|2006||Name change||From "Decorated Grottoes of the Vézère Valley" to "Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley"|
|1979||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|John Booth (New Zealand):
To visit this site I travelled by train to Les Eyzies de Tyack where I visited an informative Pre-history museum. But earlier in the day I had located the Font de Gaume, a series of caves high on a cliff. I managed to get on the first tour of the day when during an hour long tour the guide showed us spectacular paintings of many different animals, but mostly bison and reindeer.
I had wanted to reach the Lascaux caves, but there is an absence of transport in that part of the valley.
Date posted: May 2010 David Berlanda (Italy / Czech Republic):
In our trip to France we have visited four prehistoric sites but I was very disappointed by the fact that most of them were accessible only on booking or were closed. The valley, long 40 km and large 30 km, contain 147 sites and 25 decorated caves (15 are WHS). First we have been to the shelter of Cap Blanc, located in the lateral Beune valley, near Marquay. There are high-relieves of two bisons, horses and reindeer in a limestone cliff, also longer than 2 m, made by reindeer hunters more than 15000 years ago, and a human burial place. The cave of Rouffignac (or Cro-de-Granville), that was already known and described in the 16th century, is situated on a lateral valley along a tributary of the Vézère and has over 8 km of galleries. There were discovered in 1956 engravings and black-outlined paintings, especially in the Breuil gallery: 160 mammoths, 11 bisons, 11 goats, 9 horses, 7 rhinoceros, 1 bear and many other pictures. We have also seen, near Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac the deposit of Laugerie Basse, in a place called “Les Marseilles”, where were found many implements from the reindeer age and a cross-section shows stratified tiers of excavated human remains, and the Grand Roc, a cave with 40 km of passages leading to small chambers that contain stalactites and stalagmites.
The cave of Rouffignac and the shelter of Cap Blanc are two of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, because of the beauty and antiquity of the prehistoric paintings and sculptures, that I have seen here for the first and only time. But I was quite disappointed by the shelter of Laugerie Basse and the cave Grand Roc, that are more natural that cultural places. I didn't like also the fact that many of the other prehistoric places are visitable only on booking of guided tours and that if you go at La Magdaleine you can see only the medieval troglodytic village and not the nearby famous prehistoric site, that I wanted to see. The sites are absolutely worth to be visited because they are the most beautiful prehistoric places in the world and justify the inscription, also because there aren't many prehistoric sites inscribed on the WHL, even if some prehistoric places of the valley could be excuded from the WHL and others included.
Photo: Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac - Shelter of Laugerie Basse
Date posted: February 2006
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