In 1932 the Provincial Council of Lugo created the museum in order to collect and protect the patrimony of the province, which were spread in individual collections and public institutions. At first, the museum would be located in the Palacio Provincial de San Marcos. In 1957 the museum is moved to the present location, the rooms of the old San Francisco convents and a new building designed by the architect Manuel Gómez Román. From this moment on, the museum enjoyed several extensions.
The first floor houses a collection of tiles from the 3rd century, found in a plot in Armañá Street (Lugo). It also presents the collections of sacred art, including a stone image of the Saviour coming from San Pedro de Fiz de Muxa (Lugo), a wide range of Gothic Mannerist and Baroque imagery, the processional crosses made of silver and other objects for religious purposes. In the cloister, the visitor can behold pieces of epigraphy, heraldry and other collections in stone. The convent kitchen of this floor shows the etnographic funds, next to the refectory.
The high part of the cloister is devoted to Prehistory and Archaeology. The visitor will find a chronological tour from the Palaeolithic to the end of Romanisation, as well as the ceramics, glass, numismatic and medals collections.
On the second floor the visitor will enjoy the Galician art collections, focused in painting and sculpture from the 19th and 20th century with monographic halls dedicated to Antonio Fernández, Julia Minguillón and Corredoira, along with the ceramic collection from Sargadelos - which is a separate hall hosting pieces from all periods of production of the Real Fábrica.
In 2010, the first floor of the new building (opened in 1997) was restored, allowing space for Galician drawings and engravings sections. The halls are monographic for Castelao, Prieto Nespereira and Castro Gil, maintaining the chandelier collection.References:
The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.
The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.
The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.
The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.
Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.
At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.
In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.