Tuesday, April 5, 2016

La Cueva de Tesoro or The Treasure Cave....

On Sunday morning we visited the Cueva de Tesoro or The Treasure Cave which is located just 10 minutes from us in a town called El Rincon de la Victoria, Malaga.  The cave is 1500 metres long and apparently one of only three marine caves known in the world and the only one of it's kind in Europe.

There is a legend that says there is treasure hidden inside the cave, hence the name I guess, and was allegedly put there by the Muslim Emperor, Tasufin Ibn Ali, during the 12th century.  And from the 18th century onwards, there has been numerous expeditions to look for this supposed treasure!  The last seeker of the treasure was a Manuel Laza Palacios who spent a good part of the twentieth century, until his death, searching by 'scientific means'!  I guess he didn't find any either!

I was accompanied into the caves by one of my smallest girls, Valentine, she is a 19cm tall, resin ball jointed Person 21 from Secretdoll in South Korea. Unfortunately because we were with a group of other people and it was an accompanied tour, I didn't take any more doll photos inside the cave! (Yes, I'm a coward!)  But here Valentine shows us the blue mosaic tiles and water fall at the entrance to the cave building.  



When entering the cave you can either walk down a steep winding staircase or take the lift that takes you down 30 metres to the first 'room' of the cave, which is called the Virgin room, so named because it was discovered on the 12th of October 1951, the feast day of the virgin Pilar.  In this particular 'room' were found items from two different times in history, neolithic ceramics and flints, and Muslim ceramics.   In other parts of the cave were found Palaeolithic remains from the first Bronze Age as well as paintings.  Unfortunately the areas containing the wall art are not open to the public at this time. :(


The walls glisten with crystals. 


The stone below, which is the higher up stone within the caves, is actually limestone, and with the shapes eroded by the sea water over thousands of years, it reminded me a lot of bone.  It was almost like walking through a giant skeleton! 






This 'water' below was described by the guide, as 'agua dulce' sweet water....of course it is completely solidified.



The rock below, and you have to use your imagination a bit here, is situated in what is known as the Noctiluca's Room.  Besides the cave's archaeological value, there is also the mythical belief that this was the sanctuary of the Mediterranean Goddess Noctiluca 2,500 years ago.  Apparently, the Phoenicians worshiped at the 'altar' of the Mediterranean lunar goddess.  If you look at the rock below, you can see her profile, her forehead, nose, upper lip, mouth and chin, as well as her eye and ear.


You can't????  Ahh then I shall help you here!!  The round hole you see towards the top left of the photo represents the full moon, the curved shape you see lower down, represents the crescent moon and was where ashes and bones of animals were found in the 20th century.  Therefore it is thought that this was an 'altar' to the Luna Goddess and this was where the animals were offered up as sacrifices to her! 







Although the photo below shows part of the ceiling, it reminds me of the hide of an elephant! 
The white 'line' you see in the centre of the photo is actually being formed by fresh water seeping through the stone.  The white, which is salt, is coming from the rock itself.  Below are several small pools of water which sit on the far side of the 'altar' that I showed you in a previous photo above, they apparently were there to collect the blood of sacrificed animals.  Now of course they only collect fresh rainwater.


Isn't it amazing what water erosion can do!  These remind me of organ pipes!



Inside the caves many of the walls contain fossils of marine life.  There were signs of shells and bones in the rocks below.






At the bottom of the cave, or that which is open to the public, are three naturally formed fresh water lakes.  The water was really clean and clear.  It is the biggest area open to visitors and there are also stalactites formed on the ceiling by the filtration of rainwater.  My photos are not very clear because my camera struggled to focus properly in the dark and I couldn't see well enough to change the settings!



The following two photos show the Labyrinth Gallery where you can see some good rock formations eroded by the sea. 




The rock below forms part of what is called the Volcano Room.  This is the deepest part of the cave open to the public and you can definitely feel a slight rise in temperature here, as well as the oxygen seems a little more sparse.  We were approx 46 metres below the entrance at this point.  I would have loved to have gone further but unfortunately they don't allow any 'riff raff' beyond these points!! ;) 


And there concludes my 'tour' of La Cueva Te Tesoro.  I hope you've enjoyed the walk through the cave!

Thank you for joining us :)





  

6 comments:

  1. That place looks AMAZING! I'm sure next time Bailey will indeed join you ;) X

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    1. It really is very interesting Louise. And the ones at Nerja are spectacular, maybe I should take a doll there instead, you don't go on group tours there as far as I remember!
      xxx

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  2. Hi Sharon,
    Wow, how cool! I would LOVE do a cave tour like this sometime. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos!

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    1. You're welcome Farrah and yes, very interesting. I left loads out too because I forgot the info when I was writing this post!
      xxx

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  3. What a truly fabulously artistic cave visit and educational tour although it might have been even more AWESOME had it had a Sasha Doll or two added here and there along the way!
    Perhaps the next time we could ask Brian to do the honours for us?

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    1. LOL you're right Kendal, a Sasha would have been like the icing on the cake, wouldn't it? Maybe next time!
      Glad you enjoyed it though.
      Oh yes, Brian would hold the doll, he's never bothered about what people say or think...I have to grab the dolls from him and put them back in my bag or he'd just stand there almost brazenly with one in his hands. I swear he is actually DARING someone to say something!!!!
      xxx

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