Let’s delve into the world of fascinating historical mystery facts about Spain – a country that is home to numerous objects which have intrigued archaeologists and historians for centuries!

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5 Stunning Enigmas of Spain’s Past

While adding new stories to my Flipboard History Magazine this week, I felt so inspired by all the ancient civilizations and the legacies they left behind that I thought of sharing five unique historical mystery facts about Spain.

I hope this post will inspire you to appreciate the depth and complexity of Spain’s ancient heritage!

Like any European country with a diverse and far-reaching history, Spain is full of iconic landmarks with a mystery twist, waiting to be explored and understood. Here are a few of my favorite Spanish enigmas that every Spain lover must check out.

Historical Mystery Facts about Spain

1. The Pyrenean Megaliths

One of my favorite Spanish regions, the Pyrenees, is full of unique prehistoric stone structures primarily from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages. Many of these dolmens (also called menhirs and cromlechs) are set far away from the local small towns and can be reached by hiking (like Dolmen Losa Mora, visited during my recent trip to the Pre-Pyrenees of Spain).

Typically, these consist of a series of vertical stones supporting a horizontal capstone. The construction process probably involved a great deal of manual labor and ingenuity due to the massive size and weight.

While many of these enigmatic stone formations appear in local legends, researchers still argue regarding their purpose. Some claim dolmens were burial sites, others believe they were territorial markers or astronomical alignments.

One of the most well-known megaliths in the Pyrenees of Spain is Dolmen de Tella. However, there are many unique dolmens in Andalusia as well, like Dolmen de Menga, Dolmen de Viera, and Dolmen de Soto.

pyrenees europe itinerary dolmen losa  Historical Mystery Facts about Spain
Dolmen Losa Mora, visited during my recent trip to the Pre-Pyrenees of Spain

2. The Lady of Elche

While visiting the lesser-known museums of Madrid, you cannot miss the National Archaeological Museum and its unique Lady of Elche.

With her intricate headdress and serene expression, this iconic Iberian sculpture from the 4th century BCE offers a glimpse into ancient Spain’s rich cultural heritage. The bust is made of limestone and portrays a woman adorned with an elaborate headdress and large wheel-like earrings, indicative of high social or religious status.

Nevertheless, its exact identity remains unknown. The Lady of Elche is believed to have been a priestess or a deity in the ancient Iberian culture, but historians still argue on this topic.

lady of elche madrid secret museums spain
The Lady of Elche – one of the most mysterious historical objects in Spain

3. The Treasure of Villena

One of the must-stops on any Alicante itinerary is The Castle of Villena. This dreamy Spanish castle is known for housing one of the most significant and impressive collections of prehistoric gold artifacts in Europe – The Treasure of Villena.

Dating back to the Bronze Age, the Villena treasure is composed of numerous crafted gold items, including bowls, bracelets, and other jewelry. The exact purpose and circumstances surrounding the burial of this treasure are still shrouded in mystery.

Some theories state it was a ritual offering, others believe it was a collection of items hidden from invaders. One thing is quite clear though – the Treasure of Villena reflects the advanced metalworking skills and artistic capabilities of a highly developed society with significant wealth and access to resources.

villena castle alicante
The dreamy Spanish castle housing The Treasure of Villena, one of the Spanish Historical Mysteries

4. The Roman Aqueduct of Segovia

The Aqueduct of Segovia is one of the most famous Roman ruins in Spain, built around the 1st century A.D. The remains of its initial structure are 28.5m tall and 16km long.

Archaeologists claim that the Aqueduct of Segovia was once one of the biggest and most ambitious projects of its kind, aimed to supply water from the nearest Frio River source (18 km from Segovia). This Spanish landmark is surprisingly well-preserved, generating various theories about the advanced engineering skills of the Romans: many technical details about its exact construction techniques and the logistics remain subjects of study and debates.

There is even a mysterious legend attributing its creation to the Devil himself.

aqueduct of Segovia - landmarks in Spain
The Aqueduct of Segovia – one of the most famous Roman ruins in Spain

5. The Cave of Altamira

The Cave of Altamira is the most famous cave in all of Spain, known for magnificent prehistoric paintings and engravings (some of which are more than 14,000 years old).

It was accidentally discovered by a local hunter, Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola, in 1876. Scientists claim that around 13,000 years ago, the cave entrance collapsed, providing thousands of years of complete isolation for the paintings inside it. This is why the Altamira Caves paintings are incredibly well-preserved.

Nowadays, we still know nothing about the people behind Altamira’s drawings and the message they wanted to deliver.

Since 2001, travelers can enjoy a replica of the cave; however, only a small number of people are allowed inside the original Cave of Altamira every year. There is a 3-year waiting list for those aiming to check off The Altamira Cave from their Spain Bucket List.

You can check out the Altamira cave on a virtual tour right now.

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5 Major Historical Mystery Facts About of Spain

For more Spain travel tips check out my Pinterest board Spain Travel Collection and Flipboard Travel to Spain.

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