Report on Cantabria

Report on Cantabria

Published on 18 October 2022 at 08:55 - Modified the 21 November 2022 at 11:47

The final stage in H.S.H. Prince Albert II’s journey of remembrance, following in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather, Albert I, took the Prince and His delegation to the Spanish region of Cantabria, and specifically to the area of Puente Viesgo.


In his day, Albert I led and supported research into prehistory in this region, working closely with Pastor Obermeier.

Today, the prehistoric Caves of Monte Castillo in Cantabria have been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. These are extremely rich sites, where research is still being actively carried out.

An interpretation centre – a modern building featuring creative architecture that is remarkably well integrated with the mountainous location – is nearing completion. It will be named after Prince Albert I, as a testament to the role the Monegasque Sovereign played, in the late nineteenth century, in scientific research about the first human settlements in the region. It is scheduled to open early in 2023.


H.S.H. Prince Albert II visited the centre and the El Castillo Cave, a vast underground space and an area of significant interest for excavation, which has revealed many tools and instruments belonging to a wide range of eras, including the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Magdalenian periods. Thousands of cave paintings decorate the walls of the space, some depicting animals, others depicting “signs”, in other words abstract, probably symbolic drawings.


H.S.H. the Prince was welcomed to Cantabria by the region’s President and by the Mayor of Puente Viesgo. The Ambassador of Monaco to Spain, H.E. Ms. Catherine Fautrier, also accompanied the delegation.


Prince Albert I’s role in archaeological research in Cantabria continues to be fully acknowledged in the history of science and the history of the country. He contributed to breakthroughs in our understanding of the lifestyles and evolution of early human populations.