The Cave of Altamira is situated near the historic town of Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain. It is a historic cave that features the polychrome rock painitings of human hands and mammals. Also the cave along with its paintings has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The cave measures 296 meters long and features a sequence of chambers. Solutrean deposits belonging to 18,500 years back and Magdalenean belonging to 16,500 years back were discovered in this cave during the archaeological excavations. These relics belong to the period of Old Stone Age or Paleolithic Age. Also this cave was the main shelter for the wild animals in that period.
The images inside the cave were made using ochre and charcoal. The painters also used natural outlines to the paintings to deliver a three dimensional effect.
Among the paintings the Polychrome ceiling is an outstanding structure that displays a group of bison, wild boar and two horses. These arts belong to the Magdalenean period. The Solutrean images feature the images of handprints, goats and horses.
Majority of the paintings were destroyed in between 1960s and 1970s as a result of carbon dioxide usage by the visitors. The cave was closed in the year 1977 and again it was reopened in the year 1982 for a few visitors. In the year 2001, a museum was built close to it which now houses a replica of the cave and some polychrome paintings.