Museo Altamira

History Of The Museum

El Cultural: Altamira apócrifa

Since its discovery, the cave of Altamira has been regarded as both special and fragile, and measures have been adopted to ensure its conservation. In 1924, following the interest shown in the cave by King Alfonso XIII, an administrative board was formed, the first official management body. The museum’s first facility was a building constructed in the typical architecture of the Cantabrian mountains to exhibit and conserve the objects found during the excavations. It also served as the residence for the first guard.

The requirement to handle an increasing number of visitors resulted in the construction of a new building beside the cave in the 1960s.

In 1973 visitor numbers reached 174,000. The microclimate created by the large influx of people was damaging the cave and jeopardised the conservation of the paintings.This meant that in 1977 it became necessary to close the cave to the public.

In 1979, the Ministry of Culture created the Altamira National Museum and Research Centre as a scientific and administrative body to ensure the proper management and conservation of the cave of Altamira.

In 1982, the cave was reopened following research work although access was restricted to 8,000 visitors a year. This guaranteed the conservation of the paintings and kept the natural conditions of the cave stable.

The new site of the Altamira National Museum and Research Centre was opened in the area surrounding the cave in a building designed by Juan Navarro Baldeweg. The protection of the cave of Altamira has been the main criteria for the location, design and construction of the new Museum of Altamira.

Visita de Alfonso XIII
Visitas durante la segunda mitad del siglo XX

Santillana del Mar (Cantabria) 39330 España / Teléfono: 942 818 815 / 942 818 005 / Mapa Web / Contacte / Ver mapa en GeoCultura
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