The troglodyte village of La Madeleine is one of the jewels in the crown of Tursac, a small commune in the Périgord region that is fortunate enough to be nestled in an unspoilt valley: the Vézère Valley. Opposite is the Château de Marzac, a few kilometres upstream is the Lascaux cave, and downstream is the world capital of prehistory. A visit to La Madeleine is a must on your trip through the Périgord Noir!

A cliff inhabited since prehistoric times

In the Dordogne, it is not uncommon to find troglodyte sitesLa Roque Saint-Christophe is just a few kilometres from the village of La Madeleine. Nevertheless, the troglodytic site of La Madeleine has a special feature that makes it the most famous of the region's troglodytic of the major prehistoric sites.
He gave his name to a prehistoric period: the Magdalenian. Archaeological research has dated human occupation of the site back to 17,000 BC.

©OT_Vézère_Valley_By_Les_Coflocs_LaMadeleine-2 Village

For safety reasons, the village of la Madeleine is unable to open its site, where fragments of mammoth ivory, engravings and flint tools were discovered, to visitors. However, a museography at the entrance to the site to find out more about this prehistoric occupation. If you'd like to find out more, head a few kilometres further down the valley to the village of Les Eyzies, reputed to be a prehistoric settlement. the capital of prehistory. Museum and Interpretation Centre await you.

An impressive troglodyte village


La Madeleine has a rich history!

The village, carved out of the cliff, allowed the inhabitants of Périgord to protect themselves during the wars. Norman invasions around the year 1000.
Then it was the turn of Hundred Years' War to ravage the Dordogne a few centuries later. Once again, the troglodyte village of La Madeleine provided shelter and refuge. A whole way of life was organised on the cliffside. The chapel, still visible today, is one of the best-preserved remains of this part of the Madeleine's history.

Activities to relive medieval times

During the summer months, the troglodyte village of La Madeleine comes alive to the rhythm of the troubadours and other craftsmen who once worked near the castle on the site (few remains of which are visible today).
Your children are sure to marvel at these trades of yesteryear !

There are activities on offer every day for all those who visit the site. For example, you can try your hand at the hardwood trade, learn basket-making, watch the blacksmith or watch bread being baked in a traditional wood-fired oven.

Balls are also organised to recapture the festive atmosphere of the village of yesteryear. For dates, see our Agenda.

The village of la Madeleine is also a farm

Since 2020, a special development has been taking place at the foot of the cliff. In order to reconnect with the surrounding nature and preserve the valley classified as a Grand Site de FranceLa Madeleine has decided to revive its tradition ofLocal and small-scale farming by setting up an "educational" farm.
A tobacco drying shed has been renovated. Inside you can admire an exhibition on the world of farming. Nature activities such as animal feeding or the animal tracking. These workshops allow children to rediscover the work of farmers before the invention of modern machinery. Find out more about the full programme at Madeleine website.

Below flows the Vézère


Many troglodytic sites are built close to a river. The troglodyte village of La Madeleine is no exception.

The Vézère flows at its foot, and it may well have been during one of these canoe trip that the immensity of the site is best appreciated. From the village of Saint-Léon-sur-Vézère to the village of Les Eyzies, you can admire the spectacular height of this cliff. You will be able to admire the light reflected on the ochre stone de la Madeleine.

Was this content helpful?


Share this content