Neocave of Altamira

Cantabria, Spain

The neo-cave of Altamira is located in the town of Santillana del Mar (Cantabria). It is a three-dimensional, faithful and rigorous reproduction of the original cave, which is located a few meters from it.

During the visit you can learn about how was the life of its first settlers (the first in Europe) 35,000 and 13,000 years ago, during Upper Paleolithic.

The cave lobby área was dedicated to everyday tasks thanks to the incidence of sunlight, which allowed them to see clearly. There are some recreations of the numerous arqueological remains, that were found in Altamira such as animals, shells, coal and various tools of flint, flagpole or bone. You can also see recreations of arqueological remains of dyes, which were used to make their paintings. The paintings of the Neocave stand out for their almost exact representation in relation to the originals (World Heritage, considered as the “Sistine Chapel” of rock art). The polychrome ceilings are amazing. They show bisons, horses, goats, deers, engravings and signs. It is observed how these magnificent painters took advantage of the reliefs of the cave to give volume to their figures, especially the bison.

It has very illustrative audiovisual content such as video projections or posters so you can visit it quietly and with all kind of information.

You have the option of visiting the original cave through a raffle that takes place every Sunday in the afternoon. The lucky ones will be able to enter the cave, closed to the public due to the risk of losing the paintings because of the the constant visit of tourists in the past. It is only a 5 minutes walk from the Neocave. The original entry can be seen but, as mentioned, access is reserved to a few. Near the entrance there is a statue in honor of its discoverer, the Asturian Modesto Cubillas.

The visit of the Neocueva is complemented by the visit of the Altamira Museum. It is dedicated to conservation, dissemination and prehistoric research. It offers workshops to learn how different prehistoric technologies were used and a permanent exhibition called “The Times of Altamira”. It exhibits objects of daily life and tools of the site itself and others of national and international scope.

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