Rock carvings and paintings

Alta Rock Carvings

The Rock Drawings of Alta constitute the most important piece of evidence in favour of the existence of human activity in the confines of the Great North during the prehistoric period. Studied from 1967, the petroglyphs of the Alta fjord in the province of Tromsø were immediately classed among the leading rock art sites in the world. Close to the Arctic Circle, they are a valuable illustration of human activity bet ...
Founded: 4200-500 BC | Location: Alta, Norway

Glamis Manse Stone

The Glamis Manse Stone, also known as Glamis 2, is a Pictish stone. Dating from the 9th century, it is located outside the Manse, close to the parish church. It is inscribed on one side with a Celtic cross and on the other with a variety of Pictish symbols. The stone is a cross-slab 2.76 metres high. The slab is pedimented and carved on the cross face in relief, and the rear face bears incised symbols. It falls into John ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Forfar, United Kingdom

Rock Carvings in Tanum

One of the largest rocks of Nordic Bronze Age petroglyphs in Scandinavia is located in Tanumshede locality, Tanum Municipality. In total there are thousands of images called the Tanum petroglyphs, on about 600 panels within the World Heritage Area. These are concentrated in distinct areas along a 25 km stretch, which was the coastline of a fjord during the Bronze Age, and covers an area of about 51 hectares. Tanumshede ro ...
Founded: 1800-500 BC | Location: Tanum, Sweden

Cave of Altamira

The Cave of Altamira is located near the historic town of Santillana del Mar. It is renowned for prehistoric parietal cave art featuring charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings of contemporary local fauna and human hands. The earliest paintings were applied during the Upper Paleolithic, around 36,000 years ago. Because of their deep galleries, isolated from external climatic influences, these caves are particularly we ...
Founded: 36,000 BCE | Location: Santillana del Mar, Spain

Aberlemno Sculptured Stones

The Aberlemno Sculptured Stones are a series of five Class I and II Early Medieval standing stones found in and around the village of Aberlemno. The stones with Pictish carvings variously date between about AD 500 and 800. Aberlemno 1, 3 and 5 are located in recesses in the dry stone wall at the side of the road in Aberlemno. Aberlemno 2 is found in the Kirkyard, 300 yards south of the roadside stones. In recent years, b ...
Founded: 500-800 AD | Location: Aberlemno, United Kingdom

Sueno's Stone

Sueno"s Stone is a Picto-Scottish Class III standing stone on the north-easterly edge of Forres. It is the largest surviving Pictish stone of its type in Scotland and stands over 7 metres high. Radiocarbon dating at the site produced dates of charcoal fragments to between AD 600 and AD 1000. It is situated on a raised bank on a now isolated section of the former road to Findhorn. The stone is named after Sweyn Forkbe ...
Founded: 600-1000 AD | Location: Forres, United Kingdom

Austre Åmøy Rock Carvings

In Austre Åmøy, specifically at the Meling farm, you can find the largest concentration of rock carvings in Rogaland. There are several fields in the area, with both large and small rock carvings. The largest petroglyph fields are prepared and signposted to the public, while the smaller fields are not accessible to visitors. On sloping rocks lies artwork carved by human hand 2000-3000 years ago. In Austre &A ...
Founded: 1000 BC - 0 AD | Location: Austre Åmøy, Norway

Cave of Niaux

The Cave of Niaux contains many prehistoric paintings of superior quality from the Magdalenian period. It is one of the most famous decorated prehistoric caves in Europe still open to the public. The paintings had been emerging on the cave walls during a long period between 11500 and 10500 years BC. From the very beginning of the seventeenth century the cave was of great interest for tourists, who left numerous traces on ...
Founded: 11500 BC | Location: Niaux, France

Tito Bustillo Cave

The Tito Bustillo Cave is a prehistoric rock shelter located in the small town of Ribadesella. The cave was inhabited by humans (cro-magnon) before the year 10,000 BC. Due to the collapse of the rock, the original entrance to the cave was sealed thousands of years ago, which made it possible for preservation of objects, tools and wall paintings that were discovered in 1968. Based on those objects found in the cave, it is ...
Founded: 33000-10000 BCE | Location: Ribadesella, Spain

Rodney's Stone

Rodney"s Stone is a two-metre high Pictish cross slab now located close on the approach way to Brodie Castle, near Forres. It was originally found nearby in the grounds of the old church of Dyke and Moy. It is classed as a Class II Pictish stone, meaning that it has a cross on one face, and symbols on the other. On the symbols face, at the top, are two fish monsters; below is a 'Pictish Beast', and below th ...
Founded: 500-800 AD | Location: Forres, United Kingdom

Scurati Caves

The Scurati Caves are an ancient settlement and a speleological geological site located in the municipality of Custonaci. The site includes a total of nine caves. The largest cave is the Mangiapane cave, which is about 70 meters high, 13 wide and 50 deep. Numerous ancient findings have been found in the site including rock paintings. Guido Dalla Rosa first explored the area in 1870, surfacing ancient clues of a human pre ...
Founded: 18,000 BCE | Location: Custonaci, Italy

Siega Verde

Siega Verde is an archaeological site in Serranillo, Villar de la Yegua. It was joined to the Côa Valley Paleolithic Art site in the World Heritage List in 2010. The site consists of a series of rock carvings, discovered in 1988 by professors Manuel Santoja, during an inventory campaign of archaeological sites in the valley of the Águeda river. Subjects include equids, aurochs, deer and goats, among the most com ...
Founded: 18000 BCE | Location: Villar de la Yegua, Spain

Himmelstalund Rock Carvings

Himmelstalund is a large park famous for having one of Sweden's biggest collection of petroglyphs with more than 1660 pictures. Some of the depicted boats having a similar shape as the Hjortspring boat. Oldest features have been dated to the transition between the Late ­Neolithic and the Early Bronze Age (1920­1740 BC).
Founded: 1900 BC | Location: Norrköping, Sweden

Sculptor's Cave

The Sculptor"s Cave is a sandstone cave on the south shore of the Moray Firth near the small settlement of Covesea, between Burghead and Lossiemouth in Moray. It is named after the Pictish carvings incised on the walls of the cave near its entrances. There are seven groups of carvings dating from the 6th or 7th century, including fish, crescent and V-rod, pentacle, triple oval, step, rectangle, disc and rectangle, fl ...
Founded: 6th century AD | Location: Lossiemouth, United Kingdom

Värikallio Rock Paintings

The Hossa Värikallio rock paintings are amongst the largest prehistoric rock paintings in Finland. The pictures on the rock wall rising from Lake Somerjärvi were painted in the Stone Age, i.e. about 3,500 - 4,500 years ago.Paintings were painted from a boat or when standing on the ice of the lake. On the surface of the rock wall there are 61 separate figures depicting scenes of hunting and shamanic rituals. The ...
Founded: 3000-100 B.C | Location: Suomussalmi, Finland

Slagsta Rock Carvings

The rock carvings in Slagsta are the largest in Stockholm County. Rock carvings from the Bronze Age consists of 17 ships, three animal figures, a sole, 2-3 indeterminate figures, around 170 cup marks and a human figure. The human figure is characteristically designed legs with strong calves. During the same is a shallow carved ship depicted. The total machined surface is 4.8 x 3.3 meters. Slagsta inscription discovered S ...
Founded: 1800-500 BC | Location: Botkyrka, Sweden

Backa Rock Carvings

Backa rock carvings date back to the Bronze Age (1000-500 BC). There are sixteen separate carvings depicting humans and ships. The most famous carving depicts a 1,5m long man with a spear.
Founded: 1000 - 500 BC | Location: Lysekil, Sweden

St Orland's Stone

St Orland's Stone is a Pictish Cross-Slab at Cossans, near Kirriemuir and Forfar.  The stone is a worked slab of Old Red Sandstone and it is 2.4 metres tall. The slab is carved on both faces in relief and, as it bears Pictish symbols, it falls into John Romilly Allen and Joseph Anderson's classification system as a class II stone. The cross face bears a ringed Celtic cross decorated with interlaced knotwork and spir ...
Founded: 500-800 AD | Location: Forfar, United Kingdom

Camus Cross

The Camus Cross is an Early Medieval Scottish standing stone located on the Panmure Estate near Carnoustie. First recorded in the 15th century in a legal document describing the boundaries between Camuston and the barony of Downie, and described in the 17th century by Robert Maule, it is a freestanding cross, rare in Eastern Scotland. The cross is thought to date from the tenth century, and exhibits distinctive Hiberno- ...
Founded: 10th century AD | Location: Carnoustie, United Kingdom

Astuvansalmi Rock Paintings

The 65 rock paintings of Astuvansalmi are the largest found in the whole of Scandinavia. The oldest paintings are made 3000 - 2500 BC. They are located at the highest level (about 11 metres). The water level changed very fast about 2,5 metres with the landslide of Vuoksi. Later on the level slowly went down 8 metres to its present level. All the later paintings have been made from boats during the different historical wat ...
Founded: 3000 - 2500 BC | Location: Ristiina, Finland

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Cesis Castle

German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.

In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).

In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.

Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.