Fontaine de Vaucluse

Located in the Heart of the Monts de Vaucluse and the Pays des Sorgues, the most beautiful river in the department, La Sorgue, rises at Fontaine de Vaucluse. It springs up at the foot of a 230 m steep cliff, in the hollow of a closed valley, "Vallis Clausa" in Latin, which gave its name in 1793 to the Department of Vaucluse.

The Fontaine de Vaucluse can be visited all year round because it has a very different face depending on the season, calm and peaceful in summer, the Source pours waterfalls in spring, and in autumn during heavy rain, the level of water gradually rises in the abyss until it overflows in cascades on the rocks.

Historically men have sought to unravel the mysteries of the Fontaine de Vaucluse, many explorations have taken place to better understand its operation. Frequented since antiquity by the Romans who worshiped the deities of the Sources, it was not until 1878 that a Marseille diver, Mr. Ottonelli, explored the abyss and reached - 23 meters deep equipped with a heavy diving suit.
A century later, the SSFV (Société Spéléologique de Fontaine de Vaucluse) drew up a new map of the abyss to - 308 meters.
In 2001 The SSFV explores the cavity with the speleographer from - 40 meters to - 80 meters, these archaeological prospecting dives allow the discovery in 2002 of 400 ancient coins and in 2003 it is nearly 1600 coins which are discovered, dated for the oldest of - 80 years BC and the end of the 5th century for the most recent.


The Village

© Alain Hocquel

The Abyss

© Alain Hocquel