Visiting Gouffre de Proumeyssac
Discover a spectacular subterranean ‘Cathedral of Crystal’ in the Dordogne, France
Not far from the delightful medieval market town of Le Bugue, in
the Dordogne region of south-western France, the Gouffre de
Proumeyssac is a remarkable natural phenomenon and an unmissable
attraction for visitors to the area.
Discovered in 1907, the ancient Gouffre de Proumeyssac is the single largest developed cavern in the entire province of Périgord; a region of France world-famous for its abundance of prehistoric caves, many of which contain superbly-preserved examples of engravings and paintings dating back thousands of years. The wonders of the Gouffre de Proumeyssac, by contrast, are entirely natural. Entered on foot via a tunnel or from above in a gondola that gently lowers visitors to the floor of this vast natural cavern eight at a time, once fully-illuminated the sight within is nothing short of breath-taking.
The interior of the Gouffre de Proumeyssac is densely packed with impressive stalagmites, stalactites and other glittering crystalline rock formations which have earned this place the nickname 'the Cathedral of Crystal'. These stunning deposits of accumulated minerals have 'sculpted', over centuries, recognisable shapes and have been given names such as the waterfall, jellyfish, siren and octopus.
An introductory light-and-music display highlights Gouffre de Proumeyssac's remarkable formations and rock pools and this is followed by the opportunity to explore the cavern on foot, accompanied by an optional audio guide if required.