La Roche de Solutré
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La Roche de Solutré Pouilly Reviews
La Roche de Solutré,a famous Paleolithic site Jul 19, 2010
About 10 km south west Mâcon,in south Burgundy,almost in Beaujolais,on the municipality of Solutré-Pouilly,in the heart of Pouilly-Fuissé vineyard,the most exported Burgundian wine stands a precipitous rock named La Roche de Solutré rising to 492 meters.
Its summit which can be reached via a pleasant footpath offers walkers superb panoramic views on the Bresse,Sâone valley,Jura and the Mont Blanc on clear days.
This site is famous not only for the hikes of Mitterand and his court on many Pentecost days but mostly because at the southern foot of this spectacular limestone cliff many horse bones and flints have been discovered.
It is such an important site that it gives its name to a whole Paleolithic period:the Solutrean(20,000-16,000 B.C) which was the marvellous "laurel-leaf" shaped flints have made famous.
It was a hunting site used over 25,000 years by men of the upper Paleolithic Age(from 35,000 to 10,000 B.C) who came to hunt,dismember and smoke thousands of horses and reindeers,so leaving layers of bones.This accumulation of bones gave rise to a famous legend,which we know to be untrue,that the horses were driven over the cliff by their hunters.In fact,the herds of wild horses were ambushed and slaughtered at the foot of the cliff.
On the approach of the cliff is the Solutré Prehistory museum housing a collection of objects found during the archaelogical digs on the site as well as a variety of vegetable species that are characteristic of this area.
Driving on the A6 motorway you can easily see this limestone cliff(beware of the vehicles in front!)that has been registered and protected as "A Major National Site" like the Mont Saint Michel bay or the Pont du Gard
Musée départemental de la préhistoire
Entrance fees:3,5 euro,free for under 18 and every first Sunday of the month
Opening hours:10am to 12am,2pm to 5 pm in January,February,March,October and November
from April to September:10am to 6pm
closed in December,1st January and 1st May
services:library,lecture hall,shop,access for handicaped.The shop offers a large choice of publications and books for children.Botanic garden,free parking,exhibitions...
Part of the SIGHTS(mainly old stones and no wine tasting!) IN SOUTH BURGUNDY travel blog
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