Grotte de Tourtoirac

by Bert Schwarz

We found the Tourtoirac cave, only by chance, because the main road through Tourtoirac is not wide and real trucks came towards us. As we drove on slowly we saw a small sign, turned off and found a nice employee who helped us to get the permission to shoot.

This underground vault has not been known for a long time. It was discovered on 28 January 1995 by a speleologist from Mussidan, Jean-Luc Sirieix.

Grotte de Tourtoirac

Story, Camera, Editor : Bert Schwarz

© travel-magazine TV 2020

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The source of the Clautre in Tourtoirac had already attracted the attention of speleologists for many years. In the spring of 1980, Gerard Bugel, a speleologist, had dived and made it 130 metres and reached a small open-air gallery. There he found no way to go further and had to turn back.

On January 28, 1995, Jean-Luc Sireix, more experienced and lucky, plunged into the spring and managed to get further and discovered this beautiful cave. Proud of his discovery, he showed the cave to other speleologists: Philippe Marchive and Annie and Michel Maire. He organized a second expedition the following Saturday, February 4, 1995.

Grotte de Tourtoirac © Bert Schwarz
Grotte de Tourtoirac © Bert Schwarz

They dived several hundred meters into the cave, but on the way back fate struck: Jean-Luc and Annie Maire drowned. Philippe Marchive and Michel Maire only narrowly escaped.

Through initiative of the parents of Jean-Luc, Jean and Arlette Siriex, the cave was opened to a tourist and in May 2010 for the public made accessible.

The combination of the beauty that nature has shaped and the knowledge of the tragedy that has ultimately made it possible for visitors to experience all this. to be allowed to look at and admire, then nevertheless humility before the power of nature and the possibilities of the human being develops.