Grotte de Rouffignac

Located in the middle of the Black Périgord,

a few kilometres from the prestigious Vallée Vézère,

Rouffignac is a huge cave.


ssively occupied by cave bears and prehistoric artists, it still beholds the spectacular testimonies of those passages.

More than 250 animal figures are scattered in this underground maze, where they were left 140 centuries ago.

Bouquetins de Rouffignac More than 250 animal figures are scattered in this underground maze, where they were left 140 centuries ago.

 

Sat aboard an electric train, you will dive into the mysterious cave world

and discover the art of the prehistoric hunter-gatherers.

A privileged place of knowledge broadcasting, Rouffignac regularly receives scientific exhibitions.

Trains in a cave, since 1959!

Caves belong to an environment where balance is precarious.

When they contain cave art, respecting this balance becomes even more necessary.

Special precautions must be taken to conciliate visits and conservation, such as a limitation of the number of visitors or the management of lighting, both in time and intensity.

That is why the visit is done aboard electric trains, which channel visitors, provide the lighting and guaranty a relative discreetness to our repetitive frequentation of the cave.

These facilities fit out as soon as 1959 are unique in an decorated cave.

Thanks to the trains, the one hour tour lets the visitor feel the impressive nature of the place and discover its prehistoric art without any tiredness or any danger for the preservation, while enjoying a real guided conference.

The first train of Rouffignac, starting point, in the 60th

 Your visit to Rouffignac cave

 



 

Ouverture saison 2018

 Tous les jours du 25 mars au 1° novembre 2018

25 mars au 30 juin

10h à 11h30

14h à 17h

1° juillet au 31 août

 9h à 11h30

14h à 18h

1° septembre
au 1° novembre 

10h à 11h30
14h à 17h

Groups (20 persons minimum) are exclusively received by appointment, from march the 1th to november the 30th.

 

Fares  2018

Vous venez en familles :

Adulte : 7,80 €
Enfant (6-12 ans) : 5,10 €

Vous venez en groupes
(sur rendez-vous, 20 personnes minimum)

adulte : 5,50 €
Scolaire : 3,90 €


 

The tour is in french.

Nevertheless, viseo-guide (iPod Touch) exists in english, dutch, german, spanish, italian, portuguese, hebrbrew, chinese, japanese and russian.

Visioguide

Fares : 1,50 euros

 

al  an  es  ho  index  israel  it  ja  po ru

 

 

 

The cave is accesible from the motorway A89 by

the exits 16 (from Bordeaux) and 17 (from de Brive, Paris ou Clermont-Ferrand).

 

The cave is at 4 km southern the village of Rouffignac by the road D32. 


GPS indications : :

Latitude : 45° 00' 26"

Longitude : 0° 59' 16"

  Tickets distribution

# Spring and autumn (march - june & september - october): 

Tickets are sold AM for morning tours and from 2 pm for afternoon tours.

Be careful

# Summer (July-august): 

Tickets are sold since 9 AM for the tours in the day.

The hour of the tour is indicated on the ticket when it is sold.

It is not necessary to wait at the entrance of the cave if the waiting is long.

But, It is very important to be at the departure 10 minutes before the tour.

 

Practical information

-  A souvenirs and books shop will also be found there.

-  Outside, in a preserved natural environment, you will enjoy a shady picnic area and many walk trails

Be careful !

- Entries are limited. There is no reservation. Take your ticket(s) as soon as you arrive.
- In July and August we recommend you to come before 10.30 am, in order to avoid too long a wait.
- Bring warm clothes.
- For preservation reasons, animals are not accepted.

The Cave

Plan de la GrotteOne of the largest caves in the region, Rouffignac is a development of about eight kilometres of galleries on three levels with corridors unusually voluminous in the Périgord. Some of its galleries are ten metres high, others a dozen metres wide. The whole of the cave is hollowed out in a full of flint nodules cretaceous limestone. Apart from a small brook, running along the deepest galleries, most of the network is totally fossil. Water dug mainly during the tertiary geological area. The network is considered as being dry for two or three million years.

cave occupied by bears Passage des ours

Cave bears were probably the first to use this network. Numerous traces of their repetitive passages remain: countless claw marks on walls and ceilings and bear dens in the clayey ground of some of the galleries. Nevertheless, bones are surprisingly rare.

The Magdalenian artists

Mammoth is the main theme in Rouffignac. 158 of those pachyderms are shown on this network’s walls and ceilings. Despite the grand prestige this animal holds in our spirits, it was seldom represented by the prehistoric artists, generally to the benefit of horse and bison .Thus, when 350 ornamented caves are known in Western Europe, about a third of the mammoth representations are in Rouffignac. That is why the place is commonly nicknamed "the 100 mammoths cave". This choice made by the prehistoric artists is even more surprising that mammoth bones are rarely found in the South- Western France. This obviously adds mystery to the cave’s ornamentation.

Engraving of the Patriarch

This is one of the most spectacular among the numerous mammoth representations in the cave. It shows an elderly animal (as shown by the tusks length) and is a good example of Rouffignac art’s legibility. It also highlights the spontaneity of the artists’ gestures.

A set of mammoth and ibex.

As usually observed in the prehistoric art, other subjects go with the central theme. This phenomenon is particularly observable on the Great Ceiling, where a whirl of 65 animal figures dominates a shaft leading to the lower levels. There, mixed to the commonly seen horses and bisons, rhinoceros -extremely rare in the prehistoric art- can be admired, as well as ibex, like those surrounding the Grandfather (one of the most complete mammoth figures in the cave).Bouquetins

Besides engraving, black lines drawing is the second technique used by the artists of Rouffignac. This technical simplicity undoubtedly emphasises the evocative strength of those pictures, whether they are juxtaposed on the Great Ceiling, or they belong to structured sets such as the Ten Mammoths Frieze. In Rouffignac, more than anywhere else, the sensitivity and the modernity of the Magdalenian artists are perceivable.

The Ten Mammoths Frieze

 

 

 

 

 

Fil de navigation