Faro de Cullera
JUN to SEP daily 9-2.
OCT to MAY daily 11-14:30, 16-21.
Adults EUR 5, Children EUR 3.
|Classification:||Tectonic Cave Underground Museums|
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Address:||Museo Cueva de Dragut, Placa Dr. Fleming, s/n, 46400 Faro de Cullera, Valencia, Tel: +34-605-99-27-12, Tel: +34-96-174-67-00. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Its a little disorienting, this cave with museum inside has so many names. All those names contain the words Museo, Pirata, Cueva, Cullera, and Dragut. We guess the cave is named Cueva del Dragut (Dragut Cave), the town where it is located is named Cullera, and the museum inside is dedicated to the Pirate Dragut. Reduced to the basics, it is a maritime museum in a small harbour town, and the most important thing which ever happened here is told in this legend:
On 25-MAY-1550, the pirate Dragut, the lieutenant of the corsair Barbarroja, attacked the city of Cullera by surprise. The Turkish pirate captured a valuable treasure. As a result, Cullera was depopulated for decades. The inhabitants feared the return of the corsairs.
The interesting thing is actually, that the museum is located inside a cave in the middle of town. The natural cave has a strange triangular profile and flat walls. It seem to be a tectonic cave created by the collapse of the cliff. To avoid further earth movements, the blocks were fixed with steel ankers.
The museum is a collection of exhibits about the pirates of the Mediterranean Sea. Since the mid 16th century the Mediterranean Sea was actually full of pirates. The Turks and Berbers attacked ships and coastal towns, Christs were ransomed or sold into slavery. The stories made it into pop culture: Entführung aus dem Serail by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an example. Finally the U.S.A. tried to make a deal with the pirates for their merchant ships, which resulted in the Barbary War in 1801. However, this museum is dedicated primarily to the 16th century life and piracy.
You can see old nautical instruments, historical maps, dresses, coins, and weapons used by pirates of the time. There is also a life-size replica of Dragut in full assault galley, which is a little kitschy. A diorama of the royal town of Cullera in 1550 shows the situation. While it is actually a maritime and historic museum, it is also great fun for childrens and offers pirate themed party games.
This is the only pirate museum on the Iberian peninsula. However, it is not the only one in Spain, as there are two on the Canary Islands. Still it is the only one in a natural cave.