Dordogne 3 - La Roque Saint-Christophe
The Chalk cliff is 1 km long and rises 80 meters above the Vezere river. It is made of five terraces , and was hollowed out by the river, frost and ice in the glacial age 60 million years ago.
The cliff offered shelter to the hunter-gatherers and was possibly first inhabited by the Neanderthal people 50000 B.C., and later by the Cro-Magnon people 25000 B.C. People have lived here in Bronze - Iron and Middle Ages until 1588 when the place was destroyed during the Wars of Religion.
The greatest period was the Middle Ages where bishop Frotaire of Périgueux decided to built a fortress to protect the inhabitants against Norman invasions, but already in the Bronze Age it many people lived here.
|The great staircase leading to the fifth terrace.|
|Model of the site as it may have looked at the end of the Middle Ages.|
The place is classified as historical Monument and the valley is part of UNESCO's World Heritage places.
The area is by the way one of the richest in prehistoric findings and caves with cave paintings.
One of the most famous probably being the Lascaux Cave. We visited the cave, or to be more precise an exact copy of it. To preserve the original cave very few people are allowed access - only 5 persons a day.
|Ticket from a visit to the cave in 1992|