Les Eyzies-de-Tayac Off The Beaten Path

  • Bell Tower
    Bell Tower
    by hquittner
  • Carved Facade Details
    Carved Facade Details
    by hquittner
  • Nave View to West Front
    Nave View to West Front
    by hquittner

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac

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    See the Romanesque Church at Tursac

    by hquittner Written Jun 21, 2009

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    On our way from Rouffignac to La Roque Christophe we went through Tursac (onD706) and stopped briefly to look at the 12C Romanesque church with its heavy central bell tower above the west entrance which is graced by simple carvings above the similarly decorated lintel. The church has a series of small domes as its original typical Perigord vaulting which has been covered internally by Gothic vaulting.

    Bell Tower Carved Facade Details Nave View to High Altar Nave View to West Front New Vaulting Below Domes
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    Look At La Roque St.-Christophe

    by hquittner Updated Jun 19, 2009

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    The cliff (roque) rises along the bank of the Vezere (actually hollowed out by it ages ago). It has rising inclined strata that the ancient humans could climb and obstruct. In a safe area they used or enlarged existing cavities and caverns in the cliff as shelters (like a sort of bee-hive). This began about 20,000 BC. The National Museum at Eyzies contains numerous artefacts from here. This was not a place for cave paintings (which were made very deep in caves, far deeper inside than humans would go to live), so the objects found here were utilitarian and "religious". We did not have the stamina for the climb and so our pictures are from a distance. There are guided tours of about an hour (in French); it is open daily but closed during the lunch hours.

    La Roque Caverns and Strata Another Type of Shelter There Tourists Walking an Incline (distant view)
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    See What Is On the Rouffignac Cave Walls

    by hquittner Written Jun 19, 2009

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    The cave is 5 km aouth of town of Rouffignac (marked). It has been known for centuries and has extensive extensions chambers and galleries. The wall paintings and engravings were only discovered in 1956. They have been determined to be late Magdalenian (10,000BC) but a few are thought be much older, the earliest works in the area.. The tour is over 2 miles in length and is conducted in an open car electric train and is quite comfortable. Many animal types are seen. Most memorable to us was an engraved depiction of the wooly mammoth (one of the oldest works) and other later pachyderms.

    Engraved Wooly Mammoth Two Pachyderms A Rhinocerous A Bison
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    Visit the Cave at Rouffignac

    by hquittner Written Jun 19, 2009

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    In our Introduction we describe the mechanics of our day at Les Eyzies. You can only get to the cave by car. Take D47-D32 Northeast out of Les Eyzies (direction Perigueux) to Miremont and then right with D32 until a cave right turnoff (marked). The cave is out in the forest. The tour starts nearby.

    The Cave Entrance When Is the Next Train? Nobody on Line The Way Out
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    Fun place to get lost

    by DMcD Updated Aug 15, 2006

    What an incredibly interesting and beautiful area. Everywhere you look, you see hundreds of ancient cave dwellings. Went to the Grotte (cave) Fonte de Gaume -- was somewhat disappointed with the very faint pictographs and limited access as a captured audience (and is usually only narrated in French). The town pre-history museum could be better considering they have 150,000 years of mankinds history to pick from. They seem to have the best caves sealed-off to the public. Tip: The website at www.grottes-en-france.com has a very good database on French caves. Just the same, as you can see in these pictures, we had a terrific time driving around this beautiful area and back to Sarlat.

    evolution at work - cave to house(still connected) centuries old house on escarpment les eyzies - museum of pre-history one of many beautiful sights- a peaceful place the road from Sarlat to Les Eyzies
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  • L’Abris Cro-Magnon

    by mke1963 Written Aug 2, 2006

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    This is where the name Cro-Magnon came from, a little hamlet that is now part of the village of Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac. It is at the railway level-crossing just south of the railway station. Opposite the crossing is the Hotel Cro-Magnon, and to the left – as you look at the hotel – is a small gravel lane leading up, parallel to the road to Tayac and the station, to a house. Just to the side of this house, under the shelter of the overhanging cliff is the place where Cro-Magnon man was first discovered.
    Nothing remains here now other than a UNESCO World Heritage Site plaque, a lime tree and some ferns growing at the base of the cliff. It is possibly the one single site in the Vezere valley where you can sit, close your eyes and imagine the peace and quiet of the valley all those eons ago.
    The artefacts found here are now on display in various museums around the world, including the National Museum of Prehistory just a few hundred metres away down the road. (The main artefact – the Cro-Magnon skull is still in the Musee de l’Homme in Paris…even after the move of most of that museum to the Musee du quai Branly)

    From L’Abris Cro-Magnon, you can walk back to Les-Eyzies or cross the road to the various shelters and caves that line the right bank of the Vezere (including the L’Abris de Poisson and le Grand Roc). In the hamlet of Tayac further down the lane, is a more peaceful part of Les-Eyzies-de-Tayac, including its important church.

    Where Cro-Magnon man lived, under the cliff The lane up to the Abris Cro-Magnon (right) The nameplate A reflective place -

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