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The Cave History

One cold, winter evening at the end of the year 1953, a team of pothollers from the Périgueux Spelunking club were wandering around the Cluzeau coppice.

By some large rocks they discovered a foxes earth, an opening blocked by stones and therefore impenetrable. There was a slight mist emerging from the meatus, there was no doubt about it: behind it was an underground passage… breathing. The narrow entrance was quickly cleared to reveal a dark passage which plunged down into the unknown: Villars cave had been discoverd.

After they had cleared their passage way, the discoverers: Marie Claude FERRES – Yann JEZEQUEL – Robert de FACCIO – Bernard PIERRET and Pierre VIDAL made their very emotional journey into a magical garden of fantastic surroundings.

After many expeditions, the spelunkers had explored an entanglement of galleries and chambers spreading over more than 13 kilometres and on several levels.

Five years later, in December 1958, yet another discovery was to make Villars become a sanctuary: while exploring the cave, Pierre Vidal, a member of the Périgueux Spelunking club, spotted a number of prehistoric paintings hidden under the calcite: Villars was a painted cave.

Abbot BREUIL evaluated the paintings and in 1959 VILLARS cave was opened to the public.