Espace Pierres Folles, Geology and fossil museum
A museum to the "Golden Stoned" Beaujolais area: geology, fossil collection with a giant ichthyosaurus, soils and natural resources and temporary exhibitions. The approved geological trail and botanical garden can be viewed free of charge.
The Espace Pierres Folles site takes you through the entire geological history of Beaujolais, from formation, 500 Mya, to prehistoric men.
Founded in 1988 by Haroun TAZIEFF, this is one of the region's key geological sites.
Its museum displays the extraordinary abundance of fossils in the Beaujolais (a collection of more than 1000 species), including the mould of a giant ichthyosaur found in the nearby Lafarge quarry. Situated in the "Pierres Dorées" (golden stones) region, he takes you right into the heart of a unique land whose geology fashions the soils, the plants, the vineyards and the wine, the activity of Man and the abundant natural resources.
Outside the museum, a geological path takes you on a life-sized journey through the region's geological past. The path, lined with informational signs, takes you past rocky outcrops and landscape features. Over a distance of less than 1km, it spans more than 165 million years of the region's geology, from the beginning of the Jurassic Period 200 Mya to the Tertiary Period 35 Mya.
Famous throughout the world for its wines and vineyards, the Beaujolais is also a region shaped by man, who has reaped the benefits of the soil's diversity. Its past is literally written in stone: in the golden, red, white, grey or black rocks and stones that have visibly been put to good use in local construction. This remarkable geology has given rise to great diversity, not only in the landscapes and heritage, but also in terms of human activity, in the culture and traditions that form the identity of the Beaujolais region.