Verdon Museum of Prehistory
Billed as the "biggest prehistory museum in Europe", we can agree that it's a very fine museum. Modern and new (opened on the 28th of April 2001), the museum is housed in a lenticular building [left] at the bottom of the village (the white building at the top of the small photo is the Mairie/Office de Tourisme. The interior is open and spaceious and, from our observations, a welcome environment for kids. The entrance fee includes multi-lingual explicative headphones.
There are many informative displays, excellent diaporamas, dispersed video displays with stills and movies, and wall projections. If you're only faintly interested in history or prehistory, reserve about an hour for a visit; otherwise you'll need considerably more time.
In addition to the artifacts discovered locally, the museum houses bones, tools and pottery from 60-some caves and grottos and brought together from museums all over France. The Grotte de la Baume Bonne is reconstituted, and there's a boutique and cafeteria for visitors. For students and researchers, there are laboratories and workshops, as part of "pole d'excellence du Parc Régional du Verdon".
The almond-shaped main building was designed by the English architect Norman Foster.
Location: Quinson, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Open: 28 July - 14 June: 6 days, closed Tue; 10h-18h
15 June - 16 Sept: 7 days; 10h-20h
16 Sept - 15 Dec: 6 days, closed Tue; 10h-18h
16 Dec - 31 Jan: annual closure
Entry: About 7 €; children 6-18, about 4 €.
Tel: 0492 740 959; Fax: 0492 740 959