Cova des Coloms – Es Migjorn Gran, Spain - Atlas Obscura

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Cova des Coloms

Es Migjorn Gran, Spain

The largest cave on the island of Menorca was likely the site of Iron Age rites and rituals. 


On the island of Menorca, a path between the village of Es Migjorn Gran and the coast leads to the Cova des Coloms, the largest cave on the island. It measures about 100 meters (331 feet) deep, and the walls are about 15 meters (49 feet) wide and 24 meters (79 feet) tall.

Locals talk about the cave being a sanctuary during the Talaiotic Period, around 550-123 B.C. The Talaiotic culture emerged in the eastern Balearic Islands during the Iron Age. Archaeological excavations in the cave have uncovered ceramic pottery, bronze horns, and other artifacts, as well as human bones. It’s part of the evidence that suggests the cave was once used as a burial site, and perhaps as a space for conducting rites and rituals.

This association with religious ceremonies may be why many refer to Cova des Coloms as the cathedral cave. That nickname may also stem from its size and opulence; the limestone formations recall the walls and columns that adorn the greatest places of worship. The name Cova des Coloms translates as “Pigeons Cave,” for the birds that nest inside its walls.

Know Before You Go

Getting to Cova des Coloms isn’t easy. You can get there from the village of es Migjorn Gran or from the beach at Santo Tomás. To get to the path that goes from es Migjorn Gran to the cave, you just have to follow the main road to Ferreries and take Me-20 to es Migjorn Gran. From there, head south on Me-18. Watch for the path heading west to Cova des Coloms.

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