The Spectacular Temple caves of Lascaux

Amazing Europe | | October 8, 2010 at 1:09 am




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Known for preserving the Paleolithic cave paintings, the Temple caves of Lascaux were discovered by four boys accidentally on 12 September, 1940 in the Dordgne region of Southwestern France. They are famous for their antiquity, exceptional art work, size and sophistication. Today these caves stand testimony to the fine art of the ice age form.

The four French boys were playing when one of them saw a hole in the land. Out of curiosity they dig that area and found the architecturally rich Temple caves of Lascaux. This discovery spread like a wild fire across the country and within days these caves saw people flocking from diverse parts of the country out of curiosity. The news also reached to the archaeologists nearby and they set out on a journey to explore and excavate the site for more findings. The caves were discovered on 12 September 1940 though accidentally but by the year end was given the statutory historic monument protection. If this was less, the Temple caves of Lascaux were declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

Caves of lascaux

After the Second World War, the cave was broadened and the base was lowered to allow easy entry for the visitors. Due to high average of visitors flocking, damages began to appear on the interiors of the walls with greenish algal formations. The caves started showing signs of suffering from two sicknesses. The Green Sickness, a green growth on the walls and paintings clearly depict how human presence adversely affects the cave’s health. High temperatures and humidity, together with highly reported levels of carbon dioxide, brought the White Sickness. In order to lessen further damages, public viewing was banned.

The charm of Temple caves of Lascaux was still lingering on the minds of the visitors. The art work on the walls and ceilings depicting hoards of animal painting in varied colours of yellow, red, brown and black were the main source of attraction. Seeing the pressure mounting, an elaborate replica of the caves was made in 1980 called the Lascaux II. They were the representations of original against the duplicate wall.

The Paleolithic cave painters had painted about 2000 figures comprising mainly of animals, human and abstract signs. There were 364 figures of equines, 90 of the stags and not to forget the Hall of Bulls which proudly housed the famous images namely four huge, aurochs and black bulls. “The crossed bison” remains the most famous painting found in chamber called the Nave is often held as an example of skill of Paleolithic cave painters.

Hall of bulls lascaux cave

Since the year 2000, the Temple caves of Lascaux has been attacked by a fungus and the condition worsened in 2006 when the cave saw the growth of black mold. In January 2008, the cave was closed for three months, even to scientists and preservationists. The installation of new air conditioning system in the caves and the use of high powered lights were blamed for worsening of the situation.

Whatsoever be the reasons of closing down the caves for public viewing but people who know about the caves still wait for the day when these caves be opened for public viewing once again.

Temple caves of Lascaux

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7 Comments

  1. Linda D'Souza says:

    These caves are FANTASTIC! I would like to share my experience about visiting Lascaux caves sometime back with my young son and husband..We had a fabulous guide whose zest for paintings combined with his witty ways made our trip memorable..He told us stories he knew about the paintings in a very engrossing and delightful way!

  2. Ekeope Queus says:

    Lascaux cave paintings are captivating and simply beyond description! The paintings were more beautiful and well-kept than we had ever imagined.I’m really happy we came here and got a chance to experience the capture the essence of such ancient and historical paintings! I’m glad we made it to the caves.Because it really was a FABULOUS trip!

  3. Naomi Johnson says:

    I found that Lascaux caves are a really nice option for even people like me who are scared of enclosed spaces..My husband and elder daughter loved the paintings and found them amazing! My younger daughter and I tried to get over our bruised egos for feeling claustrophobic, but still we both did manage to reach the exit and rush out! My husband and elder daughter were in complete awe of the cave paintings!

    Thanks for the post! It reminded me of the great time we had at Lascaux caves..The paintings ofcourse are MAGNIFICENT!

  4. Arnie says:

    A GREAT post on Temple caves of Lascaux! I found it really informative! I’m glad I came across it on google! NICE site :-)

  5. Arnie says:

    Some really AWESOME stuff you’ve posted on the caves of Lascaux!
    Had fun reading the facts! :-)

  6. Walter Louis says:

    It felt great reading the experiences of people who visited the caves few years back..These caves are our heritage and need to be preserved for the future generations to see how glorious and deep-rooted art prevailed since time immemorial..
    A FANTASTIC post!
    CONGRATULATIONS!

  7. Elbert Kiellor says:

    GREAT piece! You’ve stumped me with this post of yours! I never thought we could be so thoughtless as to put to risk these paintings by installing air-conditioners and high-powered bulbs.If the caves are re-opened for public viewing, more sense should prevail among us for the preservation of the historical cave paintings.

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