They wrote the first pages of the history of Les Demoiselles ... It's up to you to follow up!
At the end of the 18th century, you didn't have to be superstitious to enter a mysterious cave, protected by its legends. A few curious people, eager for discovery, were the first to brave the secrets of the abyss to reveal the beauty of the Demoiselles. Here is the story...
Benoît Joseph Marsollier de Vivetières, the daring passionate
Adviser to the Court of Auditors of Montpellier, he is the first storyteller of the cave of which he has made a booklet. On June 7, 1780, he explored the cave in the company of Mr. Lonjon, a judge from Gabelles, and his son, parish priest of Saint-Bauzille-de-Putois, already familiar with the area. Fatigue and lack of preparation got the better of the team , who came out with regret, without having gone deep into the great hall. On July 15, 1780, they returned, more numerous and resolute. " All were satisfied to the enthusiasm of what they had seen. ”, tells the son Lonjon in a letter.
Edouard Alfred Martel, winner of the abyss
Illustrious speleologist whose name is associated with the history of the Causses and the Cévennes, Edouard Alfred Martel carried out two reconnaissance of the Demoiselles cave in 1884 and in 1889, accompanied by Louis Armand (inventor of Aven Armand in Lozère), Hubert Chabanon and Gabriel Gaupillat.
In 1897, he pushed his methodical exploration a little more and reached for the first time the bottom of the cave , at a depth of 90 m. Imagine his joy! He made the first scientific measurements, and went so far as to use a hot air balloon to measure the height of the cathedral hall.
After Martel, many expeditions followed and made it possible to deepen the knowledge of the cave. From 1931, it became a tourist spot, and since, every visitor is a new explorer. Be next!