Les Eyzies de Taynac is a pretty town in the commune of Dordogne in southwestern France, that at first glance, appears to be crushed under the cliff.
The town is littered with numerous grottos, caves and troglodyte dwellings whose history dates back to more than 28,000 years. I
t was here, in 1868, during the construction of a railroad, a rock dwelling was discovered that contained the skeletal remains of the first early Homo sapiens of the European Upper Paleolithic era – the Cro-Magnons.
The prehistoric caves around Les Eyzies contain some of the most significant archaeological finds of the Upper Paleolithic (from about 40,000 to 10,000 years ago) and Middle Paleolithic (200,000 to 40,000 years ago) periods, that include, apart from skeletons, tools, pendants and jewelry and extensive wall drawings. The area is visited by thousands of tourist every year.
Les Eyzies was at one time a small hamlet tied to the Lordship of Tayac.
During the 8th and 9th centuries it probably had quite a large population, as shown by the numerous troglodytic habitations and the presence of groups of buildings fortified against the Viking raiders.
The cliffs are riddled with elevated look-out posts know as cluzeaux aeriens, artificial chambers cut out of the limestone cliffs so high one wonders how anyone ever got up there.
There are scores of caves and grottos to visit in Les Eyzies, including numerous medieval fortresses built into the rocks, a fortified church and many museums. Les Eyzies contains some 150 prehistoric sites dating from the Paleolithic and about 25 decorated caves.
The Grotte de Font-de-Gaume, just outside of Les Eyzies, has over 200 paintings and engravings of bison, horses, mammoths, and reindeer, as well as a few stylized human figures.
The multi-colored paintings date from the Magdelenian era, about 17,000 years ago.
The Abri de Laugerie Basse is another rock shelter that was occupied over 17,000 years ago.
It is known for the large number of tools and artifacts that were discovered in place, including a sculpture of a horse and another of a female figure.
Then, there is Abri de Cro-Magnon itself where the famous discovery of the Cro-Magnons were made.
The shelter of the Cro-Magnon and several other sites, however, have been closed to the public because of preservation concern.
Graves at Fromelles, France following the infamous battle of July 1916. Photo: (Supplied: Chandler Collection)
This week marks 103 years since the World War I battles of Fromelles and Pozieres — two of the deadliest and most gruesome in Australia’s military history.
In an attempt to feint and distract German forces who were battling the French and British on the Somme in the south, Australian forces were sent into Fromelles, about 100 kilometres north, at 6:00pm on July 19, 1916.
It was Australia’s introduction to the Western Front — the main theatre of the war — after spending months fighting in Gallipoli, and the results were disastrous.
Robocop, tiny urban alleys, and gremlins are all just a part of the fascinating prop and miniature set collection held at the Musée Miniature et Cinéma.
Founded by miniature setting artist Dan Ohlmann, the museum holds over a thousand pieces of down-scaled locations such as a school room and a fully-furnished dining room which are so detailed that they could pass for their full-size inspirations.
The site also includes such tiny tchotchkes as carved matchsticks, chiseled egg shells, and micro-origami.
In addition to all of the tiny pieces of sculpture the museum’s other focus is on special effects and creatures from the movies.
In this section of the museum visitors can see props and costumes from such films as I, Robot, Stuart Little, and Hellboy.
Even with all of the micro amazements, the excitement the Musée Miniature et Cinéma is immense.
Delahaye Type 165: The Most Beautiful French Car of the 1930s
The Delahaye Type 165 is viewed by many as the most beautiful French car of the 1930s, only 5 of them were ever made with this one having been fatefully chosen by the French government to represent France at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
Shortly after the car arrived at New York customs, Germany invaded Poland and set off World War II, thus the Delahaye became stranded in no-mans land where it sat for 8 long years before being acquired by a Beverly Hills car dealer for the staggering (at the time) sum of $12,000 USD.