The collection on show at the Fournier Museum of Playing Cards in Álava was started by Félix Alfaro Fournier in 1916 when he took over the family business of manufacturing playing cards. His interests as both a manufacturer and an avid collector led him to build up a collection of playing cards, starting with two 19th century Spanish packs. The collection gradually grew and became one of the finest collections of playing cards in the world.
In 1984 the Provincial Council of Álava acquired the collection, and the museum continued to grow. In 1994 it was based at the Palacio de Bendaña, a Renaissance style palazzo built in the early 16th century in the historic Old Town district of Vitoria-Gasteiz. Since 2009, with a completely new museography and together with the Archaeological Museum of Álava, they are managed together with the name BIBAT (‘two in one’).
The museum currently has a collection comprising over 20,000 items. It includes packs from all over the world, made using many different techniques. They are illustrated with a wide variety of themes and provide a historical overview of the manufacture of playing cards from the 15th century to the present day. The museum also exhibits several machines and other objects used for printing, from the old Fournier Playing Cards factory.
|Recommended duration of visit:||1,5 Hours|
|Access for persons with disabilities:||Available|
|Infrastructure for children:|
|Visitor centre on site:||yes|
|Gift and book shop on site:||yes|
Tuesday - Saturday 10am-2pm, 4-6.30pm
Sunday, holidays 11am-2pm