The cave, opened to the public on April 10th 2015, is really credible.

A great reproduction of the so called Grotte Chauvet, was aimed just twenty years after the discovery of the original site, a significant revelation taking place on December 18th 1994 when the speleologist Jean Marie Chauvet and his friends, Eliette Brunel and Christian Hillaire discovered the Cave. We actually speak about the Caverne du Pont-d’Arc, reproduction of the prehistoric cave of Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc, located in the French department of Ardèche.

Atelier de Gilles Tosello, Toulouse, credits Carole Fritz

Atelier de Gilles Tosello, Toulouse, credits Carole Fritz


An interactive approach

The “return space”, as the official definition emphasising the verisimilitude, will let its visitors see all the paintings and engravings and the most important geological and archaeological elements on a full scale. The support of the scientific team created in 1998 by expert archaeologists Jean Clottes and Jean-Michel Geneste, geomorphologist Jean-Jacques Delannoy and paleontologist Philippe Fosse, allowed the standardisation of the scenic design, to provide an experience full of visual, auditive and thermal feelings. From the reproduction of thermal shock to moisture, from games of shadows to scents, reproduced in an extremely close-to-the-original mode, so that visitors will immerse themselves in the cave listed as an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2014.

Two poles

The complex consists of two poles designed to interact between themselves, giving to people a full and interactive view of the relevant location:

  1. The Caves du Pont-d’Arc, huge copy of 3500 m² reproducing paintings, engravings, drawings and geological elements of the original site in 3D format and then recreated in a smaller space according to the principle of anamorphosis.
  2. The Galerie de l’Aurignacien, discovery centre aiming to illustrate in details the peculiarities of the cave and let the curious ones delve into the daily life of the Aurignaciens, half-nomad hunters and harvesters linked to region where the start site is located
Credits Jean Clottes, Centre national de la préhistoire

Credits Jean Clottes, Centre national de la préhistoire


For an ambitious cultural project

The replica of the famous prehistoric cave is part of an ambitious project by important cultural, scientific and technological implications. A great site requiring a strong team, composed of different professionals belonging to 35 companies, led by the Syndicat mixte de La Cave du Pont-d’Arc. Thanks to a serious engagement lasting only thirty months, the greatest replica in the world (3,000 square meters of floor and 180 square meters of decorations among ground, walls and ceiling) has come to life thanks to the big investment of 55 million euros funded in cooperation with the Conseil régional Rhône-Alpes (14.7); the Département de l’Ardèche (14.7); the French Republic (12.2) the European Union (9.9) and the Manager (Kléber Rossillon 3.5). A giant built “from a to z” to preserve a tourist resource which is essential for the economic development of the territory.

Sara Rania

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