France: Indulge your Cultured Side

The dramatic ampitheatre in Lascaux, France.
The dramatic amphitheater in Lascaux, France.

By Kristen Richard

Indulge your cultural side with history, wine, and food during the summer of 2016 in France with their new museum and exhibit openings.

Lascaux-International Exhibition: The meeting of Art and Science

In France in 1940, four teenagers followed their dog inside a cave. What started as an attempt to retrieve their lost dog lead to a great discovery of massive paintings created by our Paleolithic ancestors.

The architecture of the building was meant to mimic wine pouring into a class, La Cite du Vin photos.
The architecture of the building was meant to mimic wine pouring into a glass, La Cite du Vin photos.

Murals that contained animals, creatures we had never seen before, and ancient star charts covered the walls of these massive caves. The murals were located in Lascaux which are a group of caves in southwestern France.

Naturally, the world flocked to France to see these early works of art. Between 1948 and 1963 Lascaux received over one million visitors from around the world. However, in 1963 the murals were closed to the public. The change of the environment in the caves was starting to destroy the ancient paintings.

Until recently only certain people were allowed to step foot inside the caves. But this coming summer the murals inside the Lascaux will once again be open for the world population to experience with The Lascaux-International Exhibition: The meeting of Art and Science, coming to France in the summer of 2016.

Unlike Lascaux II The Lascaux-International recreated the Nave and the Well Scene. There are five scenes recreated on life-size panels.

“The idea of building a Nave lets visitors contemplate the majestic grandeur of Lascaux in the dark, in silence, without commentaries. This exhibition will take them into the very depths of the Lascaux cave,” says the director of the exhibit Olivier Retout.

The Panels were recreated by painters, engravers, and all sorts of artists. However, the exhibit also wanted to give the viewers the experience of walking around the cave. The exhibition recreated a model of the cave with billions of laser-recorded georeferenced points.

Interactive exhibits at the Cite du la Vin
Interactive exhibits at the Cite du la Vin

The Lascaux exhibit will also be dimly lit and will recreate the lighting that the creators of the murals would have worked in.

Retout says the exhibit is “for everyone, for families, but also for adults as Lascaux is a reflection on art and aesthetics. It is first and foremost a philosophical exhibition, where arts and sciences combine to raise questions on beauty, aesthetics and the origins of art.”

Even after seventy years of research, there is still a lot of mystery behind the people who painted the murals and the murals themselves. Guests can gather in the amphitheater, and hear the points of view from scientists, historians, artists, and philosophers.

This allows one to draw their own conclusions about the mysteries of the murals and their creators.

The Lascaux Exhibit is a beautiful union between art and science. It is also a mirror into the past allowing guests from all over the world to take a glimpse into a part of human history.

La Cite du Vin

Wine, even in the earliest cultures, influenced landscapes, traditions, religious beliefs, social practice, and most importantly has always brought people together. In Bordeaux, a new interactive museum will focus on the one thing the city is most known for.

Wine has continually transformed France and Bordeaux over the years. This summer at the Wine Museum & Cultural Center known as La Cite du Vin, guests can experience the transformation of wine culture and wine-making techniques from all over the world.

The architecture of the building was created to mimic the flow of wine from the bottle to the glass. The silver and gold panels of the building were made to mimic the shimmering of the Garonne River, which the museum sits on. The city of Bordeaux is still gleaming from the magnificent cleaning that’s been done on its many yellow limestone buildings and its rejuvenated waterfront area.

 The Design for the perminant exhibit in La Cite du Vin
The Design for the permanent exhibit in La Cite du Vin

The exhibit starts at 6500 BC and takes guests through to the modern era. It will take viewers across five different continents and explore their wine growing culture and history.

In the permanent exhibit, there will be 23 exhibition modules which will include, the vineyards world, the changes of wine, a buffet for the five senses, wine and art, and health and religion.

See what sorts of creatures our ancestors encountered exhibit photos
See what sorts of creatures our ancestors encountered exhibit photos

But these will not just be panels that guests are looking at and reading. The Museum has used state of the art technology such as 3D images, holograms, smell diffusers, and music to bring the permanent exhibit to life.

Alongside the permanent exhibit, guests can also enjoy a glass of wine while looking at a panoramic view over the river and the town on the museum’s viewing platform.

The museum will also offer a number of workshops available to everyone, even young visitors.

Young visitors can learn about aromas, techniques, and history of wine, and the mythology behind wine in a fun and interactive way.

For those old enough to drink wine tastings will be held as well as classes on how to properly taste wine.

The International Wine and Gastronomy Exhibition Centre

The original paintings in the Lascaux Caves, exhibit photos
See what sorts of creatures our ancestors encountered exhibit photos

So you have your wine, your history, and now what about food? The International Wine and Gastronomy Exhibition Centre is the destination to learn about, The original paintings in the Lascaux Caves, exhibit photos”the gastronomic meal of the French.”

The Centre was built at the beginning of the Route des Vins, in Burgundy, otherwise known as the road of wine. The road is approximately 37 miles long. It brings wine-lovers through picturesque wine country, to Discover French food at the Gastronomy Centre.vineyards, and wine bars.

Discover French food at the Gastronomy Centre
Discover French food at the Gastronomy Centre

The Centre will be located in Dijon France, the capital of gastronomy. The Centre will include a pavilion with digital resources and exhibits dedicated to gastronomy.

There will be another section where guests can come try wines from around the world. The learning pavilion will offer guests cooking workshops.

If you are not in the mood for cooking but just eating the pavilion will have tasting rooms as well. There will also be three food courts and one large restaurant. As well as a wine and food shop, a wine retail, bookshop, and a wine bar.

Indulge your love for wine, food, and history at these new museums and exhibits this upcoming summer in France.

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