Permanent exhibition



The models of boats show the evolution of navigation. The oldest exhibited is the galleon, a cargo and also a war vessel, which was important in deep-sea navigation during the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century other types of vessel appeared such as the frigate, the schooner, the brig, etc. Later, in the 19th century, the fast clipper boats appeared, and at the end of that same century, steam boats became popular and substituted sailing boats. The end of this tour through naval typologies is completed with the 20th century and its merchant vessels, passenger ferries and ultra-large crude oil carriers. Some of the models exhibited are votive offerings, designed to hang from church vaults. The same purpose was intended for several of the pictures of ships, which explains their stormy atmospheres. Others are a commemorative reminder, in some cases painted by crew members.

Bergantin Plentzia

Brig Plentzia


Votive offering

Buque Sierra Aranzazu

Ship Sierra Aranzazu

On both floors, photographs are displayed of sailors, natives of Plentzia, or students from its Sailing School. Prominent is Nicolás de Olagibel y Esnal, born in Plentzia, a boat builder, banker and trader, and an important figure in the political and economic life of Bizkaia in the mid 19th century. He is an example of the difficult and successful career of an entrepreneurial native of Plentzia, jeopardised by his affiliation in the Second Carlist War.
Also on the second floor there is a display of different navigational instruments. Some were used for navigation and the observation of the stars, such as: binoculars, octants, sextants, planispheres, a navisphere, the log book, the compass, and the index bar, and others for measuring speed such as the patent log, along with elements taken from boats such as bells, lamps, a rudder, a dinner service, etc. The maritime documentation is completed with a varied display of regulations, navigation charts, some of a commercial nature (freight), navigation diaries, directions, naming of pilots, photographs of ships and treatises on astronomy, navigation, manoeuvres, etc.






Star map



Cuadro de Jenaro Urrutia

Hilario Gorordo, oil painting by Jenaro Urrutia



In July 2009 we added a painting to our permanent exhibition, made by Jenaro Urrutia Olaran (Pentzia, 1893 – Bilbao, 1965). He was the first acknowledged artista born in the Plentzia. He began his studies in the Arts School in Bilbao, and after he continued in Paris and Rome.

Urrutia captured the landscapes of Plentzia, the river, squares and streets, buildings ans some characters of that time. This is the case of Mr. Hilario Gorordo Artaza (captain of the Merchant Navy and mayor of Plentzia between  1916 and 1921), who is represented in this painting.