Cueva de Calaveres Benidoleig. Benidoleig Caves
This prehistoric cave is situated 1.5 kilometres outside the town of Benidoleig on the road to Pedreguer. The magnificent cave is covered in stalactites and stalagmites and is 400 metres long and at some point reaches a height of 50 metres. In places the domed roof reaches over 60 feet in height. Many historical artefacts can be seen here including human and animal bones dating back more then 50,000 years.
The caves name goes back to the year 1768, which is when 12 unidentified skulls were found there. Legend has it that they belonged to the Moorish king Ali-Moho and his 11 wives. This has never been proven, and are more likely the remains of a group looking for the source of a nearby stream.
There is evidence that the cave was inhabited primarily 100,000 years ago by Palaeolithic man. From these ancient times to the present day there are numerous cases of evidence of how this cave has been used as shelter by man, the remains of bones from large prehistoric mammals and stone utensils and tools have been discovered, these tools were probably used to kill the mammals to provide food for man.
Over the years the cave has been used as a sanctuary and shrine with rituals performed and offerings given to ensure the fertility of the local land.
The first explorers to visit the cave at the beginning of the 18th century began documenting the dimensions of the cave and recorded their finding, in 1768 whilst exploring the furthest depths of the caves they un covered the skeletal remains from 12 bodies. It is believed they where remains of medieval Muslim farmers, who had become trapped and died in their search for water. (As written by AJ Cavanilles in 1795). This gruesome discovery gave the caves the name it has today – Calaveres.
This story has become part of the local folk lore and over the years it has given birth to the romantic legend that the cave was once inhabited by an Arabic King named Ali-Moho who sort refuge in the caves with his 150 wives from his harem along with his treasure after fleeing Cid Campeador (El Cid), they became trapped and all inside perished.
During the 20th century the cave was the scene of the first scientific investigations in the field of archaeology and in 1936 was used to store explosives during the civil war. It wasn’t until the 1970´s that the caves were opened to the public as a tourist attraction.
At one time during WWII, soldiers used the cave to store food and repair aircraft engines.
Cueva de Calaveres Benidoleig Benidoleig Caves Opening Times
Open all year
Winter opening times: 10,00 to 18,00
Summer opening times: 10,00 to 20,30
Cueva de Calaveres Benidoleig Benidoleig Caves Prices
Adults 3,50 €
Children 2,00 €
OAPs 3,00 €
For further information please contact Cueva de Calaveras direct on +34 966 404 235.