Arcy-sur-Cure is a commune in Burgundy, France. The caves are located just south of the commune and ranked as one of the leading prehistoric sites of France. The caves at Arcy-sur-Cure are a series of caverns dug into the rock by the Cure River. There are a total of 11 caves, including the Grande Grotte or Great Cave, the oldest embellished cave in the world after Chauvet cave in Ardèche.
The site offers much to mesmerize its visitors, such as the underground lakes, stalactites and stalagmites, as well as stunning concretions and other-worldly subterranean landscapes. Yet, it is the traces left behind by past inhabitants of these caves that make the greatest impact on visitors.
The caves at Arcy-sur-Cure were once occupied by human beings for thousands of years. They hold rock paintings of different animals inhabiting the area at the time, as well as hand imprints left by the occupants some 30,000 years ago. You can see wonderful paintings made with ochre and charcoal, often representing animals, such as the mammoth, the bear, the rhinoceros, or felines and birds. You also can find negative handprints and various symbols, such as points, sinuous lines and a trapezoid. These cave drawings are so mesmerizing and give an enthralling and unforgettable experience.
Every day between Easter and All Saints’ Day, the caves are open for public viewing. The guided tours last about an hour. Bookings are done in advance. The tours can be organized for groups of 15 people or more. It is also feasible to organize archaeological visits on Saturdays and Sundays, which also require advance booking.
People with reduced mobility also can access these caves. Films and photographs are strictly prohibited. Animals also are not allowed.
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