Spilja Vindija

Vindija Cave

Useful Information

Location: 9 km northwest of Ivanec, 20 km west of Varaždin.
Open: No restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave Tortonium limestone
Light: bring torch
Dimension: A=275 m asl, L=50 m, W=28 m, H=20 m.
Guided tours:
Bibliography: James C. M. Aherna, Sang-Hee Leeb, John D. Hawks (2002): The late Neandertal supraorbital fossils from Vindija Cave, Croatia: a biased sample?, Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 43, Issue 3, September 2002, Pages 419-432. DOI pdf
Ivor Jankovi, Ivor Karavani, James C. M. Ahern, Dejana Brajkovi, Jadranka Mauch Lenardi, Fred H. Smith (2006): Vindija Cave and The Modern Human Peopling of Europe, Coll. Antropol. 30 (2006) 3: 457-466 researchgate
Address: Spilja Vindija, Tel: +385-, Fax: +385-,
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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1878 first mentioned as an archaeological site.
1928 first excavation.
1970s intensive excavations.


Spilja Vindija is a small cave in northern Croatia which has become famous for the discovery of Neanderthal remains, which were used as primary source of DNA for the Neanderthal genome project. The cave is a singel huge chamber with a huge portal. It was used as a shelter by Stone Age man and Neanderthals. Other rmeains include the bone of woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis), saiga antelopes (Saiga tatarica), horses (Equus germanicus), reindeer and cave bear (Ursus spelaeus).

The excavation of Vindija cave was the central work in the life of the archaeologist Stjepan Vukovic (*1905-✝1975). He started as teacher, later founded the archeological department of the museum of Varaždin. Today the museum has a wide range of exhibits, many of them from his excavations.