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Altamira´s caves

 In the town of Santillana del Mar, in the western part of Cantabria:

Altamira´s caves 

Declared Patrimony of the Humanity by the UNESCO, it was discovered by Marcelino Sanz de Saotuola in 1879, Altamira's cave is placed in the enclosure of Altamira's museum, in one of the hills that surround the quiet and nice valley where the universal Santillana del Mar is sited.

A little history:

Its discovery provoked, in the epoch, strong discrepancies among archeologists, who did not believe the prehistoric men could have such virtues and endowments to represent so much quality and perfect paintings. Nevertheless, the main room, called room of polícromos, has been considered like "Capilla sistine Quaternary art.

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In its roof there are represented almost a hundred of animals and signs, emphasizing all 21 bisons in different attitudes, accompanied by other animals as deer, horses, goats; besides signs, hands and human figures, carried out with diverse skills - engraving, painted, scraped and shading effects - that give as result a composition of great movement and beauty, unique in the Palaeolithic art. It was made 14.000 years ago. The rest of the cave (that has a longitudinal length of 270 m) contains numerous engravings, even more ancient, and an important archaeological site in the foyer.

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At present and from September, 2002, Altamira's cave is closed the public in order to preserve it. A museum exists with a model of excellent representative quality where every day lots of visitors from the whole world meet  to see this marvel of Cantabria.

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Tour times:

 From October to May: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00

From June to September: Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 to 19:30, Sunday from 9:30 to 17:00
Closed: Every Monday and on days 1 and 6 January, 1 May 1924, 25 and 31 December

Phone reservations:

 Tel: 942 81 80 05

Fax: 942 84 January 1957