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Gargas prehistoric cave

Grottes pr้historiques de Gargas

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Gargas prehistoric cave Gargas prehistoric cave Neste-Barousse

Between 25000 and 30000 years ago, Stone Age hunters used the Gargas caves and left behind a now world renowned gallery of cave art. Animal engravings and paintings of mammoth, horse, bison and deer remain in the cave but it is a different art that makes this cave so famous.

The main feature here is the collection of strange mouth-blown coloured hand stencils. There are more than two hundred of these hand prints, although not all of them are visible to the public. They are mostly in silhouette with paint blown over the hand to form the image and many show half severed fingers. There are several theories about the mutilation including; that finger damage was simply caused by frostbite or leprosy, that the mutilations may have been some form of ritual or that the fingers were shaped purposely, maybe to aid silent communication whilst hunting. Whatever the reason, the Gargas caves provide a mysterious and ancient spectacle worthy of a visit.

Fact Box

Points of interest : Prehistoric cave art
World renowned hand prints

Opening dates : January to June
Every Day from 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 5pm

July to August
Every day from 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 6pm

September to December
Every Day from 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 5pm

Closed Christmas day and New Years

Guides available :

Languages :

Prices : Adults - 6€
Students – 5€
Children - 3€
Family ticket – 16€
(2 adults and 2 children)
Discount group tariffs available
Adults - 5€
Children - 2€

Reservations : To preserve the cave visitor numbers are limited. Booking in advance is recommended

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Address :65660 Aventignan
Telephone :+33 (0)562 397239