Parc de la Préhistoire

Le Parc de l'Art Préhistorique - Parc de la Préhistoire Tarascon

Useful Information

Location: Tarascon.
Open: 03-APR to 02-JUL Tue-Fri 10-18, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-19.
03-JUL to 28-AUG daily 10-20.
29-AUG to 26-SEP Tue-Fri 10-18, Sat, Sun, Hol 10-19.
Fee: Adults EUR 9.70, Children (13-18) EUR 7.20, Children (5-12) EUR 5.90, Children (0-4) free, Students EUR 7.40, Family (2+2) EUR 28.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 7.50, Children (13-18) EUR 5.10, Children (5-12) EUR 4.40.
Classification: SubterraneaMuseums SubterraneaCave Replica Archaeological Open Air Museum
Light: n/a
Guided tours: V=55,000/a
Address: Parc de la Préhistoire, Service d'Exploitation des Sites Touristiques de l'Ariège (SESTA), Route de Banat, 09400 Tarascon-sur-Ariege, Tel: +33-561-051010, Fax: +33-561-051919. 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.


1995 opened to the public.


The Parc de la Préhistoire is a theme park focusing on the prehistoric remains found in the local caves. It shows many details of the daily life during the Magdalenian period.

The Grand Atelier shows a number of replicas of cave paintings and engravings. All drawings in the Salon Noir in the Niaux cave are reproduced. They are made, using the latest laser scanning technology. Also several paintings from caves, which are not open to the public, can be seen.

In an attempt which is called experimental archeology, archaeologists try to reinvent the things found at the caves. There are reconstructions of tools, tents and other things of daily life. Also there are demonstrations of flint sharpening, fire building, and spear throwing. For a long time the archeologists only thought about how a certain stone tool were produced. Here they tried to do it themselves, and so they found out a lot of interesting details and some academic errors had to be corrected.

The Parc de la Préhistoire is one of numerous cultural tourist sights managed by the Service d'Exploitation des Sites Touristiques de l'Ariège (SESTA). Others are the ShowcaveGrotte de Niaux and the ShowcaveGrotte du Mas-d'Azil, which are both painted caves with very limited access. As a result there are numerous tourist, which are interested in Prehistoric sites but are not able to visit them. As a result Robert Naudi opened this park, which informs the people about prehistoric life but also entertains them. So actually this was intended to be a museum of the Niaux cave, not just a replica Niaux II, like Lascaux II. The parc has an area of 13 ha and includes all kinds of facilities, like restaurant, barbecue area, shop and exhibitions.