The Altamira Cave (la Cueva de Altamira), located in Santillana del Mar (Cantabria region), was declared a World Heritage in 1985 by UNESCO. It is known as the Sixtina Chapel of the Paleolithic art. The cave was discovered in 1863, although its paintings which are dated 13,500 years ago, were not discovered until 1879 by Marcelino Sainz de Sautuola (1831-1888).
The National Museum and Research Center of Altamira
Nowadays, the Altamira Cave has been closed to public in order to preserve its paintings. However, people can visit the fascinating Altamira Museum (Museo Nacional y Centro de Investigación de Altamira) which offers a reproduction of how the Altamira Cave was about 14,000 years ago (Neocave), with visit guided, collections and pieces about art and culture in times of Altamira, so as exhibits and activities for children among other things.
If visitors want to stare the recreation of Altamira Cave, they can visit the Neocave that is a reconstruction of the original cave where they can see the Herd of bison, one of most expressive paintings of Altamira and enjoy its spectacular way inside the cave.
It takes about 30 minutes on foot from Santillana del Mar to Altamira Museum. The ticket to visit the Museum costs 3 euros. Tourists should book the tickets in advance to avoid the wait.
More places to visit near Altamira Cave and Museum (Cantabria)
– Santillana del Mar: One of the most beautiful villages in Spain.
– Cantabria: Check here all our posts about Cantabria region (España).