Les Grottos en France

31 12 2011

One of the surprise tourist sites we visited in France was the grottos (caves).

While I was very happy looking around les châteaux et les musee, in the interests of entertaining and possibly educating the children we tried to include a range of other attractions, including the Caves of Lascaux , the Catacombes in Paris and the Standing Stones of Carnac.

Along the same lines, we also visited a number of grottos.

Mostly the grottos seemed to have been discovered by accident when they were half filled with silt, and dug out. Often they were on the side of cliffs of ancient floodplains.

The most surprising thing was a number of them had remarkably fast build-up of limestone into stalagmites and stalactites – sometimes as much as a centimetre per year – and the cave owners had found a way of putting this rapid calcification to profitable use.

In the base of the caves, situated under waterfalls and in pools, were a variety of tourist paraphernalia – ceramic statues, fake flowers, and rubber moulds. Over the course of a six-month period these would calcify, providing a steady stream (pardon the pun) of stone objet for sale as souvenirs. The rubber moulds fill with stone and when the mould is peeled off, they produce plaques that have amazing detail – looking as if they have been cast in ceramic or carved from stone. (A photograph of one such plaque is below)

a stone plaque produced by calcification in a French grotto

Now in Australia, the calcification process takes decades if not centuries – this process is unheard of and unviable. But the steady production of products in French grottos seems to have no ill effect on the natural wonders, with the exception of perhaps delaying the build up of calcium on the floor of the grotto. The products are piled up and require regular turning to ensure they don’t calcify together into a mass.

more objet beneath a cascade of stalactites

a cascading "curtain" of stactites

the backs of the rubber moulds filling with limestone to produce plaques

some of the objet undergoing calcification under a cascade of stactites

If you liked this post you might also like some more posts from France…..
Arrival in Paris
Caves of Lascaux
Notre Dame
French menus
Standing Stones of Carnac
The Louvre
Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower)

Advertisements

Actions

Information

32 responses

31 12 2011
Château de Chenonceau « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditStumbleUponDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]

2 01 2012
Les Grottos en France | Five-star backpacker | Scoop.it

[…] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } mudmap.wordpress.com – Today, 5:59 […]

10 01 2012
The Louvre « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditStumbleUponDiggLike […]

10 01 2012
Tour Eiffel « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre > Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditStumbleUponDiggLike this:Like3 […]

10 01 2012
Notre Dame « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] posts from France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) Share […]

10 01 2012
Tunnels of Paris « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

17 01 2012
Streets of Paris « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); […]

21 01 2012
Arc de Triomphe « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", […]

21 01 2012
Napoleon’s Tomb « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Share […]

27 01 2012
Galleries Lafayette « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

28 01 2012
Versailles « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

29 01 2012
Foreign Exchange « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] posts….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

29 01 2012
Sorrento – an afterthought « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] posts….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

29 01 2012
Caves of Lascaux « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

29 01 2012
Standing Stones of Carnac « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] Les Grottos en France « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age (15:18:46) : […]

29 01 2012
Arrival in Paris « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

11 02 2012
Montignac – une très belle ville! « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

11 02 2012
An unknown Chateau « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] all labelled! Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Napoleon’s Tomb […]

16 02 2012
The troglodytes of Maison Fort de Reignac « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] France….. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe Share […]

16 02 2012
Fontainebleau – Versaille without the queues « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

17 02 2012
La Seine « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

23 02 2012
Theme Parks, French style « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

23 02 2012
Where Da Vinci lived « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

23 02 2012
Pretty pictures en France « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

10 03 2012
the amazing gardens of Château de Villandry « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

11 03 2012
Troglodyte village of Rochemenier « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

12 03 2012
Another mystery château « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

18 03 2012
Château Langeais « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

18 03 2012
Saumer « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] more…. Arrival in Paris Caves of Lascaux Notre Dame French menus Standing Stones of Carnac Les Grottos en France The Louvre Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Streets of Paris Arc de Triomphe The troglodytes of Maison […]

21 04 2012
Prehistoric Australia « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] rate of petrification in these caves is much (much) slower than the caves we visited in France, where the rate of water flow and the calcium oad in the water was such that they could use it to […]

20 12 2012
karen

I have two stalagmite plaques that were bought in Brittany in 1927…almost identical to the one shown above…I was wondering if you could tell me any more information

20 12 2012
Mudmap

Sure – what do you want to know?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: