The Grotte du Sorcier, also known as the Grotte de Saint-Cirq is one of the rare caves in the world with a prehistoric representation of a human figure. Nearly all cave paintings and engravings are of animals.
Explore the Grotte du Sorcier
The cave is located in a small hamlet of pretty stone buildings with stone roofs. These stone roofs were once the norm but are now very rare.
La Grotte du Sorcier is a cave with engravings made by prehistoric man during the Magdalenian period, about 17000 to 12000 years ago.
The cave is found in a steep cliff face above a valley near to the village of Saint-Cirq and close to Le-Bugue. Inside the cave there are not a lot of engravings but one of them is a very rare engraving of a human figure – known as the sorcerer. The engraving is reputed amongst historians to be one of the most beautiful engravings in Europe.
Human figures are very rare in prehistoric art and generally thought to represent particularly important people in the prehistoric groups. The “sorcier”has particularly large genitals, perhaps to indicate his power! He is named a sorcerer for no particular reason. The name was given by the Abbé Glory and has stuck.
There are only 12 other human representations dating from prehistoric times in France. One of these is at the Lascaux Caves, not too far from Saint-Cirq.
As well as the sorcerer there are some engravings of horses and a bison in the cave though not many. It really is for the sorcerer that you will want to visit the cave.
Grotte du Sorcier information
As well as the cave there is a small museum that you can visit whilst you are waiting for your tour to start. The museum contains artefacts from various periods in history found whilst exploring the site.
The cave is open:
April – Mid November
July and August: 10.00-19.00
all other times 10.00 – 18.00
Adults 7,00€, children 3,50€
Looking for accommodation near the Sorcerer’s cave ?
B&B Ferme de Tayac, lovely 12th Century buildings, once monastery and farm. Its one meter thick walls, oak beam structures, and rooms carved out of the rock, make it a wonderful place to stay whilst you explore this fascinating part of the Vezere Valley. Your stay will be enhanced by the friendly hospitality and homely comfort offered by your hosts Suzanne and Mike. You will enjoy the pleasant garden, the refreshing swimming pool, and maybe the occasional five minute stroll into Les Eyzies, famous as the “Prehistoric Capital of the World” It is here that Cro Magnon man our ancestor made it one of the richest and most exciting of archaeological areas.
Ferme de Tayac is just a 5 min. drive to the Sorcerers cave – www.fermedetayac.com