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Aven Armand Cave

France is host to one of the most beautiful caves in Europe

In the heart of the Lozère department (in South West France), 100m under the ground, is an amazing cave where 400 stalagmites have been growing for a million years. These stalagmites are at least a metre high and are the result of rains slowly coming through the ground before falling across the cave drop by drop…

Aven Armand stalagmites Cave South France
Aven Armand stalagmites Cave, South France

Aven Armand is the name of this cave, a unique place to visit in Europe and probably one of the best caves to see in the world. Besides being home to all those stalagmites, Aven Armand is also host to the world record highest stalagmite ever discovered under the ground, a 30m high limestone edifice that seems to be rising to the surface of the earth.

The French cave Chas recently equipped itself with an amazing Sound and Light System that brings an even stronger magic feeling to its visit. A stunning game of colours and projection of 3 Dimensional creatures and giant plants makes all parents and children very happy and amazed.

Just after United States and China, France is the country with the most under ground caves to visit. France hosts about 100 caves that are ready to receive visitors. Aven Armand is one of the top 5 most famous of all French caves to visit; it has this magical feeling, an ambiance that could come out of a fantastic movie that all the family will certainly appreciate. The descent to the 200.000m³ cave is provided in a funicular that is accessible to everyone including the disabled, children and of course adults.

Lozère Saint Chély sur Tarn Gorges, South France | Image: Michèle via Flickr [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0]

You will find the Aven Armand Cave in the charming French village of ‘Hures La Parade,’ two hours away from Montpellier’s International Airport. The closest town is Meyrueis where you will find hotels and restaurants.

Visits to Aven Armand Stalagmites Cave and Meyrueis are the perfect idea for an unusual weekend in France. Count about 100€ for the fight, 50€ for a car rental (to get to Meyrueis and Aven Armand), 50€ to 100€ for hotel night, and 11.50€ for a ticket (adult) to the cave, the weekend should not cost you more than 250€ to 300€ with food.

South France Meyrueis Vue du Pont
Meyrueis Vue du Pont, South France | Image: Jean-Christophe BENOIST at fr.wikipedia [CC BY 2.5]

A FANTASTIC LANDSCAPE CREATED BY DROPS OF WATER

200 million years ago , the limestone rocks of Causse Méjean were formed at the bottom of a warm and shallow sea by the deposit of the remains of corals, crustaceans and marine organisms.

100 million years ago , they gradually emerged under the effect of formidable thrusts, as did the Alps and the Pyrenees.

30 million years ago , the creation of the cavity began with the dissolution of limestone rock by acidic waters. Rainwater is not normally acidic, but will acquire this acidity, first by passing through the atmosphere, then and especially by crossing the ground where it is enriched in carbon dioxide. By penetrating the limestone through cracks, they dig cavities of varying sizes and shapes. The dissolved products are evacuated by the circulation of water towards the gorges of the Jonte. The initial cavity, once started, enlarges by successive collapses of its vault to reach its current size 1 million years ago.

700,000 years ago , the formation of stalagmites began. When the lime-laden water meets the air in a cavity, carbon dioxide escapes and releases the lime which will remain on the vault of the cavity, forming stalactites. At Aven Armand, the waters are particularly rich in limestone and form very heavy drops which do not stay long enough on the ceiling to form large stalactites.

. The exceptional height of 45 m of the cavity, accelerates the drop rate of the drop. On arriving on the ground, it explodes in innumerable droplets around the point of impact which release their important mineral charge to lead to the formation of a stalagmite. The original shape of the stalagmites comes from this dispersion, reinforced by the deviations in the trajectory of the drops, due to the movements of air in the cavity.

HIGH MINERAL LOAD, HIGH IMPACT SPEED AND DEVIATION OF THE TRAJECTORIES OF THE DROPS HAVE CREATED A FOREST OF MORE THAN 400 EXCEPTIONAL STALAGMITES, A COLLECTION OF NATURAL SCULPTURES WITH FANTASTIC SHAPES, A UNIQUE HERITAGE IN THE WORLD.

For more practical information about Aven Armand Cave please visit: Aven Armand Cave
For more information about Meyrueis, please see: www.meyrueis-office-tourisme.com

Aven Armand Stalagmites Cave
Stalagmites Cave Aven Armand, Lozère, South France
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