A bit of history

It was in France that at the end of the 19th century, under the leadership of E.A. MARTEL and then R. JOLY, underground mining developed into modern speleology.
At the same time, the lay out of some of caves discovered facilitated public access.

Today with more than a hundred developed natural cavities, welcoming nearly six million visitors annually, French underground tourism is the first in Europe.

It is located at the level of the two other large countries of developed caves: the U.S.A. and China. The A.N.E.C.A.T. brings together nearly 80% of caves, chasms, sinkholes and underground rivers in France, 25% of which are prehistoric sites.

Its richness and diversity make this underground heritage an authentic Eco museum, an inexhaustible “library” open to the geological, biological and anthropogenic past of our planet.

This site invites you to discover all these wonders hidden in the heart of the French regions and which bear witness to a development that is intended to guarantee the protection and conservation of this exceptional heritage.