The Lascaux cave, located in the commune of Montignac-Lascaux, in the Vézère valley, is one of the most important decorated caves of the Palaeolithic. It contains a large number of works of exceptional aesthetic quality. Thanks to this unique treasure, it is sometimes nicknamed the "Sistine Chapel of Parietal Art" or even the "Versailles of Prehistory".
The paintings and engravings of Lascaux have not been able to be directly dated precisely, but their age is estimated at between 19,000 and 17,000 years.
The real Lascaux Cave and its original paintings are particularly fragile. Over the years, damage to the paintings began to appear due to the large number of tourists. To preserve this unique heritage, it has been closed to the public. What can now be visited is an exact replica: Lascaux IV.
For the first time, the ornate cave of Lascaux reveals almost all its secrets! Prepare to go back in time by diving into the heart of the almost complete replica of the Lascaux cave discovered in 1940. This new facsimile of the cave has been created with one ambition: to make you feel the same sensations when you enter as the 4 young boys: Marcel Ravidat, Jean Clauzel, Maurice Queyroi and Louis Périer.
The atmosphere is cool and dark, the decorations are well set up, the play of light and shadow guides you, gradually revealing the different treasures that the place abounds in.
During your visit to the cave art centre, just after the guided tour of the Lascaux 4 cave, set off on a visit at your own pace to better understand the history of this fabulous cave and of cave art throughout the world. Several rooms await you! First of all, you will visit the workshop, which will allow you to enter into the heart of the history of the paintings in the Lascaux 4 cave. Then, you can go as you please to relive the interpretation of cave art through the ages in the Digital Theatre, then thanks to the 3D cinema you will be able to immerse yourself completely in the other caves around the world, and finally, thanks to the digital exhibition room, select and rediscover contemporary and cave art works
The Lascaux cave is open every day practically all year round.
However, in 2020, due to thecoronavirus pandemic, the site is expected to reopen on the last two weekends of June (20-21-22 June & 27-28-29 June), and then the season will begin inearnest from 4 July. However, you can book your ticket online now. However,please always check the official website of the Grotte de Lascaux forinformation on visiting times and possibilities.
Theindividual rates for Lascaux IV are currently as follows:
· Adult (over 12 years old) €20
· Adult reduced rate* €19
· Children aged 5 to 12 years €12.90
· Children reduced rate* €11.90
· Young children (under 5 years old) Free
· Carte privilege €50* reduced rate on presentation ofproof: students, large family card, jobseekers, disabled persons, Crédit Agricole members
The international center for cave art Lascaux 4 is much more than a facsimile ofthe original cave. It's an entire center dedicated to the history and art ofcave art. Situated at the foot of the Montignac-Lascaux hill, just a few meters from the original cave, more than 10,000 m2 have been laid out to enable morethan 1 million visitors to discover the masterpieces of our prehistoric ancestors. The resolutely modern building, however, has been designed to alter the landscape as little as possible, and it fits very naturally into the Lascaux hill, following its different curves. The inclusion is so successful that, depending on the angle from which you look, the building is not always visible. Although the site is that of Lascaux, the time of your visit, you will set off to meet the cave art of the whole world to return to the traces of the civilization of the Cro-Magnon men.
Montignac is nestled upstream from the Vézère valley, also known as the "Valley ofMan". It nestles at the foot of the hill of Lascaux and is also halfway between Sarlat la Canéda in the Dordogne valley and the "Capital ofPrehistory", Les Eyzies-de-Tayac. This region, with its unique cultural wealth, is also known as the "Golden Triangle of the Périgord Noir".In this valley of the Vézère and Dordogne rivers, there are 400 000 years of human occupation of which the traces are still visible today and thanks towhich 15 sites have been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Beyond the prehistoric sites, the town of Montignac also offers its share of historical monuments. For example, within its walls are two villas dating back to Roman colonisation: the Villa des Olivoux and the Villa de Brenac. In the heart ofthe village there are also the remains of an important fortress dating back to medieval times. However, after a tumultuous history and many changes of ownership, the castle was destroyed in 1825. A tower and part of itsinfrastructure still bear witness to its existence. In the Middle Ages,Montignac was a ford town which allowed the Vézère river to be crossed. Its present bridge dates from the mid-18th century. Each bank of the river still bears witness to the history of the town, with narrow medieval streets on theright bank and architectural evidence of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries suchas houses on stilts, half-timbered houses, wash houses and fountains of thetime. On the left bank is the suburb with its convent, its priory and its quays, recalling the religious and commercial vocation of the town.
Here are some of the sites not to be missed during your visit to Montignac:
· The stone bridge
· The former St Jean Hospital
· the EvangelistSaint George's Priory
· The covered craft market
· The Convent of the Poor Clares
· The Rue de la Pegèrie and its 14th century houses
· The house of Jeanne d'Albret, mother of King Henry IVof France
But Montignac is also pleasant for its hospitality. As you wander around the town you will find many bars and restaurants and friendly little shops, and if you are lucky enough to come at the end of July you can also discover the International Festival of Montignac. An important festival celebrating dance and music from all over the world...