Abri du Cap Blanc, Dordogne caves

Photo of Abri du Cap Blanc

Visit Abri du Cap Blanc

The Abri du Cap Blanc is situated between Les Eyzies de Tayac and Sarlat, in the tiny village of Marquay.

This part of the Dordogne is packed with prehistoric caves, shelters and museums to visit.

Explore the Abri du Cap Blanc

The Abri du Cap Blanc is a rock shelter which has a large frieze sculpted on it by prehistoric man.

Abri du Cap BlancThe frieze is 13 meters long and includes carvings of horses, bison and deer. Horses are the dominant animal in the freize with eight horse sculptures in total, one of which is more than two meters in length. The frieze is considered to be one of the best examples of Paleolithic sculpture (about 35 000 to 10 000 years ago) which is still open to the public. The quality of the images and the depth of the sculpting are both exceptional.

It is thought that the whole was originally coloured ocre.

The shelter was once open fronted but is now protected by a wall built in front of the rock overhang. This will preserve the frieze from weathering and damage from the elements.

At the entrance to the Abri there is a small display with copies of sculptures which can be seen in other abris and caves. The exhibition describes different techniques of sculpture used in prehistoric caves. There is also information about the different species of animal bones found during excavation of the rock shelter and other items found in the abri.

Abri du Cap Blanc Opening Hours and Practical Information

Address: Abri du Cap Blanc, 24620 Marquay, tel: 05 53 06 86 00

1 November to 15 May by rendez vous only

15 May to 15 September: 09.30-17.30

16 September to 14 May: 09.30-12.30 and 14.00-17.30

Admission: 7.50€ adults and free for under 18s.

Places to Visit Nearby

The village of Marquay itself is tiny but pretty and worth wandering round and perhaps stopping for refreshments at its café.

The prehistoric caves of Font-de-Gaume are nearby as are many of the prehistoric sites of the Vezere Valley.

The Roque St Christophe is a rock shelter used by prehistoric man for living in and it continued to be used until medieval times.

See also:

Photos of Abri du Cap Blanc

Click any picture to start the gallery

Map of Abri du Cap Blanc and places to visit

Abri du Cap Blanc places to visit