Nerja Caves mark 56th anniversary

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Monday January 12 marked the 56thanniversary of the day when one of the most important natural wonders of Spain was discovered.

The Nerja Caves were found by five young men from Maro. This district’s residents already knew that there was a cavity in the area, but had never dared to enter it, until on January 12 of 1959, Francisco Navas, Manuel and Miguel Muñoz, Jose Luis Barbero and Jose Torres decided it was time to see what it had to show.

The five young men, who were then aged between 13 and 21, opened the entrance with hammers and entered the cave, where they found two skeletons.

Though they turned out to date from the Palaeolithic period, the discoverers believed these skeletons to be former explorers and felt scared to get trapped in the cave, so they made their way out quickly.

Maro’s neighbours did not believe the young group, but they were able to catch the attention of two teachers, with whom they returned to the caves on January 16.

A few months on the story picked up national attention, and only one year later, the Nerja Caves were declared a Artistic-Historic Monument and later, an Asset of Cultural Interest.

Head of the Cueva de Nerja Foundation, Angel Ruiz, explained that the growth of visits registered in the past year had broken a negative trend established for more than a decade, and that improvement in the facilities would contribute to the overall Nerja Caves experience.

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