Euskal Itsas Museoa

Lonja, working for the sea


The exhibition space LONJA occupies the ground floor of the Naval Museum. It is a living space, galvanised by Albaola, where different elements related to the construction of the replica of the whaling ship San Juan are manufactured, stored and exhibited: barrels, oars, whaleboats, etc.

The building that houses the Naval Museum was built by the Port Authority of San Sebastián in the mid-18th century. The Tower House was created to oversee port activity and the provision of diverse services. According to the By-laws of the Port Authority of 1766, it was the home of the Quay Deputy and his caretaker. It was the deputy’s role to help all vessels, whether merchant ships or warships, which encountered difficulties in the bay or nearby. To do so, the deputy had a storeroom supplied with cables, ropes, cable-laid ropes and anchors of all types and sizes. He also had a “big launch” which always had to be ready to go to the rescue whenever necessary and in stormy weather.

With the idea of recovering one of the original functions of the Tower House, the Naval Museum is opening this space called LONJA where different elements of manoeuvring and navigation such as ropes, oars, masts, etc., are going to be manufactured, stored and exhibited.

Likewise, this space connects the Naval Museum directly to the project to build a replica of the whaling ship San Juan which is being carried out by Albaola, the Sea Factory of the Basques, in Pasaia. It is one of the world’s biggest and most important initiatives in the field of recovery and dissemination of maritime history and heritage currently in existence. It is the first time a faithful replica of a 16th century galleon has been built. Bearing this in mind, the Naval Museum cannot help getting involved with this project. With this aim, the LONJA space houses a workshop where the public will be able to see the construction taking place of the replicas of barrels to transport the whale oil carried by the whaling ship San Juan.

In this way the Naval Museum works with Albaola in the recovery process, recognising the value and dissemination of old trades related to the sea such as cooperage, dockside carpentry, etc. In addition, anyone interested in participating will be able to do so as a volunteer by means of the workshops which will be organised under the direction of Albaola technicians. The Museum helps to guarantee the transmission of this knowledge to society.

As has been explained, LONJA is conceived as a dynamic and living space which contributes to making the Museum an open centre, close to the public and highly active in its work of dissemination of the relationship between human beings and the sea. Through the collaboration with Albaola, the Museum moves forward with another of its main aims: the construction of a network of external relationships which make it a reference point in the initiatives linked to Basque maritime history and culture.

Albaola + Naval Museum combined ticket:

To reinforce this collaboration, a joint ticket has been designed, allowing the holder to visit both cultural facilities.

  • General admission joint ticket: €7.00
  • Reduced price joint ticket: €5.00

Galvanisation and cultural programme of the LONJA space

This space will be accompanied by an associated cultural programme which will take place throughout the year. Albaola will be the organisation in charge of its galvanisation. The organisation will be as follows:

  • Specialised technical guidance workshops for adults: construction of oars, barrels, etc.
  • Workshops aimed at regulated education schools, free-time groups, Basque language schools, etc.
  • Activities aimed at children and families.

Volunteer programme

To galvanise the LONJA space, the Albaola Volunteer Network will participate in the dynamics of the Naval Museum.

In addition, anyone interested will be able to collaborate voluntarily in the galvanisation of this space by taking part in the construction of the replica of the barrels for the galleon San Juan.



Tuesday to Saturday:
10:00 - 14:00 and 16:00 - 19:00

Sundays and public holidays:
11:00 - 14:00
16.00 - 19.00 (from 15th of june to 15th of september)

December 24 and 31:
10:00 - 14:00

Closed on Mondays. Closed January 1, 6 and 20, and December 25.

Ticket prices, groups, how to arrive...