Reading time 5 minutes
When we talk about mummies, Turkey, Chile, Mexico or Egypt comes to mind, but since last June 1, Spain also has its first Mummy Museum, in the Zaragoza town of Quinto .
The cinema and literature have placed mummies in our minds as a distant or unknown phenomenon for the majority, disturbing or creepy; but, after all, it is a most moving encounter, and the didactic interest and curiosity should overcome the barriers that people sometimes have for respect or fear.
In the Museum of Mummies of Quinto they know it: "in this museum the scientific and historical interest predominates over the morbid". A subject that is often taboo, but that is a unique experience: face to face in the face of death.
The hands of one of the mummies exhibited in the first Mummy Museum in Spain © Quinto City Hall
To discover it, we arrive at the Church of the Assumption passing through Corona Street or Doña Urraca Street, although if we are more concise we will say that we arrive at the ex-church, since it was desacralized in the Civil War. Then we discover that yes, we can find other mummies in other places, but these mummies are special because they have been found in the same place where they are exposed, an unprecedented phenomenon.
In addition, it is even more striking that there has been no artificial intervention by man. The mummification has been natural "due to the dry conditions of the land and the more or less constant temperature during the year, " explains Jesús Morales, mayor of Quinto, to Traveler.es.
They are the result of three years of hard conservation and musealization work and three archaeological excavation campaigns. It was in 2011 when 1, 061 bodies of different ages were found, while the temple was being restored. They date from the 18th and 19th centuries and also retain clothing, shoes, beads and funerary objects, which are also exhibited.
Thus, the mummies of Quinto impact and impress because they are the most natural mummies. The mysterious mummification of only fifteen of them and the incredible conservation of Franciscan habits make it a unique, impressive and interesting experience. They do not leave any visitor indifferent. There have been more than 1000 who in less than a month have visited the Church of the Assumption, say from the City Council.
Archaeologists, eccentricity lovers, curious from beyond, or simply people wanting to discover more about our history of the past, you have an obligatory appointment in the Zaragoza town of Quinto, in the Ebro valley.
In addition, only the central nave has been excavated, and there are still more chapels that in the long term are intended to be explored, but they thought it necessary to start working with the museum.
It is open every weekend, general admission costs 7 euros, and reduced 5 euros. In addition, you can take a guided tour, during the summer on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and, also in the afternoon on Fridays and Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and at Winter at 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
The Zaragoza town of Quinto seen from the air © Quinto Town Hall
These are bodies more than two centuries old, a trip to the past. "It is an unprecedented experience in Spain, " says the mayor. “For the one who likes it, because he is impressed. But everyone who is coming is delighted and intends to recommend the visit. ”
On the other hand, the visit includes a tour of the church, which is declared part of the Humanity by UNESCO in 2001. Located in the highest part of the town and Mudejar style , it was built by the same architect who made the Castle of the Papa Luna (in Peñíscola), Muhammad Ramí. A fortress church of the fifteenth century that was completely destroyed during the Civil War.
In the 60s and 70s, a cereal store was used, and in 1983 its restoration began, being today since 2017 a cultural space, and today the first museum of mummies nationwide. The building is known as 'El Piquete' due to its location on the Cerro de la Corona and its tower.
Iker Jiménez, who dedicated a program to his discovery and who has also echoed the opening of the museum, congratulates Quinto on his Fourth Millennium program "for making our history attractive, although overwhelming, for making material heritage with our history" .
Quinto is a municipality of the Ribera Baja del Ebro, which just 40 kilometers from Zaragoza through the National Highway 232, saves much more.
At the foot of the same museum there are two car parks, but you can also choose to park in the lower part of the town, next to the Town Hall, and be able to take a walk through the town and do, for example, the recommended Route of the Portals.
“We have prepared a package for groups in which we offer to visit the town through the Route of the Portals that runs through the old part of Quinto visiting the three medieval doors that closed the town center. Also the Casa del cura which is a large Renaissance building undergoing restoration, or the Old Square and the Church of San Juan, " recommends the mayor.
To eat, near the church we find a large recreation area with picnic tables, we can also see the views of the Ebro valley if we walk a little farther where the hill ends, where a balcony is produced on the farmhouse of Quinto.
But we can also go down to the village and eat at the Arco Iris Restaurant Bar, where we recommend the Ternasco de Quinto in the oven and the sirloin in the foie, or at the Mallor Restaurant, where to eat fried ear, the lid called “bolonuda” and themed desserts .
These hospitality, shops and services offer discounts to the museum visitor.
Other nearby places to make our experience more complete are The Monastery of Our Lady of Rueda, in Sastago, The Old Town of Belchite, scene of one of the most symbolic battles of the Civil War, or Fuendetodos, with the museum of engraving and the House of Goya. And, of course, Zaragoza.