Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche


Useful Information

a painting of a cave bear (Ursus spelaeus).
photography
Lions, Chauvet Cave, Ardèche, France. Replica at the Brno museum Anthropos, Czech Republic. Public Domain.
Location: At Vallon-Pont-d'Arc in the Ardèche region. A7, exit Montélimar or Bollène, up the Ardeche valley to Vallon-Pont d'Arc. 45 km from Montélimar.
Open: All year daily.
Very complicated open hours depending on school holidays/tourist season, please check official website.
[2020]
Fee: Adults EUR 15, Children (10-17) EUR 7.50, Children (0-9) free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 13, Children (10-17) EUR 6.50.
[2020]
Classification: ArchaeologyPainted Cave SubterraneaCave Replica
Light: electric
Dimension: Cave replica: Ar=3,500 m².
Exhibition: Ar=650 m².
Guided tours: D=60 min. Français - French English Deutsch - German
Photography: not allowed
Accessibility: wheelchair accessible
Bibliography:
Address: Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche, Plateau du Razal, 07150 Vallon Pont d'Arc, Tel: +33-475-943940. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.

History

2013 begin of construction of Chauvet 2.
2014 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
APR-2015 old exhibition at Vallon Pont d'Arc closed.
2015 Chauvet 2 opened to the public.

Description

a mammoth, engraved into the white limestone which is covered by brow cave clay.
a diorama in the exposition shows the artist at work.

This is the local exhibition to the nearby CaveGrotte Chauvet. As the original cave is closed to visitors, to protect the paintings, this nearby museum allows interested visitors to see at least a very good replica of the most important parts of the cave.

The pressure to open Grotte Chauvet to the public was very high, as soon as it was published. But the cave is closed to protect the paintings. As an alternative the town tried to create an alternative with a cave replica. The first version of the replica was located in the town and was was made by the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris. The exhibtion included three rooms with explanations about the live of Cro Magnon man in the Ardeche valley and two rooms with a replica of the most important paintings and engravings of the cave. But this was only a prototype for the real cave replica, it was closed as soon as Chauvet 2 was opened to the public.

Chauvet 2 was built in the middle of nowhere, on the Plateau du Razal northeast of Vallon. There was enough space for a full cave replica, a museum, a restaurant, and a sufficient parking lot. The site cost 55 Million Euros.

The exhibition is called galerie de l'Aurignacien (Aurignacian Gallery) and is a combination huge slides, dioramas, interactive screens, and reconstruction of prehistoric people and animals. There are also many examples ofr experimental archaeology, the results of experiments to create the same objects today. Traditional archaeology interpreted the discoveries theoretically, but experimental archaeology tries to actually create a flint tool or paint an animal on a cave wall. The experiments were sometimes quite astonishing, several theories which were believed for 100 years had to be revised. The exhibition is a good way to spend the time until your tour begins because it is visited without a guide.

The Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche is the largest decorated cave replica in the world. It shows the 27 panels from the original cave in a 3D replica of the cave. The highlight is the monumental 12 m long Lion Panel with 92 animals drawn together to form a sort of animation or comic strip. The cave replica can only be viewed on a one hour a guided tour.


Grotte Chauvet Gallery