The Escoural cave is located in the municipality of Montemor-o-Novo and is the only known cave in the current Portuguese territory with cave paintings and engravings made in the Upper Palaeolithic.
Its discovery, in 1963, was due to the exploration of a quarry, and a Neolithic necropolis was found inside it. The first paintings were later discovered. It was classified as a National Monument in 1963.
Archaeological work revealed occupations from the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic to the Late Neolithic. The rock art is rich and varied with a wide range of painted and engraved symbolic motifs as well as representations of fauna, especially horses and bovids.
Escoural also stands out for being a key site for learning about the rock art of the hunter-gatherer groups of the Early Holocene.
Outside, on the elevation above the cave, there is a group of cave engravings and a small walled Chalcolithic settlement. Nearby is a Tholos (megalithic false-domed tomb).
It should be noted that there are important megalithic monuments in this area, such as the Dolmen Grande da Comenda da Igreja and, in the municipality of Évora, the Cromlech dos Almendres and the Anta Grande do Zambujeiro.
Free space available
Visits: two visits, at 10:30h or 14:30h.
Virtual and guided tour
Palaeolithic / Neolithic / Chalcolithic
- MORE INFORMATION ESCOURAL CAVE
- OPERATION AND GUIDANCE OF VISITS TO THE CAVE
- TIMETABLE AND VISITS TO THE CAVE
Opening hours of the Escorial Interpretation Centre:
You can visit the Escorial Interpretation Centre:
- Visits: two visits, at 10:30h or 14:30h.
The Escoural cave can only be visited by appointment at the Escoural Interpretation Centre,
preferably 24 hours in advance. Visits take place from TUESDAY to SATURDAYS, except for the
the last Saturday of each month and on public holidays. Group visits cannot exceed a maximum of 10 people.
Morning visit at 10.30 am / Afternoon visit at 2.30 pm.
For safety and preservation reasons, visits to the Escoural cave are restricted. The cave can be visited ONLY BY APPOINTMENT at the Escoural Interpretation Centre, preferably 24 hours or more in advance.
Visits take place from Tuesday to Saturday, except on the last Saturday of each month and on public holidays. Groups may not exceed a maximum of 10 visitors.
Visits at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Centro Interpretativo do Escoural (to book visits/appointments): in this web site
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alentejo Regional Directorate of Culture: 266 769 800
✓ Designation: Archaeological Ensemble of Escoural (Montemor-o-Novo)
✓ Classification: National Monument
✓ Chronology: Paleolithic / Neolithic / Chalcolithic