Cueva de la Vieja

Useful Information

Location: Town Hall Square, 1 - Alpera, Albacete.
6 km from Alpera, in Cerro del Bosque. A-31 exit 136 Alpera, CM-3201 to Alpera, in the center left, after the town right, from here signposted.
(39.001534, -1.242534)
Open: All year Mon-Fri morning after appointment.
Fee: .
Classification: SpeleologyErosional Cave ArchaeologyPainted Cave
Light: n/a
Dimension: A=1,100 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Alexandre Grimal Navarro, Anna Alonso Tejada (2010): La Cueva de la Vieja
100 Años de Arte Prehistórico en Albacete, Conmemoración del I Centenario del descubrimiento de la Cueva de la Vieja,
Ayuntamiento de Alpera, Impresor Tomás Ortiz, S.L. (Almansa), 182 páginas con 328 fotos a color. ISBN 978-84-693-9862-3.
Address: Cueva de la Vieja, Town Hall Square, 1 - Alpera, Tel: +34-967-33-00-01, Cell: +34-623-229-456, WhatsApp: +34-623-229-456. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1910 discovered in 1910 by Pascual Serrano.
191? visited by Henri Breuil, Juan Cabré and Pascual Serrano.
1924 declared a Historic-Artistic National Monument.
1985 declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
1998 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The Cueva de la Vieja (Old Woman's Cave) is not a real cave, it's a rock shelter. Nevertheless, it is one of the most relevant rock art stations in the eastern sector of the peninsula. Protected by the rock overhang, there are cave paintings of Levantine and Schematic Art. The Levantine paintings were created between 10000 and 6000 BC. More than 170 painted motifs show 33 archers, 13 human figures, bows, arrows, 15 deer, 10 goats, 5 bulls, 1 horse, 6 carnivores and several quadrupeds of an unspecified species. In the center is a group of women dressed with a garment that reaches the knees. The paintings are made of red pigments, obviously iron oxide, and painted with tools that produced very fine lines. The Schematic Art are 37 abstract, geometric and schematic motives. They show vertical lines, zigzags, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures, and enigmatic colored stains. They are dated between 6500 and 3200 BC. They also used red ochre and various tools for painting, including the fingertips and vegetable branches.

The site is heavily protected, by two layers of iron bar gates, making an appointment is essential. It is operated by the Alpera Town Hall and shown to interested people during the week in the morning, guided by the employees of the town hall. They are mostly there to protect the site, but also well-informed about the background. And they are essential to indicate the place where the drawings are located, because being exposed to the open air and having suffered from vandalism it's quite hard to see them.