Balzi Rossi Museum
The caves of Balzi Rossi open at the foot of a picturesque rocky wall of dolomitic limestone of the Upper Jurassic about 100 meters high, which is the coastline between the hamlet of Grimaldi Ventimiglia (Imperia) and the border crossing at Ponte San Ludovico between Italy and France. The place name is due to ‘ redness surface of the rock wall . Bàussi Russians in the dialect of Ventimiglia actually means red rocks. The name is due to the typical color of the rock meteorizzata, a high cliff about 100 m consists of dolomitic limestone rich in iron ore; a complex of caves in which they were discovered, since the second half of the nineteenth century, several finds of the Paleolithic era .
The complex consists of a fifteen cavity , of which the most important are:
Cave of Count Costantini
Cave of the Children
the cave of Florestan, so named in honor of the Prince of Monaco, in 1846, he financed the first excavations
the cave of Caviglione
the Barma Grande, which means “cave” in the local dialect
Cave of the Prince, the largest (35 × 18 × 22 meters)
Among the many artifacts found in them there are remains of animals of different ages, twenty human burials, various objects including statues – the so-called Venus of Balzi Rossi – ornaments, stone tools and even rock engraving depicting a horse . At least seven of the skeletons discovered are related to the presence of ‘ Cro-Magnon , whose type is called local man Grimaldi.
At the caves is a small museum prehistoric founded in 1898 by Sir Thomas Hanbury .
The Prehistoric Museum of Balzi Rossi remained for many years as it was originally conceived, simple completion of the visit to the Barma Grande , in which were kept in place two Paleolithic burials and the remains of the elephant. During the Second World War were caused serious damage to the Palaeolithic and exhibition facilities. Only in 1955 the museum was acquired by the state and reopened.
The current set-up, completed in 1994 thanks to the expansion of the exhibition spaces and the construction of the new museum building, is part of an integrated path to visit the museum and the archaeological area. On the back of the new building is still visible stratigraphy encountered during the work.
Prehistoric Museum of Balzi Rossi
Via Balzi Rossi, 9 Ventimiglia (IM)
Tuesday-Sunday: 8:30 to 19:30
Closed: January 1, May 1, December 25 (days subject to special openings)
Phone +39 0184 38113