• Teaser

Entry to the cave

The entry to the cave is at the foot of the southern cliff of the Massif du Thaurac along the gorges of the river Hérault. The panorama is bounded to the east (on your left) by the hills of Montoulieu and Saint Bauzille de Putois, the village that you can see in the valley, bordering the river. This is the river Hérault, that gives its name to our département.

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You can see, facing you, mount Hortus and the famous Pic Saint Loup that at 658 metres high bars the horizon and is surrounded by famous vineyards. The Mediterranean is about 30 kilometres further, as the crow flies. Opposite you, route départementale 986 crosses the Col de la Cardonille that forms the separation between the upland garrigue country and the Cévennes. You are in the heart of the small region that winegrowers call the 'terraces of the Larzac". To the west, in line with the river, you see first the Causse de la Selle plateau and the Buèges Valley and then, further to your right, the 'Virgins' Rocks' at the end of the Hérault gorges after St Guilhem le Désert.

Closer, and clearly visible, is the statue of the Virgin that stands in honour of the pilgrimage to Notre Dame du Suc that is hidden behind the hill. The landscape is dominated by Roc Blanc, the pointed peak to your right, which at 942 metres overlooks the Massif de la Séranne, an old coral reef—yes, that's right. Several million years ago, the whole landscape was covered by sea, and you can even find fossil oysters when you walk towards the summit!

The present entry to the cave is at the foot of this cliff that is 60 to 83 metres high; just above, to the left of the tunnel, you can see the ruins of the fortifications of the Camisards' cave. A historical refuge for protestants hunted down during the Wars of Religion in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, it has also been a refuge for numerous outcasts of all periods; traces of the presence of Neolithic man have even been found here.

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