The Ethnography of Vigo

Suggestions to discover Vigo’s history and customs

The secrets of Vigo’s ethnography are key elements to understanding the history of Vigo: the city’s past is reflected in its streets, neighbourhoods, customs, industrial roots and in a rich and diverse cultural heritage. To understand the essence of Vigo’s historical journey over the years, nothing better than visiting the best archaeological sites in southern Galicia and Vigo’s ethnography museums:

The first stop, the Quiñones de León Museum, will offer you the most complete vision of Vigo’s historical evolution. You’ll be able to make out the outline of the population’s history from the remains of prehistoric finds: Paleolithic biface tools, Neolithic arrowheads, the first pottery and metal remains... progressing in Vigo’s history until the Middle Ages. You can also imagine the life of feudal lords on your visit to the Quiñones de León Pazo, retaking the artistic and historical journey in the 15th century and up to the present.

At the O Castro Mountain site, you’ll have the opportunity of peeking into the life of the first men in the history of Vigo and have an understanding of casteño (Celtic) culture. The Roman Villa of Toralla and Salinae will give you an idea of what the Roman settlement Vicus Spacorum was like.

You’ll also discover the area’s traditional trades and various aspects of Galician culture in the Liste Museum, Vigo’s Ethnographic Museum par excellence. Furthermore, its gardens have traditional constructions of great ethnographic value, like an hórreo, a fountain and an old washing place.

And if you want to have a detailed and surprising look at Vigo’s industrialization process, we strongly recommend a visit to the Pacheco Archive. There you’ll find an extensive collection of images from the history of Vigo, starting in the late 19th century and continuing until the 1970s: pictures of the city’s fishing activity, the urban development, the customs at the time... All aspects of Vigo were immortalized by this family of photographers.

Design your personal ethnographic route of Vigo and discover our past to understand our present.

Tips and recommendations: 

You'll find a few basic tips to understand our history in our ethnographic dictionary of Vigo, and if you want to delve into the different eras of Vigo’s civilization, visit our Historical Guide of Vigo, a tour of the city's past: from Prehistory to Vigo’s Castreño period (from the Iron Age to first century AD), through Romanization, the Middle Ages and until the present.