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La Cueva de los 7 Palacios

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The Cueva de los 7 Palacios is a place full of mysticism and history, because it is an underground cavity formed by a large stone vault along with seven other smaller ones.

This monument, as well as being another point of cultural, historical and tourist interest in Almuñécar, can be found on the hill of San Miguel, which was occupied by all the cultures that passed through the Iberian Peninsula from the Bronze Age to modern times, which reminds us once again that Almuñécar has the title of being the oldest city on the Spanish Mediterranean coast.

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Its construction is due to the fact that, in order to alleviate the inconvenience of the lack of space in the already urbanised urban area of the old Sexi since Phoenician times, the Romans built a platform around the hill to build these vaults, the walls of which were supported by the houses of the time and today many of the private houses in that area still conserve one or more vaults inside them.

Likewise, a temple was built in this area in honour of the goddess Minerva, in the basement of which the most important of the vaults was found, which is what is known today as the Cave of the Seven Palaces.

This is one of the most important urban manifestations of Roman Spain, which was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest in 1931, and has also housed the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Almuñécar since 1984.

The structure is made up of a longitudinal stone vault, which is crossed by seven smaller transversal vaults, which cross the main vault from one side to the other, creating a groin vault in the main vault and a barrel vault in the others. The main vault narrows at the end opposite the entrance.

The materials used in this work are based on slate slabs in the vaults, irregular ashlar in the walls and a superimposed masonry filling in the vaults, and the traces of the boards used in the formwork can still be seen today. This makes it an excellent site for an archaeological museum.

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Inside the museum there are eleven display cases, perfectly signposted and with information panels, in which there are archaeological remains from all the cultures that have passed through Almuñécar and La Herradura, from jewellery, amphorae, vessels and other objects found in different archaeological sites and tombs on the Costa del Sol Tropical.

Amongst these is an Egyptian vase from the time of the Pharaoh Apophis I from the 17th century B.C., which is a unique piece and to add to its importance contains the oldest written text preserved in Spain.

If you are interested in history or simply culture, the Cave of the Seven Palaces is a place not to be missed when visiting the Costa del Sol Tropical.

The museum is open in winter from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 18:30. In spring it is open until 19:30 and in summer it is open until 21:00. Also, all year round on Sundays you can visit from 10am to 1pm.

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