Most of the Cultural Park is located within the Protected Landscape of Rodeno Pine-forests, which is important because of the relief formed in the sandstones and conglomerates of the Buntsandstein facies, in combination with the mass of pine trees (Pinus pinaster), whose reddish colour shows off the prehistoric rock-art in the shelters and ravines.
Regional Archaeological Context:
The mountains in the southwest of the province of Teruel, the nearest to the Mediterranean Basin of the Iberian Peninsula, contain a large number of rock-art sites, nearly always in rock-shelters, with numerous Levantine and Schematic paintings. These are clearly related to the art along the whole Mediterranean façade of Spain, from the Pyrenees to eastern Andalusia. Classic Levantine themes (archers, hunting and gathering scenes, naturalistic depictions of animals with colour-wash) are present, as well as characteristic motifs of Iberian Schematic art (anthropomorphs, zoomorphs and signs). In the case of the Levantine art, figures in white paint (kaolin) are particularly common and spectacular, such as the famous “Bulls of Navazo” and the main panel in the Rock-Shelter of the “White Ibex”.
The rock art at Albarracín is, together with Altamira, the first to be identified in Spain. In 1892, E. Marconell discovered the famous white paintings of the “Bulls of Navazo”, which then became a key site in Spanish rock art, especially after prehistoric art was scientifically accepted in the early twentieth century.
After a time of great scientific interest in the first part of the twentieth century, this art was gradually forgotten. New interest was aroused by the research of M. Almagro and A. Beltrán from the 1940s onwards, while new sites were found in Albarracín, Bezas and Tormón in the course of a permanent line of research. The sites were listed as World Heritage in 1998. In 2001, Albarracín Cultural Park was established to manage this unique area and the natural and cultural values it contains.
Archaeological evidence at the site:
The Cultural Park has representations, occasionally superimposed, belonging to the Levantine and Schematic cycles. Some thirty decorated rock-shelters are distributed on a long route which is correctly signposted, enabling the public to visit them in a way that is suited to their abilities and interest, while enjoying the exceptional natural scenery.
It is possible to visit up to 26 rock-art sites in Albarracín Cultural Park, one of the greatest concentrations of post-Palaeolithic art in southwest Europe. While some of them conserve very few figures, others form quite spectacular ensembles.
Las Tajadas: three sites are located in the Rodeno formations, representing animals and signs in white, orange and red. The figures include fallow deer and horses (Rock-Shelter of Huerto de las Tajadas), deer, anthropomorphs and signs (Rock-Shelter of La Paridera and Next to La Paridera de las Tajadas), corresponding to the Levantine cycle.
Prado de Tormón: Located in the pine-trees, level ground is the location of two small rock-shelters where white female figures can be seen, together with a black ibex (Rock-Shelter of la Paridera de Tormón) and a red charging bull (Cerrada del Tio Jorge).
Shelter of the White Ibex: This rock-shelter is in a sandstone hill, near the Prado de Tormón sites, on a gentle slope of pine trees with an excellent view over the area. The main panel which gives its name to the site contains a total of fourteen figures in white, forming a scene: a herd of nine goats, males and females in different positions, and five archers chasing them.
Rock-Shelter of Ceja de Piezarrodilla: This site is in Prado de Tormón, in a place overlooking the area. It has a single figure, a large naturalistis bull 66cm long. However, the most extraordinary thing is that it was repainted at least three times in different colours, white, orange and, most recently, black. It belongs to the Levantine cycle.
Rock-Shelter of Los Toros del Barranco de las Olivanas: This site is near Tormón and has easy access. Some 40 figures have been identified, including bulls, deer, horses and other animals, as well as humans in red, black and white. The most interesting figures are a hind in red, a black bull that was repainted and has two pairs of fore legs, and two paintings of hunters with details of their clothes, hair and weapons. There is an outstanding scene of an archer walking towards a wounded hind lying on the ground with its legs folded under its body and its head downwards.
Rock-Shelter of Fuente del Cabrerizo: In Cabrerizo Ravine, this site has two engraved figures, a horse and a stag. They have usually been identified as Levantine art.
Rock-Shelter of the Archer of Callejones Cerrados: Located near the ravine which gives the site its name, with a good view over the area, this site’s best figure is an archer in red in a horizontal position, drawing his bow. This expressive image is used as the logo of Albarracín Cultural Park. Other human and animal figures (bulls, ibex and horses) are painted in yellowish white.
Rock-Shelter of Pajarejo Ravine: Located in the ravine of the same name, among other figures, a farming scene is formed by several individuals painted in red.
Engravings at Masada de Ligros: At the confluence of Ligros Ravine with the start of Pajarejo Ravine. Several groups of engravings have been identified belonging to the Schematic cycle. They include lines, cup-marks, both individual and joined by channels, grids, circles, wavy lines and other geometric forms.
PRADO DEL NAVAZO
Rock-Shelter of the Bulls of Prado del Navazo: Cited by E. Marconell in 1892, together with the Rock-Shelter of Cocinilla del Obispo, it was scientifically acknowledged as Levantine art in H. Breuil and J. Cabré’s publication of 1911. It is one of the most important sites in the Cultural Park and is easily accessible. On a 4m-long rock frieze, 19 figures can be seen, mostly bulls, horses and other animals, as well as five small archers grouped together in the centre of the panel in a small natural hollow. They are all painted in white, apart from a bull and an archer that are black, apparently repainted.
Rock-Shelter of Cocinilla del Obispo: Near Prado del Navazo, at La Losilla, this shelter contains large bulls and a horse superimposed on two of the bulls and some signs. They were painted in white, red and black. The outline of some figures is highlighted by a thin engraved line.
Rock-Shelter of Tio Campano: This site conserves red figures of deer and horses, and a scene in which a human figure appears to lead an animal by its halter. They correspond to the Levantine cycle.
Rock-Shelter of Diverse Figures: This site is in a rounded sandstone formation. It contains animal figures (stag, bull and ibex) and two very stylized humans. The colours used are red and black.
Rock-Shelter of the Stag: A bovine and a stag in red have been identified.
Rock-Shelter of the Half Horse, and Cave of the Yellow Figures: The two sites share the same rock formation with a small gap between them. The figures represented are horses, bulls and a group of deer, as well as a hunting scene with human figures and ibex, in white, red and black. They are all Levantine. In the Cave of the Yellow Figures, three orange human representations belong to the Schematic cycle.
Rock-Shelter of the Two Horses: Located in a large isolated sandstone formation, very near the Rock-Shelter of the Half Horse, it displays figures of horses and a wild boar, in red.
Cave of Doña Clotilde: An interesting Levantine ensemble with Schematic elements, of human figures, animals and plants (very rare) in red. It has been interpreted as a scene of food gathering, or possibly a fertility scene.
The sites in this area include the Rock-Shelters of Lázaro, with human and animals in red, forming fighting or hunting scenes, and the Rock-Shelter of the Black Bull which only possesses the figure that gives it its name. They are assigned to the Levantine cycle.
The rock art belongs to the Levantine and Schematic cycles. The former has been dated to between 9000 and 4500 years ago, while the latter dates from the Metal Ages, between 5000 and 3000 years ago.
Type of Site: Rock-shelter
Address: Ayuntamiento de Albarracín, Plaza Mayor 1, 44100 Albarracín.
Telephone: 978 849709
Fax: 978 618103
Municipality: The Park includes the municipalities of Albarracín, Bezas, Pozondón, Rodenas and Tormón
Town: Albarracín, Bezas and Tormón.
Location: Protected Landscape of Rodeno pine-forests.
We find two principal areas in the environments of the localities of Bezas and Tormón (Teruel). Several shelters whit Levantine Art.
Information and contact:
C/San Jose 17 Teruel
Tlf: +34 661 438323
Tlf: +34 650 103227
C/San Antonio, n º 2 44100
Fax:+34 978 710 262
http: // www.parqueculturaldealbarracin.org/
Days of opening to the public:
Booking and access:
The Visitors’ Centre for the rock art of Albarracín is a small stone building with information so that the visitors can organise their own tour. The Park has information panels and signs along the route to the rock-shelters. In addition, the Visitors’ Centre for the Natural Protected Area of Rodeno is in Bezas (Dornaque). Albarracín has the Martin Almagro Municipal Museum, the Diocese Museum and the Toy Museum.
Nearby cultural destinations
Historical town of Albarracín, Losares Castle in Pozondón, Castle and water tank in Rodenas, Castle and stone mill in Tormón and Albarracín-Cella Roman Aqueduct.
Nearby natural destinations
Cardoso Ravine, Doline field in Pozondón, Protected Landscape of Rodeno Pine-forests, and Canyons of the River Ebrón, in Tormón.
Accommodation near the site
Restaurants near the site
UNESCO World Heritage Site