by Taetske | 7:34 pm
(Last Updated On: May 6, 2019)

Discovering our ancestors, the Neanderthal

 

The province of Málaga is a real treasure trove for those people who are interested in old times. I mean prehistoric times. This province has so much to offer in the form of archaeological sites, caves, dolmens, and necropolises. For those of you who want to find out about the origins of man, here you will find many leads and answers.

 

 

Malaga Capital

Málaga is famous for many things, for having, as many people state, the best climate in Europe. A lot of tourists come here the whole year round to enjoy the beaches, local food, pretty villages and towns, and its colorful and easy way of life. After all, Málaga is in Andalucia which still has, even in these hectic modern times, a quite easy going pace.

Not as easy going as it was 40 years ago. They have picked up speed by now and even if the word mañana is still being used you can expect the plumber to come the next day.

 

Art made 65,000 years ago

There have been archaeological finds in many places but internationally, Málaga was not that famous yet. This has changed recently. It was confirmed that the art in the Ardales cave, made by the Neanderthals, was 65,000 years old.

Suddenly Málaga and its prehistoric past became news and interesting in the eyes of an archaeologist on an international level, as well as to the normal people who became intrigued.

 

Paleolithic and Neolithic people lived here

There are in total 13 important sites, combined with 6 museums, which make the discovery of the prehistoric past of Málaga so exciting.  This period starts with the appearance of hominids in the area around 3.300 BC, the time when the first writings were used. In various areas, the remains of Paleolithic and Neolithic people have been discovered.

Other areas of interest include the area of Ronda and the Sierra de las Nieves, along with the coast to Marbella and in Antequera. The north-south axis of this rural area called Axarquia.

 

The biggest collection of rock art

The Pileta Cave in Benaojan is filled with rock art and has been dated as far back as 40,000 years up to 4,000 years ago. It is the largest collection of rock art in the province that dates from Paleolithic to the Neolithic periods.

This cave has been open to the public since 1920 and Jose Tomas Bullon, the owner and guide for visitors, tells us there are more than 20,000 symbols.

Another cave which is open to the public is the Cueva del Gato (cave of the cat). Sadly this cave has been damaged and looted in past times. The major of the village tells us that in the 1960s 3 skeletons were found inside but not much more is known about it.

 

The transition of Neanderthal to modern man

German scientist Prof. Dr.  Gerd – Christian  Weniger, the director of the Neanderthal Museum is enthusiastic about the small chasm of the  Sima de las Palomas situated in Teba. He stated this is a unique place which has brought to light information regarding the transition of Neanderthal to modern man.

Some of the finds are 50,000 years old. Close by, you will find the Ardales Cave in which many symbols and figures of different periods have been discovered.

 

A World Heritage site

Not too far away from Málaga, you will be able to visit one of the finest megalithic sites in the south of Europe. It is the only natural monument classified by Unesco as a World Heritage site, the Dolmen of Antequera in the Málaga province.

The Menga and Viera dolmens, and the Tholos of El Romeral with the Lovers Rock, and El Torcal form this complex. This is one of the most visited places in the province.

Not so far away to the south is the town of Campillos. There you will find the Necropolis de las Aguilillas, which gives an excellent example of the funerary rites which were being celebrated in artificial caves like in the Dolmen of Antequera.

 

view of nerja

View of Nerja

 

The famous Nerja Cave

Then there is the area named Axarquia. There you will find one of the greatest examples of cave art. The Nerja Cave was discovered in 1959 and represents one of the greatest sites in Europe. It was occupied during the Paleolithic period and used as a cave sanctuary. In the cave, more than 50 figurative elements were found, of deer, goats, and horses.

When I came to the Costa del Sol in 1976, I heard about this special cave. Years later I went there for the first time to enjoy some of the summer cultural functions that are held there. Concerts, ballet, and famous singers have all performed in the Nerja Cave.

 

A memorable concert in the Nerja Cave

I once went to a concert by Monserrat Caballe. She sadly died last year. The Spanish world-renowned singer performed with her daughter Marti. It was a magical evening, sitting in the Nerja Cave.  The cave has a very special acoustic. For those who do not know who she is, Freddy Mercury performed the song Barcelona with her.

I will give you a list of the different museums :

 

Málaga Museum

Here you will find a lot of information about prehistory. The building used to be the former Customs building. It holds more than 2,000 archaeological pieces. Malaga capital has many more interesting museums to suit all tastes.

 

La Arana caves and museum

This is an open-air museum where you will find remains from different periods.

 

Municipal Museum of Nerja

Information and documentation about the Nerja Cave. It is now 60 years ago that this cave was discovered. It certainly put Nerja on the map and most visitors to the Costa del Sol will make a trip to see this village with the spectacular cave.

 

ronda and el puente nuevo

Ronda and El Puente Nuevo

 

Municipal Museum of Ronda

You will find a big collection of pieces found in the surrounding area. Ronda is worth a visit as besides interesting places to see you will be impressed by the spectacular views.

 

Prehistoric Museum of Ardales

This is one of the most important museums of the history of Málaga. Ardales is a rural village and close by you will also find the Caminito del Rey, if you dare you can walk this path.

 

Necropolis-Museum of Alameda

Funerary rites from the third millennium before our time.

 

Conclusion

There are many more places you can visit in the province of Málaga, a treasure trove for people interested in the far away past. Besides enjoying the beautiful nature you will find on your trip, you will be surprised by the nice and friendly people living inland in the smaller villages.

 

el torcal mountains

El Torcal mountains

 

Source: Sur Newspaper, Nov. 9th to 15th, article by Fernando Torres

Photo Source: Pixabay.

 

Perhaps you like to read my post on Ronda.

Unique Ronda, A Special Jewel Of Andalusia

Comments

Tony

Hi

Thanks for this awesome review of Malaga, I have been to several places in Europe but not Spain – With this review I would definitely add it to my future destination

Quick question – We usually like to do a long (12-15 mile) coastal run whilst holidaying. So in Malaga Is west or east more beautiful and are both routes flat and easy/safe terrain to run on? Is it easy to just keep following the coast in either direction or do we need to go inland at some points? 

Thanks for the insightful article

Tony

Jan 09.2019 | 05:00 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Tony,

    If you have never been to Spain I would say do come on your next holiday. This country has so much to offer be it culture, nature, or just a relaxing beach holiday. The province of Malaga is quite amazing as there are enough things to do to fill a holiday and more. Many people come back to enjoy the fine climate, nice food, and atmosphere.

    You asked me about running. It is not flat here. To the south of Malaga, you will find many towns with long promenades. In between, you will find beaches connecting the towns but you might encounter some rock areas where you cannot run. To the north of Malaga, following the coastline, there it is slightly less populated but the coastline has more rocks. You saw the photo of Nerja which is north of Malaga. I live 8km inland between Malaga and Torremolinos and it gets quite hilly. You sometimes see a person running but really not often.

    Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope you have downloaded your free PDF?

    Regards, Taetske

    Jan 10.2019 | 08:07 am

Daniel

I must say that this article is great Taetske. I like to read about the past and it is very nice to learn things that happened and still exists. It would be great to visit Malaga and see all those things closely. Nerja looks very beautiful, it is like a little heaven. Thanks a lot for sharing such nice images and info.

All the best, Daniel

Jan 09.2019 | 05:00 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Daniel,

    I think you told me that you live in the UK? Perhaps your next holiday could be visiting the Costa del Sol. From there you have easy access to many fabulous places in the province of Malaga. Nerja is very pretty with quite a big community of foreigners living there. Everybody enjoying the nice weather, food, and sights.

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment.

    regards, Taetske

    Jan 10.2019 | 07:54 am

Micheal

Great article on these insights..was not aware of these until I came across your Website. This is an awesome post and base on the details outlined I would recommend anyone reading this to consider it as a guide or road map. Hope this article gets shared with more people online to speak the knowledge on these insights..keep up the good work.

Jan 09.2019 | 05:07 pm

    Taetske

    Good Morning Micheal,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    I think it is fascinating to discover our past. The province of Malaga has so much to offer to people who are interested in cave art. 

    Regards, Taetske 

    Jan 10.2019 | 07:50 am

Kehinde Segun

This is a really good post. I’m glad you reviewed the great city in Spain, Malaga. I have traveled to so many cities in my lifetime, but I have never been to Spain before. Reading this list has given me a clear idea about where to travel to next for my summer holiday. Nerja looks very beautiful. It’s just another little heaven on earth.

Feb 20.2019 | 04:02 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Kehinde,

    Nice to see you again. Thank you for your comment.

    Nice to hear you liked my post. I hope you will be able to come and visit the Costa del Sol. I am sure you will be happy to see all the lovely places.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 20.2019 | 08:54 pm

Ty

I love places like these that are full of rich history when it comes to art and culture, theres always so much to learn from the people, and the architecture is always a sight to see.

And these are the types of places where the food is always something to die for, foods you have never seen and spices you’ve never combined. Almost makes me want to go on vacation 

Feb 20.2019 | 04:04 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Ty,

    Thank you for comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Malaga is a mixture of cultures and that you can see in the architecture and also taste in its different foods.

    Do come on vacation as I am sure you will enjoy it here.

    Regards, Taetske 

    Feb 20.2019 | 08:46 pm

Autofreak

From being of the UNESCO heritage sites to prehistorical museum and Nerja cave, this is a place that I’d love to visit in a lifetime. Malaga is lucky that her beauties have not been destroyed by war. In my country, the militant destroyed our UNESCO site, it is really a horrible thing to remember. Who doesn’t like to visit the cave of the cat? Malaga transited a bit towards modernization but her ancient sites are worth a visit. I enjoyed your account of Malaga, you uncovered lots of things.

Feb 20.2019 | 04:04 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening,

    Nice to hear you enjoyed my post on Malaga and her province. There are so many beautiful and interesting things to visit. Even if Malaga is a modern city its old center still show its charm from far away times. I hope you will be able to come and visit.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope to see you again.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 20.2019 | 08:36 pm

Paschal

Arts made 65,000 years ago.  This is phenomenal. I must visit Malaga. I love caves they tell a lot of prehistoric stories and Malaga is good to go.  Thank you for such a wonderful post. The pictures are super and Nerja is phenomenal. Do you have any traveling or tourist agent for Spain?

Feb 20.2019 | 04:06 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Paschal,

    As I have lived here for so many years I am not well informed about tourist agents which have Malaga on their program. As Malaga is a very well known holiday destination I am sure that where ever you live in this world it should not be too difficult to be able to come here. Malaga airport is close by.

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF? 

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 20.2019 | 08:25 pm

AbiodunS

This is a very good and interesting article. You have done a great job in this review and the pictures are very educative. Although I have never visited Malaga before the nice things I have heard about the place through this article is really enticing.

I am a lover of historical and prehistorical stuff, I am going to enjoy my stay in Malaga considering the beautiful and great tourist attractions that are in the province. Thank you for sharing this post. 

Feb 20.2019 | 04:09 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Abiodun,

    Thank you for visiting my website and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded your free PDF?

    Malaga city has many historical buildings you can visit. Many interesting museums you might want to see. I hope you will be able to come here one day, I am sure you will not be disappointed.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 20.2019 | 08:06 pm

Amber

Great post…I’ve not gotten out of the US much but am definitely in need of a vacation. Malaga sounds beautiful and being able to explore the caves with rock art from well before our time is so fascinating and how fortunate to be able to have access to things like that from so long ago. What a great place to visit and learn something too!

Feb 20.2019 | 04:12 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Amber,

    Thank you for your comment. I hope you downloaded the free PDF?

    For trekking and exploring the province of Malaga is ideal. The inland offers exciting places but do take good shoes with you as it can be hilly, there even are mountains you can climb.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 20.2019 | 07:57 pm

Sylvia

Hi Taetske, 

This is one of the greatest articles I have read about Malaga. In the past, a few of my relatives loved to travel to the province of Malaga but, and this is a bit sad to me, just for the sandy beaches and the water.

I know they didn’t do much sightseeing although, I always asked a lot of questions, back then, since I have read in different travel journals what Malaga further has to offer.

I am pleased to hear that the Neanderthals also have lived in this region very impressive indeed.

I would love to hear a concert in the Nerja Cave I only can imagine how the sound must be. I do remember the opera singer Monserrat Caballe, especially, her performance with Freddie Mercury in Barcelona, what a voice both had.

Thank you for this lovely review on Malaga perhaps one day I will travel there myself. 🙂

Feb 20.2019 | 04:16 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Sylvia,

    I hope one day you will be able to visit Malaga as it is certainly worth a visit. When you do then do not forget to contact me as I love to meet the visitors to my website. A pity your relatives did not see more than beaches. Even if they are very nice the province of Malaga has a lot more to see.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Regards, Taetske

    Feb 20.2019 | 07:53 pm

cpanharun

Hi Taetske,

Thank you for this great review of Malaga. If I did not read this blog I cannot find the details about “Malaga”. Every ancient city of Europe has its own historical character, there are rhythms, stories. And, the narrow streets of the historic city are just like the mysterious gaps. Then, if the city of Europe, the world famous artist Pablo Picasso was born, that year, there are sunshine blessings in the city for three hundred days, almost all the years of the temperature are also tolerable, the liberal sea, the better life, the abundance of sea eating – but southern Spain The city, the capital of Costa del Sol – Malaga, to Europe or to the whole world, one of the tourist destinations bound to be. According to the words, in the Malaga town of Spain, spring is twelve months. The magnificence of the city of Malaga was a little over the last few centuries. Previously, to tourists visiting Costa del Sol, Malaga was just a resting place. The typical European character is also noticed in the historic city center of Malaga. I chose Malaga for my future travel. I got a lot of information about Malaga from this article which will help in my journey. I’m going to share the article with my friends.

Feb 20.2019 | 04:25 pm

    Taetske

    Good evening Cpanharun,

    Thank you for your visit and leaving a comment. I hope you downloaded the free PDF?

    Malaga is a lovely city. It offers something for all tastes. The many museums are varied and interesting. The many bars and restaurants offer local food or international so your tastebuds will not be disappointed. I came to the Costa del Sol in 1976 and consider it my home. Malaga province has unusual sites to visit so you will not be bored when you come on holiday here.

    Regards, Taetske  

    Feb 20.2019 | 07:40 pm

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