Eusko Jaurlaritza - Gobierno Vasco

Department of Culture

The discovery, 1916

Entrance to the Santimamiñe cave in Kortezubi, Bizkaia. It was thanks to the curiosity of a group of boys that the Santimamiñe cave paintings were discovered. They adventured into the cave and climbed up a narrow gallery they found to one side around 60 yards from the entrance, coming upon a chamber containing the principal group of paintings. Access is now easy thanks to the metal staircase installed, since otherwise the climb would be quite complicated.

One of the boys told one of his secondary school teachers what they had found, and the news soon reached composer Jesús Guridi, who informed the Government Office in the Basque Country. The cave was then closed to prevent the paintings from being damaged.

This was a period of discoveries related to Palaeolithic wall art. Altamira was authenticated ater the initial findings in the Dordogne towards the end of the 19th century, and many other sites were discovered during first two decades of the 20th century, including Santimamiñe.

Fecha de la última modificación: 22/02/2006