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 well preserved. The caves are inscribed as masterpieces of creative genius and as the humanity’s earliest accomplished art. They are also inscribed as exceptional testimonies to a cultural tradition and as outstanding illustrations of a significant stage in human history.

Altamira was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as a key location of the Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain.


Your name


Founded: 36,000 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nils Götzen (5 months ago)
Tickets are only available locally at the counter and sold out at 9:30!!!!!! No tickets online, no reservation possible!!! What a joke! Spain, please wake up’
David Richards (5 months ago)
Looking at the website as it will form part of a road trip around Spain next year. Website and app are most informative and most certainly of great use in planning a visit. Really looking forward to seeing Altamira.
Will Bagnall (6 months ago)
Very well put-together exhibition, English translations of information was much appreciated. Shame that the temporary exhibition was closed due to Corona Virus though. Video of the history of the cave paintings was slightly dated, but still very informative. The recreations of the cave paintings were very impressive
Sara Alarcon (6 months ago)
Very nice museum... My only complain is that since the corona virus you have to wait a lot to enter and there's no bar or restaurant around to relax and wait...
Jose Garrido (6 months ago)
A good simulation of the original.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Augustusburg Palace

Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.

In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.

UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.

In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.