Photo of The troglodyte village of La Madeleine

Visit The troglodyte village of La Madeleine

The Troglodyte Village of Madeleine is found near the village of Tursac , just to the north of Les Eyzies.

There is evidence of human occupation in the rock shelter of Madeleine from prehistoric times.

Explore the Troglodyte Village of La Madeleine

village troglodytique medieval de La MadeleineThe natural rock shelter at la Madeleine has been home to humans since pre-historic times. The site gave its name to a whole period of prehistoric history - the Magdalenian period. A period of semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes around 17,000 years ago.

Various important prehistoric carvings were found at the site including a carving of a Bison licking an Insect bite, which is carved on an antler and can be found at the National Prehistory museum at Les-Eyzies.  A perforated baton with a horse engraved in low-relief can be seen at the British Museum. In total about 500 pieces of art work were found and these are shared around about 50 different museums.

Unfortunately the prehistoric shelter is not open to visitors.

Above the prehistoric shelter the rock face at La Madeleine is such a sheltered site that in Medieval times it was turned into a troglodyte village - Village Troglodytique medieval de La Madeleine. The natural shelter was enhanced with stone walls to make a series of dwellings.


Various remains of both animal shelters and human shelters can be seen at La Madeleine.

Animals would have been sheltered at the first level of the troglodyte settlement with an upper level created with wooden floors and wood and wattle and daube walls.  Evidence and explanations of the settlements are provided at the site to be able to understand how the shelter developed.

There are the remains of a small chateau above the troglodyte village, the Petit Marzac. This was begun in the 8th century and allowed the village to expand and increase in importance. In the 12th century the Hundred Years War led to further fortifications of the village.

A later Gothic castle was built in the 15th century in the village itself and there is even a small chapel.

La Madeleine Opening Hours

Address: Abri de la Madeleine, Address: 24620 Tursac; tel:05 53 46 36 88

May, June, September: 10.00-19.00

1 July to 31 August: 09.30-20.00

April, October: 10.00-18.00

November to March: weekends and holidays 10.00-18.00

Adults 6.00€, children 3.50€, family 16€

Places to Visit Nearby

The Troglodyte Village of La Madeleine is at the heart of the Vezere valley with its prehistoric treasures. See around Les Eyzies for our one day guide to some of the key sites.

Montignac and the Lascaux caves are a few kilometers to the north as is the pretty Chateau de Losse.

See also: 

Photos of The troglodyte village of La Madeleine

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  • cave
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Map of The troglodyte village of La Madeleine and places to visit


The troglodyte village of La Madeleine places to visit

Maison Forte de Reignac

Maison Forte de Reignac

The Maison Forte de Reignac is a fortified house built into the cliff.

Maison Forte de Reignac guide
The Prehisto Park

The Prehisto Park

The Prehisto Park is an outdoor park with recreations of life in prehistoric times.

The Prehisto Park guide
Chateau de Commarque

Chateau de Commarque

The Chateau de Commarque is a partially renovated 12th century castle.

Chateau de Commarque guide
La Roque Saint Christophe

La Roque Saint Christophe

La Roque Saint Christophe is a troglodyte town carved out in the cliffs.

La Roque Saint Christophe guide
Font de Gaume

Font de Gaume

One of the rare caves containing prehistoric paintings still open to the public.

Font de Gaume guide


Laugerie-basse is a rock shelter used by prehistoric man.

Laugerie-Basse guide