In the late 1950s, the Ciudad de los Muchachos (City of the Boys) was founded in Ourense, very close to Seixalbo: an educational project, a youth self-management space, an utopia … This initiative of Father Jesús Silva Méndez (better known as Padre Silva) for homeless kids made an impact in the Ourense of the 60s and that culminated with the creation of the first circus school in Spain, whose fame crossed borders.
The Ciudad de los Muchachos is one of the most unique episodes in Ourense’s recent history; at Benposta estate, a “city” managed directly by children took shape; it came to have a council (with democratic elections), a bank that issued its own currency, a supermarket, a gas station and schools. The creation of the circus catapulted them to fame; a (then pioneer) performance without animals that toured Europe, Asia and America, performing in venues such as the Grand Palais in Paris or Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Circo de los Muchachos Museum, promoted by the Padre Silva Cultural Association (created after his death in 2011) aims to recover the memory of this former “social-educational space of integration and training”.
Posters, leaflets and photographs, press clippings, audiovisuals and even costumes and other objects make up this curious collection that seeks to perpetuate the memory of a unique project that took the name of Ourense across the globe.
Monday to Friday: 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Weekends: visits prior appointment.