Fun with or without children:
- Grottes du Pech Merle (with prehistoric drawings),
- Grottes de Cougnac (with one of the most beautiful ceilings in France),
- Grottes de Lacave (with a train),
- Gouffre de Padirac (with a boat),
Pech Merle's cave is located in the French department of Lot, in the valley of the river Célé in Quercy in the Occitania region, near the village of Cabrerets. The nearest town is Cahors.
In the two-kilometer-long cave you can find prehistoric petroglyphs that are considered among the most beautiful in France. It is also a beautiful stalactite cave.
In the cave you can admire drawings of bison, horses, mammoths, aurochs, deer and figures whose meaning is unclear. In addition, one finds stencilled hands in these caves. With this technique, the hand is pressed against the rock and powdered dye is blown over it. In this way an imprint of the hand is created on the rock. There are also drawings of people and a number of petrified footprints in the caves.
The most famous image is that of the dotted horse (Cheval de Pomelé). The negative handprint with the thirteen dots is also very special.
The existence of the cave system was already known at the beginning of the 20th century, but the cave with the drawings was discovered in 1922 by two French boys aged 15 and 16. Over the years, a dozen other caves have been discovered in the immediate vicinity. discovered with petroglyphs, but only Pech Merle is open to the public. This opening is limited: only 700 visitors per day are allowed into the cave.
As in the more famous cave of Lascaux, the drawings in the cave of Pech Merle were made some 25,000 - 17,000 years ago by the Cro-Magnon man.
The Caves de Cougnac are two prehistoric caves on the territory of the village of Cougnac, in the French department of Lot, a few kilometers from Gourdon, on the main road D17 to Milhac and Masclat.
The hill in which the caves are located is freely accessible. The caves themselves are only accessible with a guide. The first cave is a dry cave, in which several special stalactite and stalagmite formations can be found. The most interesting cave, however, is cave two. In this cave you can find about fifty prehistoric petroglyphs, including aurochs, a horse, a bison and a number of abstract figures. What makes the cave of Cougnac special is that it is one of only three caves in South West France, in which an image of a human can be seen.
The drawings in the cave of Cougnac were made from a religious and cultural point of view over a period of more than 5000 years. They were created by early modern humans who lived in this part of France at the time.
Cougnac thus falls in the same tradition as the drawings in the caves of Lascaux and Pech Merle.