L'Abîme de Bramabiau


L'Abîme de Bramabiau

  • Abîme de Bramabieu
  • Abîme de Bramabieu
  • Abîme de Bramabieu
  • Abîme de Bramabieu
  • Abîme de Bramabieu

Underground river

The story of the first crossing : the birth of speleology
It is Wednesday June 27, 1888 in the morning. The carriages loaded with the weight of the men and the equipment enter noisily into Camprieu.

The peasants, then busy cutting the hay, cease their work and crowd around the strange caravan. Unaccustomed to such visits, they ask a thousand questions…
They laugh at these “gentlemen of Paris” who find their project bizarre to say the least: it would therefore be today or never that Le Bonheur des Ténèbres would agree to reveal its secrets.

Yes, Martel and his team had made the plan to cross the Camprieu plateau.

The brave peasants hardly believed in the success of this chimerical crossing. It was obvious, nobody could succeed!
This has been known, by tradition, since the dawn of time ... Taking them for disturbed spirits, they laugh foolishly in the face of Martel and his vexed companions!
To discourage them, some said that on February 7 of the same year, a man called Vidal, known as "the hole" disappeared in the loss of Happiness ...
Suicide, accident, we never knew, his body could not be found, either in the big tunnel, or at the other end of the plateau at the bottom of the big precipice of Bramabiau, it was the formal proof of the inviolability of the underground mystery.

At noon everyone was ready and Martel decided to take action.
The material had been lowered into the alcove, because it had been agreed by prudence to attempt the crossing from the exit of the waters: indeed the grottologists did not risk, thus, to be carried away by the foaming blades of the torrent so large waterfalls presented themselves.

Everyone is hard at work. Gabriel Gaupillat and Philippe Cheilley stay outside. A removable ladder is erected for climbing the first underground waterfall.
Three men go on reconnaissance, come back soon after and shout: "It's going far! ".They saw a vast reach in the Hâvre room, and it was decided to use the famous "osgood".
Martel and Parcel Gaupillat set off as scouts, on the canoe with the help of canes with hooks to progress.
Foulquier, more agile, joins them by cornices. After trying to climb a chimney through which they hoped to get around the difficulty of the river, they continue exploring until a waterfall which forces them to return: the boat could not be hoisted to the top.

But the game is not lost either! The next day, deprived of Parguel but reinforced by the arrival of his brother-in-law Emile Michel and the village teacher Pierre Mely, the entire team decided to attempt the crossing by following the river, because Martel was sure now not to not find an abyssal waterfall ... Mely, intimidated, turned back.

Using ropes, folding ladders, magnesium lamps, but without osgood (it was left in the Carrefour hall) the bold pioneers succeeded in joining the point reached the previous day at the cost of acrobatics and bruises.

After 1300 meters of adventure, they all left the cave. A major feat had just come true, Martel had triumphed over the disbelief of the peasants! They all went to the town hall of Camprieu to write the minutes of the first crossing of Bramabiau. Today it appears as the birth certificate of speleology.

The Abyss of Bramabiau:
At the limit of the Causses and the Cévennes, in the Aigoual massif, Happiness begins to disappear underground 5 km further on, near Camprieu, and becomes the underground river of Bramabiau.
It emerges a few hundred meters further through a narrow crack 70 meters high and springs in a cascade imitating "a roaring ox".

It is a part of the labyrinth of this underground course which is open to visitors, thus making it possible to discover calcified rooms, giant pots, swirling pillars and other marvels of concretions ... and to note that the water continues its work of sculpture. stone. 2 tunnels and a gallery with dinosaur counterprints allow for a circuit with exit near the car parks.

Hours :
July - August 10 a.m. - 6.30 p.m.
September 10 a.m. - 5.30 p.m.
October November (until the last day of All Saints holiday) 11:30 am - 3:45 pm - Visit at fixed time

Pets allowed on a leash inside the cave

Restoration on site.


Enfant de 6 à 12 ans
6.50 €
Adolescent de 12 à 16 ans
7.50 €
7.50 €
10 €
  •  - The sights of the Gard Club: The sights of the Gard Club
  •  - Quality South of France: Quality South of France
  •  - Qualité Tourisme: Qualité Tourisme


Tel : +33 (0)4 67 82 60 78

E-mail : bramabiau@aol.com

Website : www.abime-de-bramabiau.com


From 01  avril 2021 to 31  octobre 2021



Drinking water faucet


Bank and post-office cheques

Holiday cheques (french holiday vouchers)



Animaux acceptés

Groupes acceptés


  • french
  • english