When visiting the beautiful medieval city of Agüimes, why not to learn more about the local history? Only the beautiful building itself of the museum will impress you by its historical background. It was built in the mid 18th century and it used to be the the Bishop´s Palace.
Shortly after you pay the entrance fee of 3€, you will enter the first room that will help you to understand some of the details of the conquest of the island and how the lands had been divided between the conquerors, soldiers and new inhabitants of the area.
As Agüimes used to have the status of an episcopal lordship since the conquest untill the middle of the 19th century, part of the museum is dedicated to the religious matters. You will also learn about how the region is divided in various parts such as Agüimes, Ingenio, Carrizal, Guayadeque and Temisas and how the population grew from 500 inhabitants in the 16th century up to incredible 50.000 in the 20th century.
The following room describes the hard times when the island was affected by the famine, plague and rebellions and a lot of inhabitants emigrated to places such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Venezuela or USA and how the island suffered depopulation of the middlands and mountains.
You will also learn about the position of the woman in the society, about the local births, matrimony, death and there is a lot of examples of local superstitions and witchcraft.
Finally you will end up several rooms whose exhibition will help you to understand the local economy. You will start by the domestic, kitchen and garden tools and you will find out that more then 12% of the households used to have a weaving loom so that the poor women could earn a bit of money.
You will learn that meanwhile in the 16th centrury the sugar cane that used to form even 50% of the local agriculture, later on it had been replaced by cereals, corn, fruits, vegetables and olives to be the tomato the most important product in the 20th century by its 35% quotient. Somehow it seems like the goats and sheeps have always been breeded here in a range of 30-40% each.
Apart of the agriculture there are also explanation boards of other sectors of the local economy such as lime kilns, salt pans, fishing, milling, oil presses and winemaking. What I founded really interesting was the restoration of the typical oil and vinegar shop. These stores from the mid 19th century replaced the work of peddlers who used to sell the products wandering on their mules, camels or simply walking.
The museum is opened Tuesday – Saturday 9:00 – 17:00 and Sundays 9:00 – 14:00. In the summer time the opening hours are usually more limited.