Castilla-La Mancha Paleontological Museum – Cuenca, Spain - Atlas Obscura
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Cuenca, Spain

Castilla-La Mancha Paleontological Museum

This museum is known as the "Land of the Dinosaurs," but its full-scale dino models are just the start. 

Outside the Paleontological Museum of Castilla-La Mancha stand several fantastic full-scale models of dinosaurs and other reptiles, earning this place its nickname, “Land of the Dinosaurs.” But perhaps the most remarkable feature of this museum is the way the outside exhibits are integrated into the interior collections, many of which are real fossils rather than plaster or plastic casts.

This integration is brought about by the clever design of the building and landscaping. Large bays are created in the exterior space by the shape of the building, forming a naturalistic setting for the models, which can be seen through massive plates of glass from inside.

Beyond the excellent collection of original fossils, the interior also has a limited number of first-class models. Particularly noteworthy are those of the Cretaceous dinosaur species that have been excavated in the Cuenca region, which is home to two important paleontological sites, Las Hoyas and Lo Hueco. One of the most impressive is an almost complete skeleton of a carnivorous dinosaur, which even allows visitors to see the remains of the bones in the creature’s stomach at the time of death. Meanwhile, the site of the museum, overlooking the valley and the Cuenca old town, would be worth a visit even without the impressive displays.

Know Before You Go

Information boards in both Spanish and English are provided throughout the museum.

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