The vaqueiros de alzada are an Asturian cultural group whose main activity was migratory livestock breeding. Their pastoral life, transhumance and isolated habitat served as the basis for clashes with farmer villagers (xaldos), and friction with the authorities, both civil and ecclesiastical.
The Vaqueiro Museum of Asturias comprises two sections.
The first consists of a recently restored ensemble including a house, panera (large granary-cum-storehouse) and barn, dating from the late 18th century, recently restored and faithfully respecting the construction guidelines of a vaqueira dwelling from the 19th century. It is located in the neighbourhood of La Barzaniecha, in the west of the village of Naraval, forming a beautiful ensemble with the other buildings in the area.
This section of the museum consists of three distinct parts: The main building has the living space in the upper part. At the entrance is the chariega or kitchen, with its hearth and wood-burning oven. The bedroom with its cribs, old beds and other fixtures and fittings and, out on the running balcony, the spare room at the end. In the lower part of the building is the stable, containing a number of implements ranging from a small sickle to the old Roman-style wooden plow. A staircase leads to the central building, the panera, typical to western Asturias, used to store grain, meat and other produce of the land.
- The second section is situated in the village of Folgueras del Río, a mountain pasture hamlet or braña in the parish of Navaral, where you can see another old house, repaired without altering its original state as a vaqueiro house dating from the late 18th century, now serving as a museum. This house is in the highest part of the village and is divided into two parts, one serving as the stable and another as the living area, which highlights the way the old vaqueiros had to live, in a fairly small construction, which they filled with a wooden bed, the hearth, the bench-cum-table and other items.
Within the site museum is another building, used in the past as a barn and stable, but which in this project houses a warehouse in the lower part for the restoration of pieces and the toilets, and in the upper area, a media room displaying:
- Illustrative panels and drawings of themes related to the museum
- An exhibition of photographs
- A slide show
- Video screenings
- You can also listen to traditional Asturian music and vaqueiro folk music.
- Roundtables, talks and debates, and other educational activities.
Monday to Sunday: 11:00am-2:00pm and 4:00pm-8:00pm
Rest of the year:
Prior booking by phone required