Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage (IAPH)

The Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage (IAPH) was created in 1989 by the Andalusian government to contribute to the development of regional culture policies, with a comprehensive, multidisciplinary view of its heritage.

As a Public Agency since 2007 and a certified research institute since 2011, the IAPH contributes to the production and transfer of innovative knowledge on heritage and helps direct cultural policies as a smart development and growth factor in Andalusia.

Consolidated as a specialised centre of note in the national and international sphere, it plays a central role in heritage thanks to its multifaceted nature.

More about singular projects:

IAPH as...

A research institute

Part of the Andalusian Knowledge System, a recognition that identifies its role and potentiality in scientific production and its work transferring knowledge to the Andalusian production network and society, in two ways: as a generator of its own research and as a mediator: a policy and research needs planning centre, stimulating research, collaboration and networks.

A body of the administration

Driving it to act as a public service via a selection of services drawn up according to strategic aims and real external demand.

An instrumental body

Dedicated to any issues that might be entrusted to it by the Department and in general the Andalusian Government, in line with the functions and traits that give purpose to the institution.

A business agency

Enables funds and resources to be acquired to aid its activity and economic sustainability.

One mission: cultural heritage


To advance cultural heritage for growth and social wellbeing

The IAPH exists to generate innovative knowledge on heritage, transfer it and shape cultural policy for smart growth and development in Andalusia


To attain institutional excellence and consolidate leadership in research and innovation for the social and territorial sustainability of cultural heritage


  • Specialisation
  • Integrative vision
  • Mediation
  • Participation
  • Innovation
  • Exemplariness
  • Commitment and focus on public service
  • Interdisciplinary team work
  • Transparency and communication

The challenges of today

The transformations in our society in recent years have produced new challenges that directly affect the concept and potentiality of cultural heritage, the role of public institutions and the functions of agents dedicated to knowledge, value and care of cultural assets in all dimensions.

Consolidating an advanced vision of development

Driving a new sensibility that values diversity and promotes social and environmental sustainability through other ways of relating, communicating and acting. Development goes beyond technological progress and economic growth and should be seen as a set of activities that guarantee Andalusia the highest wellbeing, full expansion of its culture, strengthening its human values and the effective participation of its population.

Culture should become the fourth pillar of sustainability and include, together with economic, social and environmental aspects, essential values relating to wellbeing, balance and identity.

Advancing in the concept of heritage and its implications

Heritage is an EMOTIONAL CONNECTION; heritage policies are especially important because of their capacity to generate cohesion and citizenship.

Heritage is a SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION in a constant state of transformation, and it is societies and their members that develop their cultural expressions and who decide which ones to transfer, protect and preserve.

Heritage is a cultural, social, educational and economic RESOURCE and one of the greatest assets Andalusia has for its development.

Heritage should be a CROSS-CUTTING POLICY, capable of supporting and generating social and territorial cohesion by being integrated with other sectors.

Progressing towards a new production model

Knowledge of heritage can and should generate value for Andalusian society. Innovating in heritage today means reflecting, committing and positioning ourselves in three complementary areas: thought, applied practice and management. Qualifying human capital, generating and transferring knowledge and promoting enterprise are key elements.

Adapting to change as an institution

Cultural institutions should modernise in order to guarantee with transparency that their social aims, quality of performance and management of entrusted public services are fulfilled. It is essential to expand mechanisms of public participation to encompass aspects relating to knowledge, production and use of cultural heritage, not just those of consumption and contemplation.

Our skills

With the aim of developing and updating standards, methodologies and protocols, the IAPH records, analyses and disseminates information on cultural heritage, researching theories, methods and technologies for documenting it, and executes interdisciplinary tangible and intangible property conservation and promotion projects. At the same time, it offers specialised consulting and analysis services and a wide range of training designed to improve the skills of Andalusia’s professional sector.

Development of protocols for cultural heritage documentation, research, conservation and management

  • Methodologies, protocols and technical recommendations for heritage documentation
  • Conservation methodologies and protocols

Technical and analytical consulting

  • Historical studies
  • Valuation and appraisal of cultural assets
  • Conservation analysis and diagnostics
  • Feasibility studies
  • Preventive conservation
  • Scientific/technical judgements
  • Desk studies
  • Heritage information systems
  • Management of document, graphic and bibliographic collections
  • Analysis, diagnosis and heritage strategies for sustainable territory management of heritage
  • Designing participatory processes for the sustainable management of cultural heritage
  • Proposals for additions of cultural assets on the UNESCO List of World Heritage and Intangible Cultural
  • Heritage onto their Urgent Safeguarding List


  • Scientific research on cultural heritage
  • Documenting and studying cultural heritage
  • Conservation of tangible and intangible property
  • Promotion of scientific culture and participation of citizens
  • Heritage and tourism management: routes and itineraries, museum preservation and promotion, management plans, etc.
  • Digitalisation of archives, graphic, bibliographic and document collections
  • Landscape guides
  • Development of training programmes
  • Archaeological projects
  • Graphic and audiovisual documentation of cultural heritage
  • Running professional conferences
  • Editorial projects
  • Promoting heritage during intervention processes

Example experiences

Improving heritage information and documentation:

  • Development of training programmes
  • Digital Guide on Andalusia’s Cultural Heritage
  • Guide to the Historic Urban Landscape of Seville
  • Record of Landscapes of Cultural Interest
  • Atlas of Intangible Heritage
  • Library, media library and archive
  • Andalusian Registry of Contemporary Art
  • Thesaurus of Andalusian Historical Heritage
  • Underwater Archaeological Map

Intervention in tangible and intangible property:

  • Royal Chapel of Granada
  • Giraldillo (statue at the top of the bell tower). Seville Cathedral
  • Works from the Museum of Málaga
  • Altarpiece of Santa Ana (Triana)
  • Paintings by Murillo, Velázquez and Zurbarán
  • Collection of the Palacio de San Telmo, Seville
  • Santo Cristo de la Salud Church in Málaga
  • Parts from La Joya necropolis (Huelva)
  • Landscape intervention at Bolonia Cove

Education and dissemination:

  • Specialised training: courses and Masters
  • Website and social media
  • PH magazine
  • Accompanied stays
  • Educational projects: Immerse Yourself, Let’s Fix Pinocchio, etc.
  • Educational programme with the Descubre Foundation
  • Open days

Competitive projects:

  • RIMAR: Andalusia-Morocco visual memories
  • Transhabitat: sustainable development
  • Urban Tangible Heritage of Andalusia
  • PASO: research on the procession platform of Gran Poder
  • European Food and Drink: reusing digital resources
  • HeritageCARE: monitoring and preventive conservation
  • IMAN: Analysis for the conservation of Moorish Andalusian manuscripts
  • Re-Habitar: contemporary heritage and technology
  • Open data on cultural heritage

Networks and collaborators

One of the main features of heritage work is that it is undertaken in collaboration with other bodies.

  • Private bodies and companies
  • Public bodies and institutions
  • Universities
  • International organisations and centres

International cooperation

  • World Heritage Centre (UNESCO): Indications for conservation of historic cities
  • Getty Conservation Institute: Methodology for conservation of polychrome wood altarpieces
  • Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute of Brazil (IPHAN): Valuation of the cultural landscape of the Jesuit missions of the Guaranis
  • Ecuador’s Ministry of Culture and Heritage: Strengthening public policy on cultural heritage management
  • Chile’s National Centre for Conservation and Restoration (CNCR-DIBAM): Framework collaboration programme
  • Kingdom of Morocco Ministry of Culture: RIMAR - Recovering the visual memories on Andalusia-Morocco
  • French National Institute for Cultural Heritage (INP): Programme of stays for students of conservation and restoration


The Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage has 2 main offices on Andalusian soil.

Central office

Located in Seville in the old Monastery of Santa María de las Cuevas, also known as the Monastery of La Cartuja, it was renovated by the architect Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra for the Seville Expo’92. The IAPH shares the space in La Cartuja, an area of 12 hectares with over 35,000m2 of buildings, with the International University of Andalusia and the Andalusian Contemporary Art Centre.

Centre of Subaquatic Archaeology (CAS)

Located in the Spa of Nuestra Señora de la Palma y el Real in Cádiz since 1998, this 1920s building was declared Heritage of Cultural Interest (BIC in Spanish) by the Regional Government of Andalusia’s Department of Culture in 1990.


Six equipped conservation and restoration WORKSHOPS with the aim of encompassing intervention in all kinds of assets:

  • Polychrome wood sculpture workshop
  • Easel painting workshop: wood, fabric, metal, etc.
  • Fabric workshop
  • Document and bibliographic heritage workshop: documents, books, drawings and graphic works
  • Archaeological heritage workshop: wall painting, plaster, stone material, mosaics, tiling, archaeological ceramics and glass
  • Silver workshop: silversmithing and working with precious metals

Laboratories for chemical, biological and geological analysis with the latest equipment.

Equipment for photographic and image technology.

Classrooms for teaching, equipped conference room, library and meeting rooms.

Total area of facilities: 7.667m²

Commitment to quality

The IAPH is an institution geared towards public service and committed to providing quality services.

The IAPH is aware of the importance of maximising the quality of its services (available at, its user satisfaction and respect for the environment through a Quality and Environmental Management System based on:

  • Continual innovation in science and technologies applied to the reality of heritage
  • Production and transfer of specialised knowledge
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of its resources to offer an expert service
  • Development of a wide, varied range of services that is continually updated to meet user needs
  • Guaranteed control of our processes to offer the highest quality
  • Professional training of staff
  • Promoting a culture of respect for the environment

In its 3 decades working at the service of cultural heritage, the Andalusian Institute of Historical Heritage has received awards and mentions from nationally renowned institutions for its experience and dedication to heritage work:

  • Hispania Nostra Award 2015, category: territory or landscape intervention, for landscape action at Bolonia Cove, Cádiz
  • HUMAN 2013 award from the University of Cádiz for knowledge transfer, especially in underwater archaeological heritage
  • AR&PA Award 2012, granted by the Castilla-León Regional Government
  • Finalist in the ABC Awards for the best institutional website 2012
  • GECA Award 2010, granted by the Andalusian Association of Cultural Management Professionals for its contribution to cultural management training
  • 3rd Royal Foundation of Toledo Award in 2007 in recognition of its work defending heritage nationally and internationally and being an example to follow in understanding cultural heritage in modern societies
  • 10th National Award for Restoration and Conservation of Cultural Heritage in 2006 for its notable conservation and restoration work, especially work that concluded in the replacement of the original Giraldillo (top sculpture) of the Giralda de Sevilla (bell tower of Seville Cathedral)


  • more of 30 years of experience
  • over 100 professionals
  • 7 workshops for conservation and restauration
  • 6 laboratories of scientific analysis
  • more of 17.000 students
  • more of 650 stages
  • more of 150 publications
  • more of 10.000 goods restored
  • more of 115.000 goods registered
Scientific texts


Built heritage

Cultural landscape

Underwater heritage

Biological analysis

Chemical analysis

Geological analysis