Using A Passport To Visit Endangered Sites


There are many wonderful historical and archaeological sites around the world that, due to varying reasons, are ceasing to exist. One of these incredible sites is the Altamira Cave in the country of Spain. In the year 2002, it was closed because of the emergence of unknown bacteria that was eroding the ancient cave paintings. Hopefully, this amazing site will be reopened soon. If you are going to be traveling to Spain anytime soon, it is important to remember that you will need to have a valid United States passport for your trip. Without a passport, you will not be allowed to leave the country for any reason. If you need to take care of a passport service, such as getting a same day passport, you can go online and get help from an online passport agency.

Passport Needs

Passports are essential travel documents. Without a valid United States passport, you will not be allowed to leave the country for any reason. If you have ever traveled overseas before, you know the importance of keeping your passport safe. If you lose or have your passport stolen while you are overseas, you will need to get a replacement passport before you will be allowed to reenter the country. Thankfully, it has never been easier for American citizens to take care of passport issues with the help of online passport agencies.


The Altamira Cave is located in Spain in the town of Santillana del Mar. The Altamira Cave was discovered in 1879, it is an UNESCO World Heritage site that features many multicolored cave paintings, including depictions of red bison. The cave dates back to the Upper Paleolithic time period around 14,000 years ago.  This site is important because it was the first cave in which prehistoric paintings were discovered. There was much debate in the archaeological community regarding the authenticity of the paintings and whether or not prehistoric humans held the intellectual capacity for such artwork.


Scientists believe that this bacterium thrived due to the artificial light that had been installed in the cave. The green bacteria was eroding the cave wall away which in turn lead to corrosion of the famed paintings. For this reason the cave was closed to the public. Since the closing the green bacteria has diminished. There is talk of reopening the cave however there is debate due to the fact that admitting visitors would exacerbate the problem once again and further endangering the paintings.

Wait List

Before the cave was closed completely to visitors a certain amount were allowed in per day. However this lead to a three year wait list. For this reason the renowned artists Manuel Franquelo and Sven Nevel reproduced the cave as well as its art. The replica cave and museum were built nearby and allow for a much more comfortable view of the cave paintings. There are also sculptures of the human faces that were otherwise not visible in the original cave. Other reproductions can be found at the National Archaeological Museum of Spain in Madrid and the Deutsches Museum in Munich in Germany as well as Japan.

If you need to obtain a same day passport, you can take care of this online at an internet passport agency. In the past, it would have been very difficult and extremely expensive to get a passport so quickly. However, now that we have internet passport agencies, it has never been easier or faster for an American citizen to get a new passport. Traveling overseas is one of the most exciting experiences a person can have.  If you are considering taking an overseas trip in the near future, make sure you have all of your passport needs taken care of.


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