The Museum of the City of Antequera is housed in the Palacio de Nájera, in Plaza Coso Viejo. The palace itself is a beautiful building, 18th century and built in Andalucian Baroque style. Antequera has had a museum since 1908, first in the Municipal Palace when it was called the Municipal Archaeological Museum. In 1966 the name was changed to the Municipal Museum of Antequera and plans were made to move the exhibits into the Palacio de Nájera.
The discovery of the ‘Efebo de Antequera‘, or rather, the need to properly exhibit it, considered by many to be the finest Roman sculpture found in Spain, hastened the move. The museum in Madrid had claimed the statue and Antequera had to show they could exhibit this important piece. The new museum opened in 1972. It underwent further renovations and improvements in 2010 and again changed its name to Museum of the City of Antequera.
The Efebo de Antequera was discovered by a farmer in Vega de Antequera about 1955. The exact date is not known since the farmer kept hold of it for a while. The bronze sculpture dates to the 1st century AD. It represents a naked teenage boy and is 1.43 metres tall. His arms are extended as though he were once carrying something. A wreath sits on his head in which the now empty eye sockets would have been filled with coloured paste in a realistic imitation of eyes. The Efebo de Antequera has been compared to the Efebo of Porta Vesuvius from Pompei and to the Apollo in the Sabouroff collection in the Berlin museum.
The museum is on three levels. The lowest level takes you through the pre-history of the area, including information about the Dolmens of Antequera. The next level looks at the Romans and Visigoths and the third level has some impressive glass and pottery exhibits from the Moorish period and fine silverware from the 15th – 18th centuries. Not to be missed is the Immersion Room. Here visitors can virtually experience the ‘Correr las Vegas’, the ‘Running ahead of the Thrones’ tradition that is part of the Holy Week festival.
Antequera is a very traditional Spanish town and the opening times of the museum reflect this. It is closed on Mondays. Sundays entrance is free. In winter, 1st October to 30th June, it is open Tuesday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm and 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm. Saturdays 9.30 am to 2 pm and 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm. Sundays are 9.30 am to 2pm. During summer, 1st July to 30th September, the hours are Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 2 pm.
Nick has lived and worked in Andalucia for over 20 years. He and his partner, Julie Evans, have travelled extensively and dug deep into the history and culture, producing authoritative articles on all aspects of the region. Nick has written four books about Andalucia and writes articles for other websites and blogs.
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