Humans and caves

grottesCaves, a little-known heritage, have always held awe and fascination for humans.
They have witnessed our evolution, first as temporary shelters, then organised shelters, homes, refuges, strongholds, hermitages and sanctuaries. They are often a source of legends and superstition. It was not until the end of the 19th century, under the impetus of Edouard-Alfred Martel that exploration became systematic and scientific. Since then, these explorations have progressed, and deeper and deeper research is gradually piercing the mysteries of the underground world, from the formation of caves to the different life-forms living in them. Many caves have been adapted for visitors. In the early days the public simply wanted the emotion of a trip underground, but nowadays people are more demanding. The ever-constant attraction of the underground world, now that scientific study is daily widening our understanding, has led visitors to be offered a deeper approach to this special environment. Learning how to read underground land-scapes, understanding the mechanisms by which they are hollowed out and concretions are formed, approach to life underground and prehistory – all these are among the information given by guides in the course of visits.