THE PILETA CAVE
Prehistoric cave in the Serrania de Ronda
The Pileta Cave Address: 29370 Benaoján, Málaga
The Pileta Cave is situated at the northern part of the Sierra of Líbar and the Las Mestas mountain massif. The cave was discovered in 1905 by the local Shepherd Don José Bullón Lobato but it was the English Colonel Mr. Vernet who in 1911, after some publications about the caves in the British press, gave the caves its fame. In 1912 the experts Breuil and Obermaier studied the caves and confirmed its huge historical importance. In 1924 it became a Spanish national monument. The imposing frescos in the Pileta Caves are some 15 till 20.000 years old.
The Lobato family whose grandfather (Jose Bullon Lobato) discovered the cave in the early 20th C, became La Pileta’s guardians, endured travesties on its behalf, and still serve as its caretakers. Though it’s now recognized as a national historic site,as well as National Monument in 1924, the family still tends the cave personally, arranging limited tours.
It contains an important number of cave’s paintings representing goats, horses, cervids, bovids. Among them, the most important are the ones called “The pregnant mare” and “The fish”.
The conserved remains belonging to the Palaeolithic show an important work by the side of the hunting and farmer human groups. The most important characteristic of these groups is the fact of changing the places where they live depending on the possibilities of surviving, especially concerning the hunting activity. At all these settlements there have been found tools and rest of them with a well-defined Mustherian typology.
You’ll be guided by kerosene lamp. Guides speak a little English. They take up to 10 people at a time on an hour long tour through the cave. We can said that it is the cave with the most important cave’s paintings of Andalusia. A must to see!!
Access: Getting from the parking lot up to the cave involves a steep walk, up some steps made of stone
The Cueva de la Pileta is 250m (signposted) off the Benaoján– Cortes de la Frontera road, 4km from Benaoján.
Ronda’s environment has archived, as remarkable characteristic, a quantity of mountains. That means that the archaeological investigation has leaded to the knowledge of a great number of caves, lots of them already studied by Obermeier and Breuil at the beginning of the 20th century. We will speak another next time about “the Cat cave” on the Serrania (range of mountains) de Ronda, as well.