The bear, whose beds (nests) and scratches are visible everywhere, was the first to frequent Rouffignac cave. Later, prehistoric artists visited three kilometres of this huge cave we know nowadays on eight kilometres, and they scattered there about 240 animal figures, engraved or drawn in black. Depicted 160 times, the mammoth is here the undisputed star,accompanied by the bison, the horse, the woolly rhinoceros and the ibex. These artworks, about 15,000 years old, were created at the end of the last ice age by the magdalenian hunter-gatherers.
This underground labyrinth has been visited, described and mapped for centuries, but its protection has only been ensured since 1956. The installation of an electric train in 1959 made this archaeological treasure accessible to the greatest number, at the same time as it helps to preserve its delicate balance by limiting the number of visitors and reducing the power and duration of lighting.
The guided tour, about 1 hour, leads curious and passionate up to 1 km from the entrance and gives access to the most spectacular works. The Grand Plafond, with some sixty black drawings, is a major composition of cave art.