Mas d'Azil cave

Travel Guide - Holidays & Tourism in the Ariège

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Mas d'Azil cave - Tourism in the Ariège

Mas d'Azil cave (La Grotte du Mas d'Azil), dug out by the Arize river in the heart of the Plantaurel mountains, is the only cave in Europe that can be driven through. That's because part of the cave is a striking natural tunnel with a road built through it, with a vast 51-metre high and 48-metre wide porch-style entrance! Once a refuge for people and animals, this natural site famous for its vestiges from the Magdalenian era gave its name to Azilian, an Epipalaeolithic culture.

A guided tour through the chambers and galleries on the right bank describes the geology, palaeontology, prehistory and history of the caves. This is complemented by a sound and light slide show and the reconstruction of a Magdalenian household.

A prehistory museum 1 kilometre away in the village of Le Mas-d'Azil houses a large collection of prehistoric objects from the cave including the famous Fawn with Birds atlatl (spear thrower), as well as temporary exhibitions.

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