France, Dordogne, Perigord Noir, Les Eyzies de Tayac, site listed as World Heritage by UNESCO, the National Museum of Prehistory

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Musée National de Préhistoire

The Dordogne

Inside a marvellous modern building alongside the cliffs, this museum provides a fine prehistory primer, with the most comprehensive collection of prehistoric finds in France. Highlights include a huge gallery of Stone Age tools, weapons and jewellery, and skeletons of some of the animals that once roamed the Vézère (including bison, woolly rhinoceros, giant deer and cave bears). A collection of carved reliefs on the 1st floor includes a famous frieze of horses and a bison licking its flank.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Dordogne attractions

1. Abri Pataud

0.06 MILES

About 250m north of the Musée National de Préhistoire, this Cro-Magnon abri (shelter) was inhabited over a period of 15,000 years starting some 37,000…

2. Abri Cro-Magnon

0.46 MILES

Interactive displays trace the history and stories of Cro-Magnon people; there is a small rock shelter accessible above the site.

3. Grotte de Font de Gaume

0.63 MILES

This extraordinary cave contains the only original polychrome (as opposed to single-colour) paintings still open to the public. About 14,000 years ago,…

4. Grotte du Grand Roc


Around 3km northwest of Les Eyzies along the D47, this cave contains an array of glittering stalactites and stalagmites. A joint ticket (adult/child €11/6…

5. Grotte des Combarelles

1.52 MILES

This narrow, very long cave 1.5km east of Font de Gaume was the first rediscovered in the valley, in 1901, and is renowned for its animal engravings. Look…

7. Grotte du Sorcier

2.47 MILES

About 8km west of Les Eyzies, near the hamlet of St-Cirq, this privately owned cave features several animal engravings dating from around 15,000 BC to 17…

8. Maison Forte de Reignac

3.52 MILES

This Tursac chateau was built straight into the rock face that used to shelter prehistoric humans. Now it's kitted out with period furnishing and displays…