The Ayamonte’s Association for Brotherhoods (Agrupación de Cofradías y Hermandades de Ayamonte) was founded on 10th February 1941 with the intention of bringing all the brotherhoods together to help make the Semana Santa processions even better.
The museum is in the brotherhoods headquarters which on Calle Jovellanos right beside the Mercedes Temple. It occupies the whole of the top floor and you access it by going up a marble stairs from the interior patio.
The building itself dates back to 1640 and was built by Diego Pérez Mestre and over the centuries has been used for many different services from convent to maritime school and it wasn’t until April 2002 that it was handed over to the Ayamonte’s Association for Brotherhoods by the Town Hall. A year later on April 12th 2003 the museum of over 500 square metres was opened to the public.
Once you enter the museum you see a corridor which goes around the whole of the patio and the walls are lined with the posters of all the Semana Santas since they started doing posters which was in early 1940’s. Then as you reach the end of the corridor you will see photos of Semana Santa, many being winning photos of the photo competition that the Association runs every year.
Clothing / attire
If you know nothing about Semana Santa or the style of clothing that is worn by the people who take part in the processions, you are in for a real surprise. The attire is something akin to what the Klu Klux Klan wore and the mannequins which are spread around the corridor can be quiet intimidating. The eyes staring out at you from behind the capirote (this cone shaped hood) gets me every time.
Each of the nine brotherhoods has their own attire and all of them are represented in the museum. Of course seeing them on the street is by far the best but if you cannot make it to Ayamonte during Semana Santa it gives you a good insight as to what goes on.(Also see the the semana santa video)
Exhibit Hall / La Sala de Exposiciones
While the whole museum is an exhibit, the exhibit hall houses itinerant exhibitions from time to time and has thrown up many pleasant surprises over the various occasions I have visited the museum. The most memorable being an exhibition of Semana Santa where the thrones that are carried around the town during Semana Santa were all made in miniature by APROSCA a local association of parents and protectors of Children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Meeting Room / Sala de Juntas
This Sala de Juntas located at the end of the corridor on the right is where the heads of all the brotherhoods meet and where the original painting of the Semana Santa are hung. A little over 75 square metres with a large rectangular table in the centre, with the walls covered in paintings, shields, and medals. Make sure you see this room as it’s worth the visit, sometimes it is locked so just ask the caretaker to open it up so you can see.