Abri du Poisson

Useful Information

Location: D47, 1 km northwest of Les Eyzies-de-Tayac.
Open: All year Tue 11:30.
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
Guided tours:  
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.


1892 discovered by Paul Giraux.
1912 fish engraving discovered.
1975 inverse handprint discovered.
1979 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The Abri du Poisson (Poisson rock shelter) is located at the foot of a cliff face, in the Gorge D'Enfer, a side branch of the lot valley. The entrance to the shelter is today closed by a brick wall to protect the excavation. The shelter has always been known, but became famous with the discovery of a fish engraving in 1912. It is the life sized carving of a salmon on the ceiling, about 25000 years old. Pigments discovered in cracks suggest that once the whole ceiling was covered with paintings.

The main sight is definitely the 1.05 m long salmon. It is a becquart salmon, the turned up jaw symbolizes a male exhausted from the spawning season. Fish are extremely rare, there are only about ten known representations of fish in the world. Additionally the engraving is of very good quality, engaved and sculptured in relief. It was originally a part of a more complex composition, of which a rectangle and seven deep lines remain.

The Gorge d'Enfer is full of archaeological remains. Numerous shelters were excavated. Some have been totally excavated for its chemicals, the saltpeter was used as fertilizer. One is the Grand Abri, which is today totally empty and no remains of the former archaeological content has survived. The main sites of the Gorge d'Enfer are the Grand Abri, Abri Lartet, Abri Pasquet, Le Poisson, and the cave Oreille d'Enfer.