At the end of july I went on a roadtrip through France. We travelled clockwise first visiting Ronchamp, then Annecy followed by Aix-en-Provence and finished in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil. A tiny village in the Dordogne with a name longer than its mainstreet...
The cities of Annecy and Aix-en-Provence are great. Excellent food, nice people, fine ambiance. Both perfectly living up to there expectations.
When visiting Aix-en-Provence we made a side trip to the Verdon Gorge or in French the Gorges du Verdon. The turquoise-green water of the Verdon river has been cutting through the limestone for ages creating a 700 meter deep and 25 kilometers long canyon. We explored this marvelous piece of mother nature by paddle boat. What else...
The Verdon Gorge
Continuing our journey we would have liked to encounter the Millau bridge by Norman Foster. Unfortunately this detour didn’t fit in our grand scheme. Which give’s me a good excuse to head back sometime.
Nevertheless we reached Les Eyzies on the first of August. This historic village is situated between the river Vézère and high cliffs, which houses several archeological sites and prehistoric rock dwellings.
Prehistoric rock dwellings in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil
Little did I know Les Eyzies is unofficialy called the capital of prehistory. Apparently five skeletons of Cro-Magnons were found here in 1868, the earliest models of Homo Sapiens. Therefore it’s no suprise the National Historic Museum of France houses in Les Eyzies.
Since 2004 the museum is established in a new building designed by the French-Italian architect Jean-Piere Buffi.
Entrance of the Musée National de Préhistoire by Jean-Pierre Buffi
The museum wall which seperates the world of today from ancient times
Besides the museum there’s another eye catching institute in Les Eyzies. The Pôle Internationale de la Préhistoire or in short PIP. The PIP’s main objective is to transform this part of the Vezere valley into Europe’s largest prehistoric site and one of the foremost destinations in the world of prehistory.
The Dordogne Department made an investment of approximately 12,3 million euros to house the PIP on this extraordinary site.
The Architect Raphaël Voinchet did a great job by creating a distinguished yet not imposing building. Which hides itself at the foot of the immense rock wall.
Exterior of the Centre d’acceuil Pôle International de la Préhistoire
The interior is very minimalistic with a serene ambiance as a result.
Interior of the Centre d’acceuil Pôle International de la Préhistoire