The Museum of Altamira is a place devoted to learning about, enjoying and experiencing the life of those who painted and inhabited the cave of Altamira. The museum’s most attractive offer is the possibility of knowing the humanity's first art, Paleolithic art.
The Museum is in charge of a legacy of maximum value, the cave of Altamira, a milestone in universal art history which discovery meant the discovery of Palaeolithic cave art and one of its most spectacular manifestations. The showiness of the artistic expression of the cave's inhabitants was recognised by UNESCO, which in 1985 registered it on the World Heritage List.
The Times of Altamira
The permanent exhibition "The times of Altamira" gives visitors a closer look at the prehistoric era of the Iberian Peninsula. Different aspects of prehistoric life in Altamira are shown: art, culture, life, etc.
The life of the hunters and gatherers of the Upper Palaeolithic age is revealed through the archaeological objects on display, which take into account their original context and show how they were used and created.
Hunters and gatherers satisfied their requirements for survival by selecting natural resources through hunting, fishing and gathering. Part of their daily routine took place inside the caves, around the fire. Visitors can find out about their diet, the preparation of skins for making clothes and personal ornaments, the organization of the society and its relationship to its surroundings, the economics of exploiting the surrounding environment, seasonal movement throughout the land, and the main archaeological sites in Cantabria.
The protection of the cave of Altamira has been the main factor in the location, design and construction of the building housing the current Museum, opened in 2001 and designed by Juan Navarro Baldeweg.
With its minimalist architecture, the building is integrated into the landscape to form a continuation of the essence of the cave of Altamira and has been designed to house the spaces in which the work of the museum is carried out: the permanent collection, including the reproduction of the famous polychromes room, laboratories, seminar rooms for activities, an auditorium, a library, and a shop.