When the water levels began lowering outside Peraleda de la Mata in Cáceres, Spain, large standing stones revealed themselves in the reservoir. Nicknamed the “Spanish Stonehenge”, the location may have once been the site of ritual worship.
Of the 144 standing stones, several of them are as a tall as two meters high and have serpents engraved on them. The stones were arranged in a circular shape (just like Stonehenge), but nobody knows why they were put there in the first place or by whom.
It is believed that the site was created in the second and third millennia BC and was used as a sun temple on the banks of the River Tagus as well as a burial ground. “The site would have been created over thousands of years, using granite transported from kilometers away,” local official Angel Castaño stated to The Local. As for its purpose, Castaño explained, “They seemed to have a religious but also economic purpose, being at one of the few points of the river where it was possible to cross,” adding, “So it was sort of a trading hub.”
Nobody has seen the site for nearly six decades since it was submerged under water in 1963 after the construction of a dam made a reservoir. But with no rain, warm weather, and water extraction creating a drought in the area, the water levels lowered so much that the “Spanish Stonehenge” has re-emerged after hiding under water for many years. “We grew up hearing about the legend of the treasure hidden beneath the lake and now we finally get to view them” Castaño said. He also mentioned that while there may possibly be treasures hidden underneath the stones, just witnessing the stones themselves is enough of a treasure.
Castaño and a group of locals are currently trying to preserve the site before it gets submerged under water again by campaigning to have the stones moved to another location on dry land. “If we miss this chance it could be years before they are revealed again,” Castaño insisted, adding, “And the stones, which are granite and therefore porous, are already showing signs of erosion and cracking, so if we don’t act now it could be too late.” They certainly have a valid point, as the last time the site was witnessed (until now) was 56 years ago. You can see pictures here of the “Spanish Stonehenge”.