Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet

I have the incredible chance to be able to go to work by foot, it’s a 20 minutes walk in the morning and another 20 minutes walk in the evening. It’s a luxury, I am totally aware of it, and I take advantage of these walks to listen to my favourite podcasts.

A few days ago, I listened to this radio broadcast. It was the opportunity to rediscover the fantastic region of Ardèche, halfway between the towns of Lyon and Marseille. It’s already the south of France, but still wild and very far from the crowds of the Riviera :


copyright CpaKmoi – Image credit :

This region has also the distinctive feature to be scaterred over by a lot of ancient caves, and here is what happened some 20 years ago : Jean-Marie Chauvet discovered with two fellow speleologists a hole in the ground, leading to giant caves. After having notified the authorities, they revealed an extraordinary collection of more than 1000 ancient drawings, dating as early as the Aurignacian period (30,000–32,000 BP), making it an exceptional testimony of prehistoric art. The cave became a Unesco World Heritage site last year.

grotte Chauvet

copyright Laurent Chicoineau – Image credit :


It’s sometimes harsh to preserve ancient historic sites from defacement and deterioration. For instance, the Lascaux cave, which must be one the most famous prehistoric site in France, suffered some damage, so it was decided to create a facsimile of the cave very close to the original site : it was Lascaux II (see the « threats » paragraph).

As a result, it was decided to maintain the main conservation area closed to the public, nonetheless the authorities built five buildings to host a 1:1 replica of the caves. It just opened to the public lately, and can be visited every day. And if you want to wander in the original site, you can have a look at the corporate site from French Ministry of Culture where you can virtually navigate in 3D in the cave, it’s quite an experiment !





One thought on “Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet

  1. Hello,
    It’s a very original subject and I was very glad to read it.
    I understand your pleasure of listening to the radio as walking to work, yes it’s a chance, I love that too. And also dreaming and thinking along the streets, specially with a warm weather, when gardens are beautiful to look.
    I am looking forward to reading the next post.

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