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El Demo Cave
Boal (Western Asturias)
Contact Address
33731 Froseira

Late Bronze Age


The path to El Demo Cave is marked, but it is advisable to be equipped with proper footwear.

A cave with prehistoric engravings dating from the Bronze Age which was once a shelter for livestock and a refuge during the Spanish Civil War.

In Froseira, parish of Doiras, borough of Boal, the River Ourubio irrigates the slopes of Mount Llanteiro, where the "Cova del Demo" or El Demo Cave is located at an elevation of 450 metres. This cave was used for a long time as a shelter for livestock and a refuge during the Civil War. This area has always been shrouded in mystery, with evil presences very conducive to the holding of covens, etc. There are many place names that refer to the devil ("demonio" in Spanish), such as Cedemonio, etc.

Pedro Pablo Pérez Rodríguez and Miguel Ángel de Blas Cortina, both lecturers at the University of Oviedo, made the first studies of this quartzite cave together with Elías Carrocera. The cave is about 15 metres deep by 8 metres high and contains zoomorphic and anthropomorphic paintings of a schematic nature, which, according to their type, could be related to the naturalist schematic current which arose in eastern coastal Spain. The paintings date from the second half of the Bronze Age, between 1500 and 1100 BC

The cave was declared a Cultural Heritage Site of the Principality of Asturias (maximum protection), according to Law 16/85 of 25th June on Spanish Historical Heritage.

The cave is accessed from Froseira, after a steep uphill climb of about 2,000 metres, which is properly marked. It is closed to the public by a gate and you need a special permit from the Ministry of Culture of the Principality of Asturias to visit it inside.

El Demo Cave is the only archaeological cave site in western Asturias, which makes comparative studies difficult due to the lack of nearby references. Most of the paintings are on the left wall and appear in isolated groups, divided into blocks, employing the smooth rock surfaces. They are in various shades of red, probably due to the passage of time and deterioration caused by the abundant water that continuously runs down the walls, not to mention the original quality of the paintings. The technique used is uniform colouring, i.e. painted directly on the stone.

The right wall is steeper and less suitable for painting, which is why it contains few paintings, only those on the scant flat surfaces found there.

El Demo Cave