The entrance to the Museum of the Volcanoes.
The Museum of the Volcanoes
Housed in a Noucentista-style building that is of itself worth a visit, Olot’s Museum of the Volcanoes awaits you in the midst of the Parc Nou, a former manorial garden now converted into a botanical park.
Here you will be able to discover the hows and the whys behind these sleeping giants that abound in the Garrotxa
The building is set in the midst of an enchanting landscape, in a romantic garden with English-gardening features that formed part of an earlier manorial estate. The museum’s ten-acre grounds include a woody zone with items of great botanical interest and autochthonous species, such as a majestic wood of oak and boxwood trees that is well worth strolling through.
The museum itself is housed in Torre Castanys, an elegant building designed by the architect Josep Fontserè that one enters up a large flight of steps dominating the façade.
Once visitors are inside the museum’s comfortably visitable dimensions, they will find clear explanations of the characteristics of the Garrotxa county’s physical setting. In order to make the visit more educational, the county’s seismic and volcanic phenomena and main ecosystems are presented through charts, photographs and illustrations. The first part of the exhibition provides visitors with an in-depth insight into the great mysteries of volcanoes, as well as a first-hand experience of what it feels like when the ground all around is trembling.
The flora and fauna are featured as well.
This is followed by a ten-minute video that takes you back to mediaeval Olot, the epoch in which the city was destroyed by an earthquake. Here you really feel the earth moving right under your feet, in an effect achieved by means of an earthquake simulator, a hydraulic platform that conveys perfectly the sensation those former inhabitants of the Garrotxa county capital must have felt when shaken by active volcanoes. Here, of course, you can rest assured in the knowledge that it is only a mock-up and that these mountains are now totally dormant.