La Grotte Ramioul

Prehistoric Museum of the Wallonie - Prehistosite

Useful Information

Location: E 42 exit 4 Flémalle, n677 to Ramioul, turn right into N644 through Ramioul, after 3 km turn left into Rue de la Grotte.
N 90 exit Ramioul/N639, follow Chausse de Ramioul for 1.3 km then turn right.
Signposted Préhistosite.
Open: 07-JAN to MAR Mon-Fri 9-17.
APR-OCT Mon-Tue 9-17, Wed 13:30-17, Thu-Fri 9-17, Sat-Sun, Hol 13:30-17, Guided tours daily 14.
NOV to MAR Mon-Fri 9-17.
Fee: Self guided: Adults EUR 2, Children (6-12) EUR 2, Children (0-5) free.
Guided tour: Adults EUR 9, Children (6-12) EUR 7.50, Children (0-5) free, Students EUR 8.20, Seniors EUR 8.20, Family (2+3) EUR 32.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=1,200 m.
Guided tours: D=180 min.
Address: Préhistosite de Ramioul, Rue de la Grotte 128, B-4400 Flémalle, Belgique, Tel: +32-4-275-4975, Fax: +32-4-275-7123. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1908 discovery of the ossuaire néolithique de Ramioul.
1911 cave discovered.
1918 museum created at Seraing.
1926 museum moved to the Lycée de la place Saint-Eloy.
1928 electric light, opened to the public.
1955 lower level of the cave discovered.
1957 Musée de Ramioul inaugurated.
1961 laboratoire de biologie souterraine (biospeleologic laboratory) created in the Grotte Ramioul.
1962 seven volunteers live for 15 days in the cave.
1986 inauguration of the Musée de la préhistoire en Wallonie.
1991 cration of Préhistosite started.
1994 inauguration of Préhistosite.
2001 new tourist infrastructure inaugurated.
2003 Grotte Nicole discovered.
2004 new presentation of the collection.


The Grotte Ramioul (Ramioul Cave) is famous as a prehistoric site. Discovered in 1911 by Les Chercheurs de la Wallonie, a non-profit club for speleology, palaeontology and archaeology. This club was founded in 1907, after the discovery of the Grotte de Rosée (Cave of Dew), as an official organization to protect and explore the caves and prehistoric sites of Belgium. During their work they discovered the ossuaire néolithique de Ramioul (neolithic site of Ramioul) in 1908 and the cave behind in 1911.

In the same year, 1911, they started to plan a museum for the findings from Ramioul at Seraing, which was opened in 1918. The museum was moved to the Lycée de la place Saint-Eloy in 1926. Two years later the cave was developed as a show cave, with a footbridge and electric light, and opened to the public. It was actually the first show cave of Belgium. World War II was a great danger for the museum, so the items were packed in boxes and hidden under the ash cellar of the college. After the war they were recovered and again displayed.

In 1955 the lower level of the cave was discovered, and explored during the next years. At the same time a new museum was created and inaugurated in 1957, the Musée de Ramioul (Museum of Ramioul), which was dedicated to the archaeological discoveries. It was much bigger than the exhibition before.

In 1961 an underground biologic laboratory was created in the cave, the laboratoire de biologie souterraine. One of its more spectacular researches was a group of seven young volunteers who lived in the cave for 15 days. The idea was to monitor the influence of the cave environment on the human body. But they also explored the life of troglobionts, for example they introduced Coleoptera bathysciinae from the Pyrenees, to find out if they would survive in this cave. They released three species during the years 1969 and 1970. A inventory in 1991 counted about 45,000 individuals in the cave system which means they like the cave.

The next development stage of the museum was called Musée de la préhistoire en Wallonie (Museum of prehistory in Wallonia), inaugurated in 1986. And in 1991 the site was tranformed into the socalled Préhistosite, a center for experimental archaeology, where visitors can try to mage stone tools from flintstone among other things. It was inaugurated in 1994.

Since the latest update in 2004 the museum is a sort of interactive display with life-size reconstructions of the prehistoric dwellings. There are many activities the visitors can do: making pots, start the wheel or polish a stone. The center of the museum is called experimentarium, and this is the place where visitors can do a little experimental archaeology.

Among all the cave is almost forgotten, it is visited on the daily guided tour. The rest of the day the site is visited self guided but the cave is not open for self guided tours.