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Cantabria Prehistory and Archaeology Museum (MUPAC)

Cantabria (Spain)

Natural Environment:

The museum is located in the centre of Santander, near the bay on which the city is situated, with a landscape of dunes, beaches and mountains to the south. Paseo de Pereda and the Port, two characteristic elements of the city, are near the museum.

Regional Archaeological Context:

Cantabria Prehistory and Archaeology Museum conserves all the artefacts and remains recovered by archaeological excavations in the region. It therefore has collections of stone and bone objects from all the decorated caves, such as La Garma, Altamira, El Castillo and El Pendo.

Site History:

The Museum was founded in the early twentieth century with the material collected mainly by J. Carballo. It was initially located in Sobrellano Palace in Comillas, and officially opened by King Alfonso XIII in 1926. Its collections have increased each year with the artefacts of all ages recovered by archaeological excavations in Cantabria. However, the specialisation of regional archaeology in Palaeolithic sites has led to this period of prehistory being represented by a large sample of objects.

Archaeological evidence at the site:

Palaeolithic portable art, and prehistoric and historical archaeology.

Short Description:

The museum is divided into two parts: Prehistory and History. The first part is given the largest exhibition space. It can be visited from different viewpoints: on one hand, the evolution in stone tools and therefore material culture and technical process can be appreciated, while on the other, a selection of the main collections from caves in the region, and the periods each one represents, can be studied. The greatest importance is given to the Palaeolithic, but other prehistoric periods and ancient History, particularly the Roman Age and the Middle Ages, are also exhibited.


Prehistory and History of Cantabria

Entrada al museo

Type of Site: Museum
Adress: Permanent exhibition open to the public: Mercado del Este, c/General Mola s/n, 39003 Santander. Research Centre: c/ Los Castros, 39006 Santander. 
Telephone: 942 207 109
Fax: 942 207 106
Website: www.culturadecantabria.com / www.museosdecantabria.com
E-mail: mupac@cantabria.org

State/Region: Cantabria
Province: Cantabria
Municipality: Santander
Town: Santander

Opening Times:

  • Open from Tuesday  to Sunday. (except for public holidays when the museum remains open).
  • Will also remain closed  1st and 6th January; 24th, 25th, 31st December.


  • From 1st October to 30th April: 10 to 14h and from 17 to 19.30h.
  • From 1st May to 30th September: 10 to 14h. and from 17 to 20h.
  • Saturday, Sunday and holiday: 10 to 14h. and from 17 to 20h.
  • The Museum offers guided tours at this time: 10:30; 12:30; 17:15; 17:45 h.
  • Duration of guided visits: 45 minutes.


Normal: 5 € (major of 12 years)
Reduced: 2 € (from 4 to 12 years, both inclusive)
Free: from 0 to 3 years (both inclusive)

Museum services:

  • Guided tours except Sunday in the afternoon.

  •  Specialized library (upon request and authorization).

  • Official Web: http://www.museosdecantabria.es/web/museoscantabria/prehistoria/museo/el_museo

  • Virtual visit: http://www.semarac.com/semarac/panoramas/Mupac/MUPAC.html

Booking and access:

  • Visits can be booked by telephone +34 942 20 99 22

The Museum is focused on the exhibition of outstanding collections of archaeological artefacts, which also serve as a context for the rock art in the caves of Cantabria. Audiovisual presentations and interactive displays. The great importance of the museum is based on the exhibition of authentic objects.

Activity Workshops:

The museum offers educational activities for school groups, adapted to their level. The three aspects are: a guided visit to all or part of the museum, depending on their teacher’s choice; a discovery game; and handling prehistoric implements. Further activities are organised on special days in the year. Children’s visits at weekends.

Nearby cultural destinations:

Cultural destinations in the city of Santander are: the Municipal Art Gallery and Exhibition Halls, the Cathedral, Menéndez Pelayo Library, Magdalena Palace, Cantabria Maritime Museum. The nearest rock art site is El Pendo Cave, 7km away.

Nearby natural destinations:

Bay of Santander, Mataleñas Park and the area of Bellavista Lighthouse. Somo Dunes, Liencres Dunes and Park. Cabárceno Nature Park.

Accommodation and Restaurants near the site:

There is a large offer of hotels and restaurants in Santander. 
See: www.turismodecantabria.com


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