World Heritage Photos

Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley

The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in Portugal along the Côa River, a tributary of the River Douro. Thousands of animal figures were engraved on the rock surfaces over several millennia. The rock art of the Côa Valley represent the most remarkable Paleolithic rock art on the Iberian Peninsula. About 5000 rock carvings are distributed on the banks of the Côa River and mainly represent horses, deer, mountain goats and aurochs. There is also a rare rock carving of a fish and a rare engraving of a human form. There are three Prehistoric rock art sites in the Côa Valley open to the public: Canada do Inferno close to Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Peñascosa near Castelo Melhor and Ribeira de Piscos at Muxagata, all close to the Côa Museum in Vila Nova de Foz Côa, situated in the Alto Douro Wine Region. The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are accessible only by guided tour. The rock art of the Côa Valley is similar to the rock art of the Siega Verde in Spain. The Côa Valley and Siega Verde form one of the largest open air sites of Prehistoric rock art in the world. The Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of the Côa Valley and Siega Verde gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1998. Some other UNESCO World Heritage rock art locations in Europe: Alta, Tanum, Val Camonica. World Heritage Art: Valcamonica

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Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in Portugal on the banks of the Côa River, a tributary of the Douro...

The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in Portugal on the banks of the Côa River, a tributary of the Douro River. Thousands of animal figures were carved on the rocks over several millennia. The rock art of the Côa Valley represent the most remarkable Paleolithic rock art on the Iberian Peninsula. The rock art of the Côa Valley is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley and Siega Verde.

  1. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in Portugal on the banks of the Côa River, a tributary of the Douro...

    The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in Portugal on the banks of the Côa River, a tributary of the Douro River. Thousands of animal figures were carved on the rocks over several millennia. The rock art of the Côa Valley represent the most remarkable Paleolithic rock art on the Iberian Peninsula. The rock art of the Côa Valley is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley and Siega Verde.

  2. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - The Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley and Siega Verde became an UNESCO World Heritage in 1998. There are three...

    The Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley and Siega Verde became an UNESCO World Heritage in 1998. There are three Prehistoric rock art sites in the Côa Valley open to the public: Canada do Inferno near Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Peñascosa near Castelo Melhor and Ribeira de Piscos at Muxagata, all close to the Côa Museum. The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are only accessible by guided tour, the visit starts at the Côa Museum in Vila Nova de Foz Côa.

  3. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in the northeastern part of Portugal, along the Portuguese-Spanish...

    The Prehistoric rock art sites of the Côa Valley are situated in the northeastern part of Portugal, along the Portuguese-Spanish border. About 5000 rock carvings were engraved on the rocks along the Côa River, they mainly represent horses, deer, goats and aurochs. The rock art of the Côa Valley in Portugal and the Siega Verde in Spain represent the largest open-air ensemble of Paleolithic rock art in Europe and probably the largest in the world.

  4. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock engravings of mountain goats. Mountain goats, aurochs and horses are most...

    Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock engravings of mountain goats. Mountain goats, aurochs and horses are most common and characteristic among the earliest rock engravings in the Côa Valley. Some rock engravings are difficult to interpret. The rock art of the Côa Valley was engraved into the rock surface 25,000-10,000 years ago, most of the engravings were created on vertical rock surfaces.

  5. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock engravings are mainly of animals, among them several mountain goats, the mountain goats...

    Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock engravings are mainly of animals, among them several mountain goats, the mountain goats are among the earliest rock engravings in the Côa Valley. There are also rock engravings of animals with three heads, this probably suggests the movement of the neck. There is also a rare rock engraving of a human form. Probably, rock art played an important role in Prehistoric religion, myths and rituals.

  6. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of the Côa Valley: A rare rock carving of a fish, the tail fin of the fish is missing due to the natural...

    Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of the Côa Valley: A rare rock carving of a fish, the tail fin of the fish is missing due to the natural processes of weathering and erosion. Prehistoric people created rock art in caves and in the open air, the rock art that has survived is more often found in caves, the open air rock art was affected by the powerful processes of weathering and erosion, it often did not survive into the present.

  7. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley -  Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock art of the Côa Valley was discovered in the late 1980s. In 1995 the...

     Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock art of the Côa Valley was discovered in the late 1980s. In 1995 the construction of a dam was approved and work started in the Côa Valley. After an international campaign of scientific and media pressure, and the visit of an UNESCO team, the construction of the dam was stopped. The Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley and Siega Verde gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1998. 

  8. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock art of the Côa Valley in Portugal is similar to the rock art of the Siega Verde in...

    Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: The rock art of the Côa Valley in Portugal is similar to the rock art of the Siega Verde in Spain. The rock art of the Côa Valley is part of the UNESCO World Heritage: Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley and Siega Verde. The Côa Valley and the Siega Verde form one of the largest open air sites of Prehistoric rock art in the world. Sometimes one single site may have rock art that dates from several centuries.

  9. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: A view of the Peñascosa rock art site in the Côa Valley close to Muxagata. The...

    Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: A view of the Peñascosa rock art site in the Côa Valley close to Muxagata. The rock art of the Côa Valley is situated inside a protected archaeological area, Parque Arqueológico do Vale do Côa (PAVC). Visits to the rock art sites of the Côa Valley have to be booked in advance, information to visit the rock art sites: Côa Museum and Visitor Centre in Muxagata, Vila Nova de Foz Côa.

  10. Prehistoric Rock Art of the Côa Valley - Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: A view of the Côa Valley close to Muxagata in Portugal. The remote and...

    Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley: A view of the Côa Valley close to Muxagata in Portugal. The remote and rocky Côa Valley contains thousands of prehistoric rock drawings, spread along the banks of the Côa River. The rock art was engraved on the rocks by prehistoric people. The Prehistoric Rock Art Sites of Côa Valley and Siega Verde were inscirbed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.