Grottes Préhistoriques de Cougnac
Historic site and monument
Three kilometres north of Gourdon, the caves of Cougnac are rich in natural stalactite formations, and numerous cave paintings dating from the Palaeolithic. Under the limestone plateau, two caves are particularly outstanding. One offers a fantastic display of stalactites, and the other, more spacious, has rooms full of columns and the famous cave paintings. Ochre and black tones, precise lines ... the half-light reveals ibex, deer, mammoths and human forms. A journey through time, not to be missed...
The two caves were discovered in 1949 and 1952. The story tells us that a clairvoyant with an interest in magnetism, Monsieur Lagarde, foresaw the presence of the caves and paintings. When the first cavity was discovered in 1949, excavations continued on his advice to discover the second.
One of the highlights of these caves is the extraordinary calcite deposits. Along the wet walls, thousands of stalactites form veritable cathedral of structures. As rare as they are beautiful, the holes and spaces form bizarre sculptures which inhabit the darkness like strange, intriguing, fairytale forms.
A few black spots on a wall, the contours of an ibex, the more massive silhouette of a mammoth ... after walking in the dark, to suddenly discover the great frieze, 25,000 years old is the most stunning sight to greet your eyes. Traces of fingers, animals, birdlike patterns ... shapes in red iron oxide, black lines in charcoal, a whole universe of art is revealed to you.
...the special visit. This guided underground tour is a two-hour journey of discovery, introducing you to the caves in every detail. From tall stories to scientific explanations, you'll learn all the secrets of cave art and get to take a closer look at the beauty of cave geology.