Grotte du Mas-d'Azil
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An impressive natural site !
Mas d’Azil Cave is above all a natural site, with an exceptional geology and specific topography. It runs through a secondary range of limestone mountains that crosses Ariège from east to west over about 80 kilometres, the Plantaurel.
The main entrance is an immense porch – nearly 70 metres high and 50 metres wide – that opens out towards the south through which the River Arize flows. To the right of this great porch, another smaller, but totally artificial one (1876) allows the secondary road to run down to the village of Mas d’Azil, one kilometre below.
The cave’s geography is complex and the river’s and road’s twisting course delimit two areas that are quite distinct, both in geological and archaeological terms:
- the right bank opens up roughly half way along the tunnel. This more complex set of galleries and cavities is made up of three levels, located 50 metres above the river.
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