Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain

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Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Techo de Altamira (replica)-Museo Arqueológico Nacional.jpg
LocationNorthern Spain
CriteriaCultural: (i), (iii)
Inscription1985 (9th Session)
Buffer zone2,234.706 ha (5,522.08 acres)
Coordinates43°22′39″N 4°07′21″W / 43.3774°N 4.1225°W / 43.3774; -4.1225Coordinates: 43°22′39″N 4°07′21″W / 43.3774°N 4.1225°W / 43.3774; -4.1225
Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain is located in Earth
Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain
Location of Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain in Earth
Map of Paleolithic cave art sites in the Franco-Cantabrian region.

The Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain (Cueva de Altamira y arte rupestre paleolítico del Norte de España) is a grouping of 18 caves of northern Spain, which together represent the apogee of Upper Paleolithic cave art in Europe between 35,000 and 11,000 years ago (Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean, Magdalenian, Azilian). In 2008, they were collectively designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Chief among these caves is Altamira, located within the town of Santillana del Mar in Cantabria. It remains one of the most important painting cycles of prehistory, originating in the Magdalenian and Solutrean periods of the Upper Paleolithic. This cave's artistic style represents the Franco-cantabrian school, characterized by the realism of its figural representation. Altamira Cave was declared a World Heritage Site in 1985. In 2008, the World Heritage Site was expanded to include 17 additional caves located in three autonomous communities of northern Spain: Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country.

List of caves[edit]

Code Name Location Coordinates Buffer zone
310-001 Cueva de Altamira  Cantabria, Santillana del Mar 43°22′57″N 04°07′13″W / 43.38250°N 4.12028°W / 43.38250; -4.12028 16 ha 12 Vista general del techo de polícromos.jpg
310-002 Cueva de la Peña de Candamo  Asturias, Candamo, San Román 43°27′21″N 6°4′21″W / 43.45583°N 6.07250°W / 43.45583; -6.07250 100 ha Ciervo herido.gif
310-003 Cueva de Tito Bustillo  Asturias, Ribadesella 43°27′39″N 5°4′4″W / 43.46083°N 5.06778°W / 43.46083; -5.06778 243 ha Teverga 06.jpg
310-004 Cueva de La Covaciella  Asturias, Cabrales 43°19′5″N 4°52′30″W / 43.31806°N 4.87500°W / 43.31806; -4.87500 11.3 ha Bisontes de La Covaciella (España).jpg
310-005 Cueva de Llonín  Asturias, Peñamellera Alta 43°19′50″N 4°38′43″W / 43.33056°N 4.64528°W / 43.33056; -4.64528 17.4 ha Llonin Teverga 48.jpg
310-006 Cueva del Pindal  Asturias, Ribadedeva 43°23′51″N 4°31′58″W / 43.39750°N 4.53278°W / 43.39750; -4.53278 69.4 ha El Pindal interior 2.JPG
310-007 Cueva de Chufín  Cantabria, Rionansa 43°17′26″N 4°27′29″W / 43.29056°N 4.45806°W / 43.29056; -4.45806 16.7 ha
310-008 Cueva de Hornos de la Peña  Cantabria, San Felices de Buelna 43°15′40″N 4°1′47″W / 43.26111°N 4.02972°W / 43.26111; -4.02972 25 ha Cueva de Hornos de la Peña (grabados).png
310-009 Cueva de El Castillo  Cantabria Puente Viesgo, Cantabria 43°17′33″N 3°57′56″W / 43.2924°N 3.9655°W / 43.2924; -3.9655 69 ha Cueva del Castillo interior.jpg
310-010 Cueva de Las Monedas  Cantabria, Puente Viesgo 43°17′20″N 3°58′03″W / 43.289°N 3.9675°W / 43.289; -3.9675 69 ha Cueva de las Monedas.jpg
310-011 Cueva de La Pasiega  Cantabria, Puente Viesgo 43°17′20″N 3°57′58″W / 43.289°N 3.966°W / 43.289; -3.966 69 ha La Pasiega-Galeria A-Ciervas (panel 22).png
310-012 Cueva de Las Chimeneas  Cantabria Puente Viesgo 43°17′29″N 3°57′52″W / 43.2914°N 3.9644°W / 43.2914; -3.9644 69 ha Cueva de Las Chimeneas,Puente Viesgo (Cantabria).jpg
310-013 Cueva de El Pendo  Cantabria, Camargo 43°23′17″N 3°54′44″W / 43.38806°N 3.91222°W / 43.38806; -3.91222 64 ha
310-014 Cueva de La Garma  Cantabria, Ribamontán al Monte 43°25′50″N 3°39′57″W / 43.43056°N 3.66583°W / 43.43056; -3.66583 100 ha Oso garma.jpg
310-015 Cueva de Covalanas  Cantabria, Ramales de la Victoria 43°14′44″N 3°27′08″W / 43.24556°N 3.45222°W / 43.24556; -3.45222 1374 ha Covalanas Teverga 39.jpg
310-016 Cueva de Santimamiñe  País Vasco, Vizcaya, Cortézubi 43°20′47″N 2°38′12″W / 43.34639°N 2.63667°W / 43.34639; -2.63667 99 ha Santimamiñe.jpg
310-017 Cueva de Ekain  País Vasco, Guipúzcoa, Deva 43°14′09″N 02°16′31″W / 43.23583°N 2.27528°W / 43.23583; -2.27528 14.6 ha Ekainberriko zaldiak.jpg
310-018 Cueva de Altxerri  País Vasco, Guipúzcoa, Aia 43°16′7″N 02°08′02″W / 43.26861°N 2.13389°W / 43.26861; -2.13389 15 ha Altxerri cave - Antelope.jpg

See also[edit]


  • Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain (
  • Pike, A. W. G.; Hoffmann, D. L.; Garcia-Diez, M.; Pettitt, P. B.; Alcolea, J.; De Balbin, R.; Gonzalez-Sainz, C.; de las Heras, C.; Lasheras, J. A.; Montes, R.; Zilhao, J. (14 June 2012). "U-Series Dating of Paleolithic Art in 11 Caves in Spain". Science. 336 (6087): 1409–1413. Bibcode:2012Sci...336.1409P. doi:10.1126/science.1219957. PMID 22700921. S2CID 7807664.