The first replica of Lascaux, officially called Lascaux II, was one of the most popular tourist attractions in France. The wonderful Lascaux cave, the so-called Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art, has been closed since 1963 because of damage caused by visitors. This replica opened in 1983 and it reproduces the two largest painted chambers of Lascaux, the Hall of the Bulls and the Axial Gallery. It is 200 m from the original and it is underground, so you still get that cave feeling, and they made the most accurate replica they could with the technology of the time. Even though they built a new replica, Lascaux II has not been permanently closed. They now offer two 90 minute tours a day, where groups of 20 people receive an in-depth tour of the original replica cave. The tours are only in French. Click here to get tickets.
The new replica, called Lascaux Centre Internationale, opened on 15 December 2016 and you can buy tickets online. At the beginning of the tour everyone is given a tablet computer and headphones with information in several languages. After a trip to the roof to stand outside while the guide tells you about the discovery of the cave, you are led into the actual replica. This is a very accurate recreation of the actual cave, complete with tight quarters. There are too many people in the groups to be able to see the art very well and the time in the replica is brief. But then the guided portion of the tour ends and the real fun begins!
There is a room called the "atelier" (workshop) that has reproductions of some of the panels in the replica, including the Hall of the Bulls and something that is not on the guided tour: the mysterious shaft scene, featuring the only human representation in the cave. Some panels have black lights that show you the invisible engravings and your tablet can be used to get more information about the art. Best of all, you can take photos in here!
You can buy a combo ticket for a discount for both Lascaux and the prehistoric park Le Thot near the town of Thonac, about 15 minutes away.
Guided tours only. There is at least one English tour per day. Open every day.
Lascaux II is not wheelchair accessible, but the new replica has full disabled access.
Hours and Prices (English)
Address: 24290 Montignac, France
Services: English tours, free parking, restaurant, toilets, gift shop