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Photo of La Grotte du Sorcier

Visit La Grotte du Sorcier

The Grotte du Sourcier, also known as the Grotte de Saint-Cirq is one of the rare caves in the world with a prehistoric representation of a human figure. Nearly all cave paintings and engravings are of animals.

The cave is found in a steep cliff face above a valley in the upper part of the village of Saint-Cirq and close to Le-Bugue.

Explore the Grotte du Sorcier

The cave is located in a small hamlet of pretty stone buildings with stone roofs. These stone roofs called lauze roofs were once the norm but are now very rare.

The buildings of the upper village where the cave is located are nestled under the overhanging cliff in a beautiful and dramatic setting. You will notice in the cliff signs of early dwellings and fortified shelters which were created in the Middle Ages.

Saint Cirq upper village

La Grotte du Sorcier is a cave with engravings made by prehistoric man during the Magdalenian period, about 17000 to 12000 years ago.

Inside the cave there are not a lot of engravings but one of them is a very rare engraving of a human figure known as the sorcerer. The engraving is reputed amongst historians to be one of the most beautiful engravings in Europe.

Human figures are very rare in prehistoric art and generally thought to represent particularly important people in the prehistoric groups. The "sorcier" has particularly large genitals, perhaps to indicate his power! He is named a sorcerer for no particular reason. The name was given by the Abbé Glory and has stuck.

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There are only 12 other human representations dating from prehistoric times in France. One of these is at the Lascaux Caves, not too far from Saint-Cirq.

As well as the sorcerer there are some engravings of horses and a bison in the cave though not many. It really is for the sorcerer that you will want to visit the cave.

There is a small museum that you can visit whilst you are waiting for your tour to start. The museum contains artefacts from various periods in history found whilst exploring the site.

Part of the museum is in the roof space of the building and is an opportunity to see close up the skill involved in building these lauze roofs.

Grotte du Sorcier museum

Grotte Prehistorique du Sorcier information

Address: Grotte Prehistorique du Sorcier, 24260 Saint-Cirq

The cave is open:

April, September, October, 1-11 November: 10.00 to 18.00,

May and June: 10.00 to 18.30

July and August: 10.00 to 19.00

Adults 7.50€, children (5 to 13s) 3,50€

Places to visit nearby

The Grotte du Sorcier is close to Les Eyzies which is at the heart of the prehistoric sites of the area. In Les-Eyzies itself you can visit the National Prehistory Museum which can provide a lot of information about the people and art of prehistoric times. It also contains some important artefacts such as the skeleton of a Neanderthal baby.

Les Eyzies was the first place in the world where remains of our direct ancestors, the Cro Magnon, were discovered. You can visit this site and a visitor centre about our ancestors at the Abri Cro Magnon.

The Grotte du Sorcier is close to the pretty village of Campagne which has a beautiful chateau and gardens. The gardens are free to visit.

Nearby Le Bugue has a number of attractions that are particularly popular with children including the Aquarium and the theme park of Le-Bournat which depicts life in the early 20th century.

See also: 

Photos of La Grotte du Sorcier

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • fortified-dens
  • grotte-entrance
  • grotte-musee
  • museum
  • museum1
  • museum2
  • saint-cirq-upper-village

Map of La Grotte du Sorcier and places to visit

 
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La Grotte du Sorcier places to visit

Campagne

Campagne

Campagne is a picturesque village with the grounds of a chateau to explore.

Campagne guide
Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne

The gardens of the Chateau de Campagne are very pretty as are the views of the stunning castle.

Gardens of the Chateau de Campagne guide
The Aquarium

The Aquarium

The Aquarium at Le Bugue is a freshwater aquarium and also has an alligator park.

The Aquarium guide
Le Bournat

Le Bournat

Le Bournat is a theme park depicting life in the early 1900s.

Le Bournat guide
Le Bugue

Le Bugue

Le-Bugue is a vibrant market town on the edge of the river Vézère.

Le Bugue guide
Grotte de Bara Bahau

Grotte de Bara Bahau

The Grotte de Bara Bahau contains engravings made by prehistoric man.

Grotte de Bara Bahau guide
 
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