Les Eyzies de Tayac Travel Guide

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Les Eyzies de Tayac

Les Eyzies de Tayac

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It is commonplace for Les Eyzies to be introduced as the world's Prehistoric Capital and the numerous painted caves and, particularly, the proliferation of rock shelters only confirm this notion. The most varied prehistoric, and historic, styles and periods are represented, making Les Eyzies the archetypal town for travelling through the past. This vast, motionless promenade enables us to appreciate more thoroughly the passing of prehistoric time. From La Micoque to Laugerie-Basse, from 300,000 to 5000 years B.C., prehistory at Les Eyzies lasted one hundred and fifty times longer than the Christian era.

Even if you only have a passing interest in prehistoric times, Les Eyzies would be worth a visit. if only for its site. At the confluence of the Vezere and the Beune. the little village. out of which rises an old castle converted into a museum. clings to the bottom of tall cliffs containing shelters, caves and troglodyte dwellings. crowned with green oaks and juniper trees. Having crossed the Vezere. a little road which winds between the river and the rocks follows the prehistoric "Royal road" an unimaginable succession of caves and shelters in an impressive framework of cliffs.

Les Eyzies de Tayac

The chalk uplands which surround Les Eyzies are rich in flint, crisss-crossed with dozens of secret clefts and valleys, dominated by cliffs with hidden caves made fine hunting country for prehistoric man. Solid natural materials abound for making weapons and tools, and the shelter of the rock formations made the Périgord a perfect place to live. 100,000 years ago neanderthal man walked the valley of the Dordogne and left sufficient remains to make it a focal point of prehistory. Although he was named after the small valley in Germany where, in 1856, bines were found that fit his description, it was at Le Moustier, near Les Eyzies, that archaeologists first catalogued his weapons and tools.

The oldest human skeletal remains found in the Dordogne are of Neanderthal Man. The Moustier site yielded three complete skeletons another was found at Le Rigourdou, and at La Ferrassie, near Le Bugue, seven were unearthed, including some young children's. These skeletons reveal that Neanderthal Man rarely lived to the age of thirty, and had Sophisticated burial rites involving funeral ceremonies. In some cases. the bodies were placed in dug graves and covered with earth, stones or slabs. Such respect for the dead must surely indicate that Neanderthal Man was capable of Philosophical reflection and perhaps a belief in an after life.


Although part of Les Eyzies, Tayac is actually more than 600 years older 

A small picturesque village built up against a hill, dominated by “St. Martin” a large fortified church, now national monument.

Being just 10 minutes walking distance from Les Eyzies it is a very nice place to stay if you wish to keep away from the tourist crowds and busy main street.

B&B Ferme de Tayac, next to St Martin is a former 12th century Farmhouse and Monastery is rated the #1 B&B in the Dordogne. Rooms are large and cozy, and all have a view.

Part or or all of this text stems from the original article at: www.leseyziesdetayac.com

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