Pont d'Arc – Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, France - Atlas Obscura

Pont d'Arc

Vallon-Pont-d'Arc, France

A natural arch carved by a river gave its name to the so-called "Cave of Forgotten Dreams." 

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Spanning the calm Ardèche River, the Pont d’Arc is a colossal geologic feature that acts as a gate to the Ardèche Canyon where the world’s oldest cave paintings are located.

Carved out of a solid stone wall over millennia, the large stone arch is often thought of as the gateway to the winding canyon. Countless canoe enthusiasts flock to the site each year to swim and embark on leisurely trips downstream. The rocky overpass also gives its name to the nearby Chauvet-Pont d’Arc Cave which contains the world’s oldest cave paintings and was made famous by the Werner Herzog documentary, “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”    

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