The Ribesalbes Baronage Museum is a young, dynamic and educational museum.
It is young because it was opened on 29 May 1999, although it houses numerous wonders from the past. Dynamic because it constantly receives the latest palaeontological findings from all around the world, which makes it necessary to periodically update the contents of some of its display cabinets.
Both foreign and Spanish biologists and palaeontologists regularly visit the museum to study its fossils, which makes La Baronía a living museum that constantly evolves and renews itself. Its various posters and graphics confer on it a didactic function, they present all of the geological eras, and offer supplementary information about the fossils, and about the famous site “La Rinconada”.
This site is located in Ribesalbes and is one of the world’s best lacustrine sites from the early Miocene period. New species of fossilised insects have been discovered there, which are now holotypes in Madrid's Museo de Ciencias Naturales (Museum of Natural Sciences).
The fossils from this site are between 21.5 and 23 million years old, and correspond to the early Burdigalian era. Their importance also lies in the fact that they allow us to study how modern-day insects and plants evolved, by comparing them with these fossils. This allows us to understand more about the climate and habitats of the past that made the development of certain species of fauna and flora possible.
The town museum houses a large collection of fossilised leaves, insects and amphibians from this site, such as a collection of fossilised vertebrates and invertebrates from around the world.
All geological periods are very well represented in the museum. One section also holds copies of dinosaur skulls and there is an interesting section on prehistory. The museum is managed by Juan Antonio García Vives and Manuel Saura Vilar, the museum directors.
The museum is open to visitors on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9 AM to 2 PM. Entry is free. It is also possible to organise group and private visits outside official opening hours by contacting the town hall at +34 964 625 001.