The Village of the Madeleine Caves and chasms, Prehistoric Sites in Tursac

Opening hours

Closed

  • Monday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Tuesday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Friday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Saturday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm
  • Sunday 10:00 am - 07:00 pm

Opens at 10:00 am

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Useful information

Location : In the countryside

Province : Black Périgord

Services

  • Children playground
  • Chèques Vacances (Holiday voucher)
  • Credit card accepted
  • English spoken
  • Entertainment
  • Groups
  • Parking
  • open 7/7
  • English
    • DISCOVER THE TROGLODYTIC VILLAGE OF LA MADELEINE IN THE VÉZÈRE VALLEY

      A prehistoric and medieval getaway near Les Eyzies in the heart of one of the major tourist sites of Périgord Noir .

      The troglodyte village of La Madeleine, nestled in Tursac, on the road between Montignac-Lascaux and Les Eyzies, offers a fascinating dive into the history of the Magdalenian, dating back no less than 17,000 years .

      Explore this unique site, witness to human occupation over the centuries, in an exceptional natural setting, in the heart of the major tourist sites of Périgord Noir.

      A prehistoric immersion in the Vézère valley

      La Madeleine reveals itself as a troglodyte village, with its sumptuous rock shelters in the heart of nature.

      On the road to Prehistory, in the Vézère valley, this very important site immerses visitors in the heart of the life of our ancestors.

      An invitation to explore a friendly village, completely new in the region, offering a unique perspective on different eras of human occupation.

      An enriching visit to La Madeleine

      The guided tour, carried out by enthusiasts, is recommended to fully appreciate this site, although independent exploration (with audio guide) is also possible.

      Accompanied by clear and educational interpretation panels, the visit allows you to understand the uses, customs, trades, activities, habitat, and preservation of food at different times.

      The village of La Madeleine is an experience that evolves with the seasons, offering a pleasant family stroll to enjoy for at least half a day, or even longer if you plan a picnic.

      A linear walk in the heart of prehistory

      The visit begins with sumptuous views of a peak of the Vézère, dominating this part of the valley. During the summer, you can observe canoes navigating the river.

      After crossing a wooded environment, you will reach the foot of the cliff, where shelters reconstructed with different period materials are revealed. Some are semi-troglodytic, leaning against the cliff, while others exploit the natural crevice of the limestone rock to become real habitats.

      La Madeleine is not simply an exhibition or a chance reconstruction, but a real educational site.

      The museography enlightens visitors on the different periods of occupation, highlighting habits, customs, architectural techniques, trades, activities, habitat, and food preservation.

      A trip to the Middle Ages in the heart of the village

      La Madeleine reveals its medieval past with the old Petit Marzac castle in ruins, halfway through the visit.

      During the Middle Ages, the site was a small fortified town, with a castle and all the necessary amenities. The grandiose common oven, dedicated to baking bread for the lord and his villagers, captivates the attention of visitors.

      The village of La Madeleine thus offers a dive into history, revealing an occupation of the site in the Middle Ages, with a small town equipped with defensive installations and infrastructure for daily life.

      The Peasants of the Madeleine: a journey through time

      The visit to the village continues with an exploration of a new place, which emerged four years ago: Les Paysans de la Madeleine.

      Managed by the Hamelin family, this site completes the troglodyte village. Charles and Louis develop the village, while Marie, Louis' sister, realizes a peasant farm project.

      Together, they revive the traditions of the ancient inhabitants of La Madeleine, offering an authentic link with the past. Visitors can discover the vegetable garden, an exhibition in an old tobacco barn, farm animals, the medicinal garden, and the bakery.

      An educational and gourmet experience

      The Paysans de la Madeleine pass on the know-how of the peasantry through rich experiences.

      The peasant farm offers an immersion in the peasant world, with workshops, activities, Bal Trad type evenings, and the Festival of Ancient Trades in May (for the ascensionnelle weekend).

      New “nature” activities are offered, such as animal tracking and cosmetic treatment workshops with plants from the medicinal garden.

      Adults can learn the first steps of the blacksmith profession. An exhibition of photos, objects, and agricultural tools in a tobacco dryer offers a real dive into the site's past. Some evenings, storytelling evenings bring tales and legends to life in the fantastic setting of the village clinging to the limestone cliff.

      A historical discovery of the La Madeleine site

      The La Madeleine site was discovered in 1863 by Edouard Lartet and Henry Christy, two enthusiasts of primitive arts. The prehistoric site dates back to the occupation of hunter-gatherers, and excavations have revealed flint tools, assegai points, decorated limestone slabs, animal sculptures and engravings, pierced sticks, bone needles , pendants, and ornaments.

      The most extraordinary discovery was an engraving of a mammoth on a fragment of ivory, proving the coexistence of Man and Mammoth. La Madeleine thus became a strategic shelter in the 10th century, offering protection against Norman invasions.

      An evolution over the centuries

      Over the centuries, La Madeleine has developed thanks to its favorable environment. The proximity of the alluvial plains facilitated livestock breeding and agriculture. The surrounding plateaus provided game, and the Vézère was a crucial economic communication axis. The bargemen transported various foodstuffs on the river, stimulating local economic growth. La Madeleine prospered until the industrial revolution and the arrival of the train.

      The Peasants of La Madeleine: the transmission of peasant common sense

      Since 2020, the village of La Madeleine has been looking to the future with the Paysans de La Madeleine farm. This educational farm aims to transmit the know-how of the peasantry, reconnecting with the links between the people of the cliffs and their environment. The site highlights the natural beauty of the place.

      A gourmet experience in summer

      In summer, visitors can discover the farm's production, from the vegetable garden to the bakery, with artisanal production of natural sourdough bread baked in a wood oven. Plants and vegetables from the garden supply the dining area, offering an outdoor gourmet experience.

      Immerse yourself in history and nature at La Madeleine, a preserved prehistoric and medieval site, offering an educational and enriching experience for all history and heritage enthusiasts.

      Enjoy a full day or half-day with the family to explore the secrets of La Madeleine and discover peasant traditions with Les Paysans de La Madeleine. A journey back in time to the heart of Périgord Noir awaits you.


      On Tuesdays August 6 and 20, 2024, visitors eager for stories and legends can discover the vigils told by the fireside. Storytellers will sit by the fire and will skillfully transmit the tales and legends of the French regions. The village will be lit up with hundreds of candles in a magical atmosphere.

      Discover for the first time the Madeleine at the heart of the program “ Terroirs d’excellence en Périgord” ( Des Racines Et Des Ailes ).

  • Français

Traveller Reviews The Village of the Madeleine

4.3 sur 5 2662 reviews

  • Stine W

    4 sur 5 Reviews posted by Stine W on 21/06/2023

    A very interesting medieval site but there is archaeological work in the prehistoric section so you can't really see the namesake site of the Magdalenian period. I wanted to see that and so was a little disappointed. It was a very beautiful and tranquil place. Your entrance allows you to also visit the farm. There is an enormous amount of archaeology there. Everywhere you look you can find something.

  • monica pronzini

    4 sur 5 Reviews posted by monica pronzini on 01/05/2019

    Interesting and fascinating place to visit, free parking nearby but the entry ticket is quite expensive considering that the place is not that big. There was a guided tour and we followed it but it was very crowded and we couldn't hear very well what the guide said although he explained well. There is also a rundown castle but a fence doesn't allow getting close to it.

  • Gautier Baudry

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Gautier Baudry on 15/06/2019

    A really well conserved troglodytic village, with its history unrolling before our eyes. The site is in very good condition and regular guided tours are organized. Clearly worths the stop.

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The Village of the Madeleine

Address

Le Petit Marzac
24260 Tursac

GPS coordinates

44° 58'6.61"N, 1° 2'2.23"E

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