.5, and the hours are from 9.30 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday to Saturday and from 9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
Areny Plandolit House Museum
Continuing with the rural house-museums, the Casa de Areny-Plandolit is one of the most emblematic museums in the country. The manor house dates from the 17th century, but most of the building's structures date from the mid-19th century, a time of the family's economic boom thanks to the figure of Don Guillem de Areny-Plandolit, third baron of Senaller and Gramenet. The dining rooms, the noble room, the music room, the defense elements, the cellars, the library or the chapel reflect the differences with the rest of Andorran society.
The normal ticket price is € 5, the reduced € 2.5 and there is also the option of free entry for certain people.
A small but complete museum where you will learn how to make a stamp and how the mail works in Andorra, which uses the Spanish and French postal services. The history of communication in Andorra begins with the first messages transferred on foot and on horseback to the Soldeu postman, who was traveling skiing. Andorra offers the peculiarity of not having its own postal service and uses the postal services of its neighboring countries, Spanish postal services and French La Poste, which each year issue Andorran-themed stamps.
The normal admission price of this museum is € 5, the reduced one is € 2.5, there is the option of free entry and an audio guide supplement for € 1.5.
Cal Pal de La Cortinada
This rural space is intended to promote reflection on the identity, origins and natural and cultural heritage of Andorra. The building is a manor house documented since the 14th century, when it was still the cleavage hostel. The house is located in the Cortinada (Ordino), next to the path that goes from the lever of the Vilar to the Sobirà bridge.
Cal Pal It is one of the most representative constructions of Andorran vernacular architecture. The building has been restored by the property and in October 2018 it opened as a sociocultural space and hosts temporary exhibitions. Admission is free and the museum's hours are from September to June, Saturday from 10 to 14 and from 15 to 19, and Sunday from 10 to 14, while in the remaining months the first hours are extended from Tuesday to Saturday.
Two wheels and the unmistakable, pungent smell of gasoline have been reproduced throughout history since Sylvester Howard Roper devised the first steam-powered motorcycle in 1867, a coal-powered two-cylinder steam engine. From this original specimen, the invention has only progressed. Its evolution, marked by both technological advances and design trends at all times, has been parallel to the vicissitudes of humanity and has accompanied it at work, in leisure, in sports, in war and in life. peace.
At Canillo Motorcycle Museum the visitor will enjoy and remember through its exhibition the evolution of the motorcycle with more than two centuries of history (1896-2013) in a space of 700 m² and with 150 copies of the most iconic brands. The museum intends to pay homage to this endearing vehicle that undoubtedly deserves a place in the pages of our history. The museum is only open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m.
The famous museum of the Bible
As we already commented, Andorra has one of the largest collections of Bibles in the world. With more than 1,600 volumes that Pere Roquet has compiled and donated to the Archpriesthood of Andorra, the most extensive collection of Bibles in the world is formed, with copies in 1,203 different languages. The museum is located within the Meritxell sanctuary, of devotion and worship of the Andorran people by the patron saint of the same: the Virgin of Meritxell.
However, this collection also makes trips and temporary exhibitions abroad, so the visit can only be made on certain occasions. Here can get more information about it.
And so far the article on the museums of Andorra. In addition to these numerous museums, this co-principal has several centers and institutions dedicated exclusively to exposing and explaining its parks and landmarks, such as the Comapedrosa Interpretation Center or the La Cortinada Nature Center. As we see a very extensive offer.
We remember that at Andorra Insiders we collaborate with the best experts to establish people in the Principality of Andorra. You can contact us here.