Which id best cave art in Dordogne?

Old Mar 12th, 2003, 09:35 PM
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Which id best cave art in Dordogne?

We are in the Dordogne for a week with friends. Which cave would you visit for the best prehistoric art if you could only visit one? I would like to visit 2, but my friends may not, so I would like the "best" recommendation. Also do you know which days they may have an english-language tour, or how I go about finding that out. Any web-sites for example.
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 11:31 PM
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Try to visit Lascaux and Les Ezies. Lascaux is fascinating but some of the rock art the tourists get to see is not original! Here is a website especially for children; maybe you can find some more links:
www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 09:07 AM
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Lascaux II is the closest you will get to the most impressive polychrome rock art of the Dordogne. The original cave is closed to the general public. You need reservations for Lascaux II, I happened to make them the same morning in Montignac for the afternoon English tour; that was in late June. I happen to like Rouffignac with its electric train ride in the cave, but I don't believe that they have any English tours.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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The best original chromatic cave art is at the Grotte de Font-de-Gaume in Les Eyzies. The number of people admitted to the cave is limited and there are few English tours (and you may not get one even if you reserve ahead for one). Lascaux is a replica, albeit an extraordinary one. Combarelles, which is just down the road from the Font-de-Gaume, is also worthwhile.
If you're interested more in engravings, Rouffignac (in Rouffignac) or Bara-Bahau in Le Bugue are probably the best.
For more information and to make reservations, try http://www.perso-internet.com/showcave.com/france-en/
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 11:37 AM
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I'll second the vote for le Grotte de Font-de-Gaume. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life. The tour was interesting and informative, and offered in English. We chose not to visit the Lascaux recreation.

We also went to Combarelles, which was also very interesting, but the tour was in French only.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 03:03 PM
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Hi, Amanda. You have gotten good advice from St. Cirq and others here, but I thought I would add a bit from my recent experience in making reservations at Lascaux, Font-de-Gaume and Pech-Merle.

Lascaux II is, as others have said, a reproduction, but a very meticulous one. If no one told you, you would never know it was not “the real thing.” Website: http://www.culture.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/ (Same one jenviolin gave and the website St. Cirq gave you provides a link to this one.) Under “Useful Information” you will find phone and fax numbers and an e-mail link (Semitour Perigord) that I used to make reservations for a tour in English. Delphine responded within 24 hrs to my request. I was asked to give a CC no.

Font-de-Gaume admits a limited number per day (I believe I read no more than 200 people), so reservations are a must. There are a few pictures of it as well as Combarelles and some others near Les Eyzies on this site: http://www.arachnis.asso.fr/DORDOGNE...m#reservations You will also see phone and fax numbers to make reservations. (No e-mail for reservations that I could find.) I called recently hoping to make reservations for Monday, June 16. They were already booked up for that date so I had to take Tuesday, June 17. There is conflicting information on the Internet as to when they are closed. The best information I have is that they are closed on Wednesdays (both FdG and Combarelles). The Musée de la Préhistoire in Les Eyzies is closed on Tuesdays, so I am having to alter my itinerary to make two trips to Les Eyzies to visit the museum and the caves.

I am also planning to see the Pech-Merle cave which is, I think, just as interesting as the others. Website: http://www.quercy.net/pechmerle/index.html It is not in Dordogne but next door in the Lot. If you are planning to see Rocamadour or the Gouffre de Padirac, Pech-Merle is not too far to the south. There is a form to fill out and send on the above site, but I sent it over a week ago and have not had a response. If I don’t hear back soon, I plan to call.

This may already be more than you wanted to know but if you have other questions, I’d be happy to try to help.



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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 03:30 PM
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We went to Combarelle and enjoyed it even though the tour was in French. Maybe it was because it was near the end of 10 days in France, but I mostly understood what the guide was saying and I don't speak French. For some things she would tell us the English words.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 04:50 AM
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Just a note to say that after making a second request using the form provided on the Pech-Merle site, I received an answer this morning (actually 2 - one in French and one in English), confirming the date and time I had asked for. Maybe I had a typo in my e-mail address on the first request?

They said that although the tour is not available in English, they do provide booklets in English, the 20-minute film is subtitled in English and exhibits in the museum are labeled in French and English.

Sorry that the URL in my first post was apparently too wide for the window!
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 05:42 AM
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Betty, so what is the correct website address? Is it in English
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 10:15 AM
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If you mean a website for Pech-Merle, the one I gave above is correct and yes, it is in English as well as French. When I mentioned a possible typo I meant that when I sent my first form asking for a reservation, I might have made a mistake in typing in my own e-mail address. That could explain why I did not get an answer to that request.
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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 02:08 PM
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We went to Pech-Merle a few years ago and found it very interesting. We didn't make reservations ahead of time and it was no problem (this was in July). I don't even remember whether the tour was in English or just in French, but it was fascinating nevertheless.
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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 01:46 PM
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Thank you everyone - that should help us decide !
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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 02:56 PM
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Here's another thread on this topic: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...=2&tid=1286584
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Old Jan 5th, 2011, 10:33 PM
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tt
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