|Location:||In Antequera, 50km nrth of Málaga. Follow N331 from Málaga to Antequera. At a gas station, 1km north of the center at the city limits.|
|Open:||All year Mon-Sat 9-14, 15-18, Sun 10-14:30.|
|Fee:||free, maybe tip for the guide.|
|Classification:||prehistoric cave tombs, chambered cairn.|
|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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|2500 b.C.||built and in use.|
The plural cuevas is used very often for a single cave, meaning some chambers. But in this case it is legitimate, the Cuevas de Menga y Viera are two prehistoric cave tombs. This kind of tomb is sometimes also called dolmen.
The tombs have been cleared out by tomb raiders, long ago, and the litte remains are now on display in the Museo Arqueológico (archaeological Museum) in Málaga. The museum is located in the Alcazaba, the maurean residence.
The tombs are empty now, but still they are impressive. This two tombs are the best preseverd prehstoric tombs in Spain. The were built around 2,500 b.C., which means they are 4,500 years old now. This megalithic remains are about the same age as Stonehenge in Great Britain and the dolmen in the Bretagne, France.
The Cueva de Menga is famous for being the largest dolmen in Europe, and most likely the largest in the world. The chamber measures 25m x 6m, which is about 50% bigger than the Loire Grand Dolmen. The dolmen is closed at the moment, it is said because of structural problems which make it unsafe. A traveller reported in 2002: "Soon a local guide will emerge from nowhere and show you the hole in the fence which gives access to the sites. For a few euro, he will then switch on the electric lighting in the cairns and give you a description of the sites."
The Cueva de Viera consists of a 24m long passage which leads to a square port-hole stone. Beyond this stone is a square end chamber. Its smaller but not less interesting. Unfortunately is is also closed because of structural problems.