Cueva Pintada Museum, Gáldar
Parque Arqueológico de Cueva Pintada - Painted Cave Archaeological park
Calle Audiencia 2
Tel. 928 89 57 46
Fax. 928 55 24 02
Tuesday - Saturday 09.00 - 17.00
Sunday 10.00 - 18.00
Cueva Pintada (painted cave) museum, is a small cave with geometric paintings from the Ancient Guanches, which is unique on the island of Gran Canaria. The Cueva Pintada museum is located in Gáldar. Being the ancient seat of the Gran Canarian Guanche kings, the area was considered to be of great importance by the Spanish.
After the Spanish invaded, and finally succeeded in beating the Guanche Canarians, claiming the island, an event which took them many years to complete, they built a a new Spanish town over Gáldar and the Cueva Pintada remained lost until recent history. The Cueva Pintada museum, has several rooms which were once used as cave houses by the Guanche people of Gran Canaria. Several walls were built inside the Cueva Pintada museum, when it was originally dug out by the Guanches, from basalt or tufa without mortar and the cave may have been used by more than Guanche family.
The ancient cave dwelling Guanches didn't have furniture, because they didn´t make furniture as we know it today. You will see, when you visit the Cueva Pintada museum, that they had a tradition of carving their furniture into the structure of the rock when they dug out their caves. These included beds, tables and seats. When the caves at Cueva Pintada museum were excavated, Guanche mummies, tools and pottery were found, however the most famous find of all, were the wall paintings and these give rise to the name, Cueva Pintada or "Painted Cave" in English. The wall paintings inside the Cueva Pintada museum, are red, black and white and of various different shapes which may have been symbolic. They designs and shapes painted on the walls inside the Cueva Pintada museum may have been used to represent female fertility or simply decoration, perhaps they were a form of religious belief or perhaps ceremonial. The fact still remains, that the real meaning of the Guanche symbols is still unknown. For a while recently, the caves at Cueva Pintada museum, were closed because it was discovered that light was bleaching the paintings, raised humidity coming from water seeping through the rock and from body heat were all working together and slowly destroying these historically valuable paintings.
After the modernization of the cueva pintada museum, you can now see into Cueva Pintada and the paintings are covered with a layer of glass to protect them. Inside the Cueva Pintada museum, which now is part of the whole site, you can take a virtual tour of the caves and with the clever use of display cabinets you see many of the Guanche artefacts that were discovered during the excavations of Cueva Pintada.