The Rouffignac cave is located in the commune of Rouffignac-Saint-Cernin, in the north of the Périgord Noir and only about 27 kilometers from the campsite La Fage in Dordogne.
The Rouffignac cave is about 15,000 years old and has been known for centuries.
Its existence is mentioned by several writers since the Middle Ages.
The scientific discoveries by Professor Louis-René Nougier are really made on June 26, 1956.
A lively controversy exists between those who believe in the authenticity of the cave in Dordogne and those who doubt it until the conclusion of the expertise of specialists in 1956.
In 1959, the Rouffignac cave was opened to the public.
In 1979, it was classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
It is also known under other names: “Miremont cave”, “le cro des cluzeau”, “le cro de Grandville”.
With 8 kilometers of corridors, it is the largest prehistoric cave in the Périgord Noir. In the caves, the walls of each underground are decorated with paintings, frescoes and engravings, witnesses of the prehistoric and parietal art of our ancestors.
There are more than 260 representations of animals of the Paleolithic such as bison, horses, woolly rhinoceroses … and especially 160 mammoths dating from the Magdalenian era (about 13 000 years).
Bear claw prints are also evidence that it was used as a cave and hibernation site for bears.
The galleries are spread over 3 levels with some reaching a height of ten meters and a width of a dozen meters.
The network is now fossilized except for a small stream located in the deepest gut of the cave. This network is considered to have been dried up for several million years.
For the sake of good conservation, visits to the Rouffignac cave are limited.
Therefore, it is not possible to book tickets in advance.
The visit is done by small electric train during approximately 1 hour.
The cave is open to the public from the beginning of April to the beginning of November; the price varies from 5.20€ to 7.90€ (free for children under 6).
Please note that animals are not allowed on the site.
In the valley of the Vézère, cradle of Cro Magnon, you will also find other prehistoric sites to visit like La Roque Gageac!