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Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria

Inspect the intriguing ancient objects excavated from several archaeological digs of prehistoric and medieval sites dotted around the Cantabria region.

The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria is a vast complex showcasing about 1,200 artifacts that shed light principally on the period between the Upper Paleolithic and Iron Age eras. It also has a fascinating collection of medieval and Roman objects on display. Piece together the rich history of the region of Cantabria through the museum’s many exhibits. 

The museum is divided into two sections denoting prehistory and history. In the former, which is the larger of the areas, look at the bones and stone tools unearthed in some of the nearby caves, including El Pendo, Altamira and La Garma.

Browse the exhibits on more recent history to learn about the medieval period in Cantabria. Among the highlights is the ivory belt buckle found in the Santa María de Hito excavation site. Embark on a guided tour of the complex and chat with the docents for a detailed understanding of the various time periods.

The museum itself dates back to the early 20th century, based upon the collection of Spanish archaeologist Jesús Carballo García. It initially lay within the Sobrellano Palace and is currently based in the 19th-century Mercado del Este building. Take a virtual tour of the modern-day museum on its official website.

The site opens to the public Tuesday through Sunday from morning until early afternoon and again for several hours in the early evening. There is a fee to enter, with discounts for children. 

The Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria is in the historic center of Santander, just north of the Jardines de Pereda and its lively promenade. Walk northeast from the Santander railway station for about 10 minutes to reach the site. Make sure to see other nearby attractions such as the Plaza Porticada, the Centro Botín and the Santander Cathedral.


Guide to Exploring Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology of Cantabria


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