Fodor's Expert Review Grotte-Font-de-Gaume
Font-de-Gaume is the last French cave with polychrome paintings that remains open to the public. Though discovered in the late 1800s, it wasn't until the early 20th century that the importance of the artwork (dating back to around 17,000 BC) was recognized by archaeologists. Astonishingly graceful animal figures, many at eye level, include woolly mammoths, horses, reindeer, rhinos, and more. The cave's masterpiece is a grouping of five large superimposed bison in vivid color that was uncovered in 1966 during a routine cleaning. Like similar representations in Lascaux, the sophisticated shading techniques used for their bellies and thighs create a stunning impression of dimensionality and movement. Guided tours run every 40 minutes, but only 80 visitors are admitted each day—down from 160 in 2012. The cave is destined to close, so see it while you can!