Abri de Laugerie-Haute

Useful Information

Location: 2 km from Les Eyzies, on the right bank of the Vezere.
Open: All year Tue 10.
Booking and tickets at the ShowcaveGrotte de Font-de-Gaume
Fee: Adults EUR 3, Children (0-17) free, Reduced EUR 2.50, Students (18-25) from the EU free, Disabled free, Unemployed free.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 2.80.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave. ArchaeologyAbri
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: W=180 m, L=35 m.
Guided tours:  
Bibliography: Peyrony D., Peyrony E. (1938): Laugerie-Haute., Archives de l'Institut de paléontologie humaine, mémoire 19.
Delpech Fr. (1986): Les Rennes du Grand abri de Laugerie-Haute en Dordogne, Arqueologia (Porto), t. 13, p. 66-71, ill.
Address: Hall d'accueil de Font-de-Gaume, 4 avenue des Grottes, 24620 Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, Tel: +33-553-068600, Fax: +33-553-352618 E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1979 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


Laugerie-Haute is an abri, a rock shelter, not a real cave. It has an exceptional size, being 180 meters long. This place was used during the Upper Palaeolithic as workshop for flint tools.

In five meters of sediment, 42 different levels were identified. The oldest remains are from the Périgordian (ca. 33,000-20,000 BC), the youngest from the Magdalénian (14,000 BC). The continuity of the layers over a rather long period of time allowed the scientists to make a timeline of the Upper Paleolithic.

The good preservation of the site is due to a collapse of the roof. The debris covered the layers and saved them from weather and (more important) from human influence. The shelter once had an overhang looking like huge eyebrow. About 14,000 years ago a volcano erupted, most likely the Puy de Dôme 150 km away, and covered the area with a layer of ash many meters thick. The weight caused the collapse of the two rocks which fell down and turned during the fall, to land on the rounded front edge.

Because of its enormous size the shelter was inhabited during the Middle Ages. The houses were built at the wall which reduced the necessary work, also the necessary material, and made the buildings more stable. Some buildings were removed and only the holes in the cliff face for wooden beams remain. Some buildings are still on site, and one of them protects the only remaining part of the sediments.