Des lions et des hommes

Vallon Pont d'Arc


from6 april
to22 sept.

Major exhibit - Grotte Chauvet 2 Ardèche : des Lions et des Hommes


from6 april
to22 sept.

Did you
know ?

The Chauvet cave is home to half of all the known prehistoric rock art depictions of big cats, that is to say 75 out of a total 150 !

Lions des cavernes de la Grotte Chauvet Pont d'Arc

The force and beauty of lions, jaguars, tigers and leopards have influenced the thoughts and beliefs of human cultures and civilizations that have lived alongside them.

Inspired by the numerous cave lion depictions found in the Chauvet cave, the exhibition is an invitation to discover and explore this universal and timeless fascination.

A unique journey

Over 180 works of art featuring big cats from the most prestigious international collections (Berlin National Museum, Quai Branly Museum – the Louvre, Cernuschi Museum, Guimet Museum, Natural History Museum…) will take you on a unique journey through the cults ,rituals and feline mythologies of Europe, Asia, America and Africa.

See them in the flesh

But how can we possibly understand the relationship between humans and big cats, if we have never seen them in the flesh ? Taxidermied specimens will allow you to come face to face with these animals.

Practical information

Dates and opening times

Exposition du 6 avril au 22 septembre 2019, ouverte tous les jours à partir de 11h.

Admission prices

We strongly recommend that you book ahead online

Make the most of preferential rates with our partner sites :
Cité de la Préhistoire du Grand site de l’Aven d’Orgnac / Pont du Gard.
Offer subject to conditions

Ticket for the exhibition
and a guided tour of the cave replica
(includes access to the site, Aurignacian gallery and events/demonstrations during school holidays)

Youngster (10-17 years)7.50€
Children under 10Free

Ticket for the exhibition only(includes access to the site, Aurignacian gallery and events/demonstrations during school holidays)

Youngster (10-17 years)4.80€
Children under 10Free

Guided tours (in French) of the exhibition on Sunday from 10 am to 11 am: supplement 5€  

Except for guide dogs

Day parking only

Click on an area to learn more

The journey



Uyan, 46,000 year old mummy

Only a few days old at the time of its death, the cub was recently discovered in the Siberian permafrost. It is one of 5 known frozen specimens.

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Middle East

Babylon, the warrior.

The Ishtar gate is the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in the 6th century BC. The lion represented Ishtar, goddess of war.

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Ancient Egypt

The goddess of war depicted as a lion

Sekhmet is the goddess of war and destruction. She is depicted with the body of a woman and the head of a lioness.

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Ancient Greece and Rome

The lion defines the hero

Hercules fought the powerful Nemean Lion as one of his 12 tasks. By wearing the lion’s skin he in turn became invincible.

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The white tiger, a magical animal

Animal art from the Asian Steppes depicts numerous big cats such as the tiger. Usually made of bronze, certain objects are made of jade, a noble and prestigious stone.

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The Jaguar, intermediary between the living and the dead

Depictions of the jaguar are omnipresent in Pre-Columbian works of art. The jaguar was associated with the world of spirits and the dead.

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The leopard, emblem of kingship

The leopard symbolizes power and authority in many African cultures. This chieftain’s stool symbolically enforces the supremacy of anyone who sat on it.

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Middle East
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Greece and Rome


  • Lectures (in french) 12 April

    The lion figure in Aurignacian sculptures from the Swabien Alps

    by Harald Floss

  • Lectures (in french) 10 May

    Save the big cats!

    by Grégory Breton, General Manager of Panthera France

  • Events 25 May

    « Soft paws »

    storytelling with Chloé Gabrielli

  • Lectures (in french) 14 June

    The cave lion as seen by prehistoric artists

    by Carole Fritz and Philippe Fosse

  • Events 12 July

    Concert given by the Debussy Quartet.

    (festival Les cordes en ballade)

  • Lectures (in french) 29 July

    Save the big cats !

    by Grégory Breton, General Manager of Panthera France

  • Lectures (in french) 09 August

    The lion in the myths and rituals of the Bambara et Dogon cultures (masks)

    by Amaëlle Favreau

  • Lectures (in french) 13 September

    The lion in ancient Egypt, a ubiquitous figure

    by Ilinca Bartos

Open-air cinema

A magical setting, a star studded sky and a film that recounts the relationship between men and big cats ? What else ?

On 25th April, 30th May, 15th June, 25th July, 25th August and 7th September 2019.

Nightime events

Special Thursday night time events during the summer: visit the exhibition, take a leisurely unguided tour of the cave replica with the discoverers, and then go outside to discover the constellations that are linked to big cats. And why not dine out at the restaurant?

Thursdays, 18th and 25th July. 1st, 8th, 15th and 22nd August 2019