Archaeological Museum of cave of Nerja
Nerja Cave was discovered by accident on the 12th of January 1959 by a group of young boys hunting bats. Following the initial incredulity, explorations were soon organised, culminating in the opening of the cave to the public in 1960, once the artificial entrance via which it is accessed today had been built. In 1961, it was declared a Monument of Historical and Artistic Interest.
Nerja Cave is a karst formation in which a large number of speleothems have been formed as a result of calcium carbonate deposits, including stalactites, stalagmites, columns, flags and defiles, though it us the sheer size of the cavities that house them that constitutes the main attraction. In addition, a series of archaeological remains were also discovered here, including tools, fossils and paintings, unsurprising if we consider that the cave was first inhabited over 30,000 years ago and had remained hidden for most of the last 3,000, thus protecting this ancient patrimony.
The cave, which is 4,823 metres in length, consists of three main cavities: the Galerîas Bajas, (Lower Galleries), the Galerîas Altas (Upper Galleries), discovered in 1960, and the Galerîas Nuevas (New Galleries), discovered in 1969.
Until a safe entrance can be provided, only the Galerîas Bajas, or Galerîas Turîsticas as they are also known, are open to the public. Near the entrance, in the vestibule, a series of display cases exhibiting examples of Neolithic pottery, lithic work and polished items, along with a site whose floor dates back to the Early Neolithic period, bear witness to the cave’s ancient inhabitants.
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