At the end of the 19th century, some members of the bourgeoisie of the region realized that a huge heritage was threatened with extinction. Industrialization had caused that the environment of our past generations that seemed to be unchangeable was being quickly altered. We are talking about the whole culture of a land: jobs, crafts, traditions, legends, dances and popular songs, superstitions and beliefs, transmitted generation after generation. The bourgeoisie realized that it was necessary to preserve the memory of our past times as a lesson for the future. At the same time, in Catalonia these elements of our own culture were considered symbols of the own identity. This idea was the spirit of a period of time known as -la Renaixença-. It was the beginning of folklore, archivistics and hiking in the region, with the result of the creation of the Folkloric Archive and Museum of Ripoll, at the attic of the Saint Peter’s church. It is important to say that, despite the lack of experience of the promoters, they were able to evolve from collecting to the systematics of a real science from the very beginning. Years went by and the museum gained great representativity. In its current location, the Ethnographic Museum of Ripoll has come to be one of the most important in the eastern Pyrenees.
The Ethnographic Museum of Ripoll it is about memory and live: legacy of our past generations and lesson for the future. The current and future generations are and will be the result of past ways of living, thinking and fighting. The museum of the 21th century should allow us understand the present with the help of these tools. This knowledge is absolutely necessary if we want to create a common project and makes us realize that we can observe our own objects in a different way, asking ourselves very significant questions: Which of them should we take with us?
Which of them should we preserve and which not? Will our feelings for them last? Is there any part of ourselves in those objects? Will they be part of the museum someday? Will they gain a whole new meaning when studied under the perspective of ethnography? Will the future generations be able to learn about us as we learn about the past ones? That’s why we don’t consider this a finite task, neither the museum a closed institution. The museum must gather knowledge about the past and the present to offer this knowledge as a lesson for the future.
A new museum
The new building, opened in March 2011, invites you to take a tour very interesting for children and adults.
The Ethnographic Museum of Ripoll has its origins in the Folkloric Archive and Museum of Ripoll, which was founded in 1929 and located at the attic of an ancient church dedicated to Saint Peter. It was the first ethnographic museum in Catalonia and along 70 years it uninterruptedly collected, studied, conserved and taught about the heritage of our region. The result is the Museum we have nowadays, which after 10 years of readaptation and maintenance opened its gates to carry on preserving and expanding its collection and to show a heritage, both tangible and intangible that helps us understand a society.
An heritage that includes the collections about shepherds, farmers, jobs, religiosity and the production of forged iron and hand fire weapons in the Ripollès region.
The current location of the Museum opened its gates in March 2011 and it offers an interesting journey, enjoyable for both children and adults that allows the discovery of a recent past, a different way of living and feeling and the symbols of identity of a territory.
The mission of the Ethnographic Museum of Ripoll is to document, to study, to spread and to preserve the ethnological heritage from the Ripollès region and the eastern Pyrenees, while focusing on the social, cultural, economical and technological aspects that help us understand our ancestors way of life, as well as how their society evolved until becoming the present one. At the same time, the Museum goal is to study and to analyse the present society for it to be understood by the generations to come.