Lascaux Caves And Its Bulls

Posted On December 3, 2009 


Lascaux is the site of a composite of caves. It is located in the region which is to the southwest of France. Lascaux is well-known for the Paleolithic cave paintings. The actual caves are situated around the village of Montignac, in the Dordogne département. The caves do contain few of the renowned Upper Paleolithic art. It is believed that the paintings are around 16,000 years old. The basic designs painted on the caves are the practical images of the huge animals. Almost all the animals those were present during those times as found as the fossils in the area surrounding the cave. In the year 1979, UNESCO declared and included Lascaux Caves in its World Heritage Sites list with the other primitive sites located in the Vézère valley.

lascaux cave


On 12 September, 1940, the cave was been discovered by four teenager friends, Marcel Ravidat, Georges Agnel, Jacques Marsal and Simon Coencas, Marcel’s dog, Robot was also accompanying them during their discovery. After the end of World War II in the year 1955 the access to the caves by the general public became quite easier. In the year 1955 around 1200 tourists visited the cave in a single day and thus the carbon dioxide produced by them created damage to the painting in the cave. The damage was easily visible. In the year 1963 the cave was been closed for the public to visit as to preserve the art work of the cave.


The restoration work for the various art works in the caves was carried when the cave was been closed. The paintings were daily monitored and thus the art work was been restored to the original state. The various rooms that are the part of the cave are the Lateral Passage, Great Hall of the Bulls, Chamber of Felines, the Shaft of the Dead Man, the Painted Gallery, Lascaux II, the Chamber of Engravings. A replica of painted Gallery as well as the great hall of the bulls was been constructed. These rooms were opened in the year 1983 and were located at a distance of 200 meters from the actual site. Other LAscaux artworks were also reproduced. They are a part of the display of the centre of pre-historic art which is located at Le Thot at France.

During the year 1998 the Lascaux Caves were been weighed down with huge fungus, this was been blamed on air conditioning system that was newly installed in the caves as well as the usage of high-capacity lights. The major reason was stated as the increasing number of the visitors. In the year 2008 the scientists are trying to hard to keep away a black colored mold away from the cave paintings. During the year 2008 in the month of January, the cave authorities took the decision of closing the cave for almost 3 months. During this span of this scientists as well as the preservationists were not allowed inside the cave.

There are around 2000 figure which are created in the cave. They are broadly divided into three major categories which are abstract signs, animals as well as human figures. It is observed that the surrounding landscape were not the part of the images which were painted on the walls of the cave. There are no paintings of the vegetation of that time. Mostly the mineral pigments are used to paint the major images on the walls of the caves. Also some painting are been craved into the stone. Many of the paintings have got depreciate while some have become so faint thus making it tough to distinguish them.

The Great Hall of the Bulls is the most popular section of the cave. IN this hall the equines, stags as well as the bulls are depicted. The most dominant painting among the 36 animals paintings made here is the huge painting of the four black bulls. The huge animal which is been discovered in the cave in the 5.2m long bull. Moreover after having a look at the paintings of the bull you will feel that the bulls are in motion.

lascaux Great Hall of the Bulls

How to reach

If you want to travel through airways and reach Lascaux caves than take a flight to the Periguex-Bassillac airport. This is the nearest located airport. The distance of the cave from the airport is around 45 km. You can cover this distance either by renting a car or hiring a cab or can even try out the bus services. The railway station which is located very close to the caves is Condat-Le-Lardin station. It is located at a distance of 10 km from the cave.

When to visit

The best time of the year to visit the Lascaux Caves is in between July and August. The atmosphere is quite temperate during this time.


You can a stay at the various motels and hotels placed around the city. The hotels in the city have good services and as cost-worthy. A huge range of food items are easily available across the city.

Opening timings

The caves 0f Lascaux is completely closed through out the month of January.
In the months of February, March, October-December the caves are opened daily expect Monday for the public visit. The timings are 10am–12:30pm and later 2:00 pm–5:30pm.

In the months of April–June as well as September the caves are opened daily from 9 in the morning till 6 in the evening.
Also in the months of July as well as August the public can visit the caves daily between 9am to 7pm.

Entrance fees

Every day only around 2000 Visitors are allowed to visit the caves so try can get the tickets before hand as the place is always crowded. During the summer season the tickets are available only at the Montignac Tourist Office.

The entrance fees for the adults are 8.50€, for the children who belong to the age group of 6-12 are 5.50€. The children who are under 6 years are not charged anything. You can get a combination ticket for € 10 if you are planning to visit Le Thot.

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