Grotte de Rouffignac

Cro du Cluzeau - Cro de Granville

Useful Information

Location: Near Rouffignac
Open: Palm Sunday to JUN daily 10-11:30, 14-17.
JUL to AUG daily 9-11:30, 14-18.
SEP to 01-NOV daily 10-11:30, 14-17.
Fee: Adults EUR 6.40, Children (6-12) EUR 4.10.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 4.60, Children (6-12) EUR 3.10.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave ArchaeologyPainted Cave
Light: electric.
Guided tours: D=60min.
Bibliography: Louise-René Nougier, Romain Robert (1958): The Cave Of Rouffignac, 230pp, 39 plates. Controversial account of a famous French painted cave. HB DW
Address: Grotte de Rouffignac, F-24850 Rouffignac St Cernin. Tel: +33-553054171, Fax: +33-553354471. 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.


1575 oldest description of the cave by Françoise de Belleforest and one of the descriptions of a cave exploration in history.
1715 famous description by the Marquis de Miremont.
1730 two visitors from the Netherlands got lost in the cave.
1759 accurate and detailed map of the cave published by Gabriel Bouquiet.
1765 map of Bouquiet copied by Gonthier.
1803 detailed description of the cave by A. Delfau in his book "Annuaire du département de la Dordogne, pour l'année sextile XI, de l'ère française".
1915 visited by Abbé Breuil and an entymologist in serach for a rare cave bug.
1945 exploration by two speleologists from Périgeux.
1948 visited byAbbé André Glory and Dr. F. Koby from Basel in search for remains of cave bears (Ursus spelaeusExplain).
1956 paintings in the cave discovered by Louis-René Nougier. Scietific publication by Nougier.


The Cave of Rouffignac is know for a very long time. Of course it is known for ten thousands of years, as it contains famous prehistoric art. But historic exploration also started very early in 1575.

A not so nice superlative is the fact, that Rouffignac had one of the first known cave accidents. In 1730 two visitors from the Netherlands got lost in the cave. After some time in the cave they couldn't find the way back. When their light went out they started to burn their clothes, but still they didn't find the exit. One died in the cave, the other one found the exit after nine days and died two days later on exhaustion.

The prehistoric paintings are found all over the cave and far inside the cave. The farthest mammoth is 737m from the entrance, the famous Saïga antelope is 735m from the entrance. In relation to the historic accidents in the cave, this makes the prehistoric painters brave cave explorers. The most famous paintings include the Mammoth With The Eye and the Grandpa, two true artworks.