Come with us for a family visit of lascaux iv, vip style!

Montignac
Come with us for a fa ...

In Montignac, in the Black Perigord, there is a major prehistoric site: The Centre International de l’Art Pariétal (International Centre for Cave Art), also called Lascaux IV. A symbolic place, discovered in 1940 by 4 bold young boys looking for a dog… It is a beautiful story, a super treasure of knowledge and aestheticism, to be explored by all and all year. Yes, Lascaux IV is also well suited to children, indeed I went there with my three little curious ones, come with us!



Marcel and his friends, amazed by the painted and sculpted Walls

The Lascaux caves are located on an open hill covered by the characteristic green oak trees from the Black Perigord, only few minutes away on foot from the town centre of Montignac. It is a beautiful valley, in a green setting where the Vézère River flows. In September 1940, Marcel Ravidat was looking for his dog and he found a small cave, where he returned with friends a few days later, he discovered this precious artistic and cultural legacy from our distant ancestors.

Why Lascaux IV? Because the original cave, perfectly preserved during 17,000 years by the lack of air and light, has been extensively damaged by the guided tours organised within it. After this damage was discovered, a first facsimile (an identical reproduction) of part of the cave: Lascaux II was made; then a travelling exhibition: Lascaux III was created; and now the International Centre for Cave Art is the identical reproduction of the quasi-totality of the cave. Hundreds of people for thousands of hours have, patiently and with passion, worked for the creation of this huge project.


Lascaux IV in front of the hill where the original cave is located
Lascaux IV in front of the hill where the original cave is located


Today, Lascaux IV is a modern and sober building, respectfully backing on to the hillside where the original cave rests in peace and is only accessible for scientific researcher. Prepare yourself for a voyage as powerful as Marcel and his friends had! The Lascaux IV museography and scenography are made to make you dive into a daydream, like you would discover the caves for the first time! With one important difference: thanks to the modern digital tools, the visualisation, the understanding and the interest that such a place can generate (especially for the youngest) are enhanced. You are not a specialist in prehistory? Everything is explained clearly and at your pace. Are you a prehistory enthusiast? In Lascaux IV, you can find everything to satisfy your curiosity, your more detailed questions can find some answers amongst the knowledge stored in this beautiful building.


An enhanced and detailed visit
An enhanced and detailed visit

Several areas and a trip back in time

The International Centre for Cave Art is divided into several areas, making the visit more interesting than a classic tour. Get your tickets (pre-booking online is crucial during the high season!) and go to collect your digital tour companion, a tablet with headphones allowing you to enhance the visit in a set time (not everything in one go…).


The digital tour companion, easy to use for all
The digital tour companion, easy to use for all

Take the lift or the stairs, heading towards the belvedere. Over there, the view is beautiful and clear, enjoy… The tablets provide precious orientation information. Follow your guide, going down slowly towards a first area, where a film on a giant screen immerses you in the atmosphere and especially places you back in the life and earth chronological time. We carried on going down between the stone walls, revealing soon the entrance of the cave. Let’s go, in silence and respectfully… The temperature is here constant, around 13 degrees, take a jumper, especially during summer. I do not want to say more and spoil the surprise… Only few photos and the rest will be explained by your guide…


In the cave, it is amazing
In the cave, it is amazing
 

After the cave, you enter the facsimile studio. Some walls of the cave are reproduced, suspended in the air by a system of cables which is quite beautiful. It is from here that your tablet comes on stage. The tour guides are available to help you use your interactive tablet. More precisely, as you approach the walls, your tablet beeps and gives you information on what you see. Take the time to observe, search, click, lift your eyes… Look for the bird-man, the Scène du Puits (The Shaft Scene), one of the only human representations in the Lascaux caves.


The facsimiles studio
The facsimiles studio


Back in the main hall, near the entrance, 3 new areas await you:

  • The Cave Art Theatre, to know more on the discovery of the decorated caves and the interpretations they suggest.
  • The 3D cinema, offering a poetic film on all the decorated caves in the world, as well as a holistic vision of the Man and his place in the universe.
  • The Imaginary Gallery, you choose the painting you want to create, amongst the masterpieces offered. Click and it becomes animated on the walls!


The Cave Art Theatre
The Cave Art Theatre
The Imaginary Gallery
The Imaginary Gallery


It is now time to hand back your tour companion and maybe visit the shop, if you want. Just before the exit there is a last space with temporary exhibitions which awaits you. The visit of Lascaux IV lasts at least 3 hours. But if you like being thorough, you can easily spend the day. There are some catering facilities on site allowing you to take a break and then carry on with your visit. Do not forget to visit the town of Montignac located few minutes away on foot, offering beautiful view on the river, delicious restaurants and nice shops.


The Lascaux IV halls
The Lascaux IV halls


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