Cave Paintings

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Altamira Cave paintings
tips & insights

How to pronounce

Altamira: ahl-tah' mee-rah'

What the name means

Altamira means "high view" in the Spanish language.


Altamira Cave is 270 meters (890 feet) long. Ceilings are low.

The main chamber measures 18 by 9 meters (60 by 30 feet) in area. It contains renowned animal drawings. Those of bisons (see photo) are the most famous. There are also human hand prints and hand stencils (presumably done by the artists).

Wait list

Breathing releases CO2, which damages pigments. That's why the Altamira Cave is now closed to the public except for about two dozen lucky visitors per day. There is a 2 to 3 year wait list.

Fortunately, the site has a museum that includes a faithful, full-sized replica of the Altamira Cave. It depicts what the cavern looked like 15,000 years ago.

Learn More

for first Altamira Cave page

Know these
Spain tips and insights

Wonders of Spain - Top 10 rankings
Spain wonder map
Basic Spanish phrases
Spanish cuisine



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