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This exhibition enables you to experience the cave paintings of the Cave of Altamira in Spain first-hand. The original cave has been closed to the public for many years now.

What is the Cave of Altamira?

This centrepiece of the exhibition is a replica of the Stone Age ceiling paintings of Altamira, a cave in northern Spain that is now closed to the general public. The original paintings were created about 15,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic period, the last epoch of the Old Stone Age. In the room in front of the Cave of Altimira, text panels provide a general introduction to the entire Stone Age epoch, its art and, in particular, its cave paintings.

15,000 The age in years of the paintings in the original Cave of Altamira.

1962The year in which the replica of the Cave of Altamira opened at the Deustches Museum.

2Only this number of casts were made from the photogrammetric impression of the cave ceiling.

Exhibition Themes

  • The Cave Room
    The climatic conditions that have allowed the ancient paintings to survive to this day have been reproduced here. Panels provide information about both the original cave and its elaborate reconstruction.
  • The Reproduction
    Work on the replica of the Stone Age Cave of Altamira began in the 1950s and was completed in time for the opening of the exhibition in 1962. A direct mould of the cave ceiling was not possible, so it had to be measured using photogrammetry instead.
  • The Paintings
    These depict Ice Age animals: a horse, female deer and, in particular, bison. The pictures were painted using ochre paints. The bison lying down are painted on natural rock humps and therefore look like paintings and reliefs at the same time.

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