An iconic building on the outside: a universe of cloth and string inside. Located in Plaza Euskal Herria de Tolosa (in the liveliest square in the town, in the former Palace of Justice you will find TOPIC: The International Puppet Centre. Accessible for children aged 0 to 100; that is to say, everyone who still has enthusiasm and a desire to have fun.
The TOPIC in Tolosa is the only comprehensive centre devoted to puppets in Europe. Once you enter the main door it is normal to have a smile on your face that will remain there as you let yourself get carried away by the excitement of exploring the museum: you won´t want the visit to end. Because puppets are special; they bring excitement to the person moving them as well as whoever looks at them.
Visits to the TOPIC can be carried out freely, with a guided visit, or even with staged theatrical visits. A reason to spend a fun day and sheltered from the rain (essential in the Basque Country!). An immersion in a special world where you can return to childhood and discover the place where puppets sleep, discovering well-known puppets -and not so well-known ones - from one hundred countries.
Boys and girls will really enjoy this activity, as the puppets are very accessible and it is possible to observe all the details. It is also possible to learn how they are operated and there is even an area where they can stage their own performance and let their imagination take flight.
Because although it is not usual in a museum, in this one it is possible to touch, move things around and play. Having said that: be careful. The puppets exhibited in Tolosa are pieces that are unique worldwide. Mariona (the star puppet at TOPIC) is responsible for welcoming visitors and explaining everything in details.
TOPIC, in addition to a museum, is also a meeting place for puppeteers from all over the world. It covers 3600 square metres which encompass: a permanent museum, temporary exhibitions, a documentation centre, archive and (digitalized) media library, a stage with a space for 250 spectators, production, testing and assembly rooms and rooms for workshops and courses.
The relationship between the town of Tolosa with puppets or txontxongilos as they are known in Tolosa, go back a long time: in 1982 the Titirijai International Puppet Festival was created. Since then, the festival has become very famous and is a benchmark worldwide. Due to its success, its backers decided to open TOPIC 10 years ago.
The TOPIC is undoubtedly one of the many gems to be found in Tolosa (and that you can discover on our blog!) Whether you are in San Sebastian or visiting Tolosa, we recommend you come and check it out. Raise the curtain!
SPECIAL PROGRAMMING: 23 MARCH 2019
Due to the celebration of World Puppetry day (held on 21 March), this Saturday 23 March a workshop has been organised, along with the show “In the clouds” and the opening of the temporary exhibition “Scenes & Stories” by the Dutch company Speeltheater Holland. There are also two staged theatrical visits: at 11.30 am in Basque and at 12.30 in Spanish.
The museum is located in the Old Town of Tolosa, very close to the Tinglado Marketplace where the market is held every Saturday, and where it is also possible to find historic buildings (consult it here) It is 100 metres from the Renfe train station (Tolosa Centre). In the same square there are lots of bars and restaurants where it is possible to eat or have something to drink. The museum is also next to a hotel.
Tuesday to Friday: 10:00 - 13:00 | 16:00 - 19:00
Weekends and holidays: 10:00 - 14:00 | 15:00 - 19:00
In July, August and September (working days): 10:00 - 14:00 | 15:00 - 19:00
More staged theatrical visits will be organized (Holy Week, May, June...). Consult the program by clicking here