Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Cave of Pech-Merle
The dotted horse panel, approximately 25,000 years old, framed by
 six negative hands.  They are 1.60 metres long by 0.90 metres high.

I spent Monday at Pech-Merle Caves and it was the most amazing 
site.  I'm sure one of the wonders of the world.  It is one of the
few prehistoric cave painting sites in France which still remains open
to the public.  Extending for more than one mile from the entrance
are the caverns with paintings dating back to 25,000 BC.  This area
once had a great river flowing through it, cutting underground 
channels which were later used by humans. The caves are
a labyrinth of galleries stacked one on top of another on three levels.
The top two levels are open to the public for viewing.  You have to
go on a guided tour and no photographs are possible, so these images 
have been downloaded from the net, but I saw them all in the caves.

Graceful drawings.
Horse, bison + mammoth executed in charcoal.
Dated 16,000 years ago

Negative hands made with red ochre.

Wounded man.


St. Cirq Lapopie
 After visiting the Pech-Merle Caves, we went to seewhat has been voted the 'most beautiful' village in France.
 St. Cirq Lapopie overlooks the Sagne River valley, perched
100 metres on the hillside.  It was built up for defence in
medieval times. Now there is a population of only 207 and
the whole village is very tastefully geared to tourism. All
buildings have been properly restored. 

Soaking up the sun after hours in the caves.

Notice the angled addition on the roof?  It is a pigeonnier.
People used to keep pigeons in these towers for a food source.
The basements of some homes had livestock, so you had dinner
either in the basement or on the roof.

The old entrance gateway to the village is on the left of the picture.

Medieval style picnic table top!

So beautiful.  The whole village is like a museum.

Looking over the fertile valley and Sagne River with the cathedral 
hanging on the edge of the cliff. Absolutely stunning scenery.

My fellow Artist in Residence friend Sue Walsh from Beacon, New York.
Andre Breton, the founder of Surrealism, used to live here and that
is his house is in the background.  The big rectangular tower on it's roof is
a pigeonnier. 

Courtyard of Breton's house.  He apparently spent summers in 
St. Cirq.

Thank you Andre!

No comments:

Post a Comment