Lascaux Cave is the most famous monument of primitive art. This is an underground cave, covered from the inside with huge drawings of animals. It is believed that the cave was used for religious rites.
The history of the discovery of the cave
Like many other caves, Lasko was discovered not thanks to long-term research by scientists, but quite by accident - a group of children came across it. Towards the end of 1940, a group of four teenagers were walking through the forest and saw a hole in the ground formed by the fall of a pine tree. They decided to explore underground caves, because there could be treasures. They did not find what they were looking for, but they made a more important historical discovery, the significance of which they did not even suspect. The entire cave was strewn with huge drawings of bulls and other animals.
The teenagers immediately told about their discovery to their school teacher Leon Laval, who took the story quite seriously, also examined the cave and invited the researchers of primitive painting - Henri Breuil. Three months after the discovery, the cave was recognized as a real historical monument of France, and in 1979 it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Now it is impossible to get into the real Lasko cave. It was opened to the public in the middle of the 20th century, but over 15 years of interaction with builders and tourists, it began to deteriorate rapidly. In the 1950s, the number of people wishing to see the cave grew to a thousand people a day. The carbon dioxide released from the visitors' breath reacted with the calcite salts that coat the images and protect them from damage. As a result, a compound was formed, which began to rapidly corrode the drawings.
But that was not the only problem. Due to artificial lighting and high humidity (caused by fumes from the bodies of visitors), algae began to overgrow the walls of the cave. Bacteria began to multiply in it, covering the walls and drawings with a white coating. In 1963, the Minister of Culture decided to close the cave from visits in order to leave them intact and protect them from damage.
The government could not lose such a flow of tourists and completely hide the historical heritage from them, so a complete reconstruction of the cave - Lasko II was created especially for travelers, which repeats every drawing of the main halls of the original cave. It was opened to the general public in 1983, and now all excursions are held in it.
Unfortunately, the years of visits have affected the condition of the real Lascaux cave - to this day, regular work is carried out in it to remove bacteria and fungi. Once every two weeks, a specially trained group of people in protective suits carefully removes the plaque from the drawings so as not to damage them.
Drawings of the Lascaux cave
To date, more than 1900 drawings have been found in the Lasko cave, although it does not differ in a particularly large area: its length reaches about 250 meters. For a convenient orientation, the cave was conditionally divided into several zones, or halls:
The Hall of the Bulls in the Lascaux Cave (or the Rotunda Hall) is recognized as one of the most important monuments of primitive art. Images of bulls, created using mineral and plant pigments, have different tones, shades and peculiar texture
- To the left of the Hall of Bulls there is a branch into a narrow gallery called the Axial Passage. To the right - Passage, a small short gallery.
- There is also a fork behind the Passage. Directly after a small Nave without pictures there is a narrow corridor called "Cat's Eye". To the right of the Passage is the round Apse Hall, which leads to the Mine, the deepest system in the cave.
Where is the Lasko cave
As already mentioned, the real cave is closed to tourists, but you can book excursions to Lasko II and the adjacent park. Lascaux II is located in the Perigord region in the south of France. You can get into it only as part of a tourist group.
Before visiting an attraction, you need to know some of its features:
- The temperature in the cave is maintained at about 13 degrees, respectively, you need to take some kind of light jacket with you so as not to freeze.
- The cave floor is natural limestone. To move around without problems, you need to wear comfortable sports or hiking shoes.
- No photography is allowed inside the cave.
1 adult ticket will cost about 17 euros to visit the cave and 21 euros to visit the cave and the adjacent To Park. 1 child ticket will cost from 11 to 15 euros. It is better to always check the current prices on the official website, because they can change.