Cave of Altamira
World Heritage, a certification granted by UNESCO.
Important examples of prehistoric rock art
The paintings are some 14,000 years old and have the World Heritage designation.
The cave has an irregular shape and is some 270 metres in length. It has an entrance hall, main gallery and side hall, and contains some of the world's finest examples of prehistoric rock art. The drawings are some 14,000 years old and show bison, deer, boars, horses etc. They are painted using natural, red-coloured ochre and outlined in black. To ensure their conservation, the cave structure and paintings have been painstakingly reproduced, using the same painting techniques, in the Altamira Museum's Neo-cave. Visitors can marvel at the details of the great ceiling with its polychrome bison, and visit the painters' workshop, where they can hear an explanation of the techniques used to create this masterpiece of rock art.
- Construction: Caves and tourist mines
- Artistic period: Prehistory
- Setting: The town of Santillana del Mar is 2 kilometres away, and offers a variety of historical and cultural attractions.
Access to the real Altamira cave is now limited to one 37-minute visit per week for five people, with a set route and times they can stay in each place. The Altamira cave visit takes place every Friday at 10:40 a.m. The selection process to pick the five visitors is open to everybody over 16 visiting the museum between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. that day.