Motorway A35/E54 exit Belfort.
APR to JUN second Sat of month 15.
JUL to AUG Sat 15.
OCT second Sat of month 15.
Online booking mandatory.
Adults EUR 5, Children (11-18) EUR 2.50, Children (0-10) free.
L=290 m, T=13 °C.
Biggest Chamber: L=26 m, W=10 m, H=10 m.
|Address:||Grottes de Cravanche, Belfort Tourisme, 2 bis, rue Georges-Clemenceau, 90000 Belfort, Tel: +33-384-559090. E-mail:|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|1835||first cave discovered during quarry works.|
|1864||another cave discovered an used as beer cellar for the Brasserie de Cravanche.|
|02-MAR-1876||cave discovered during quarry works.|
|1891||opened to the public by the Société Belfortaine d'Émulation.|
|1911||declared a site à caractère artistique.|
|2008||cave reopened to the public.|
The Grottes de Cravanche (Cravanche Caves) are located near the town of Cravanche, hence the name. There were several small caves discovered in the quarry, the first in 1835. In 1864 another cave was discovered which was used as a beer cellar for the Brasserie de Cravanche. The Grottes de Cravanche was discovered on 02-MAR-1876 after a blast in the quarry, where the rocks for construction of Fort du Salbert were quarried. The two workers who found the cave reported that it contains bones and pottery. A Neolithic necropolis with a dozen graves with burial objects like decorated pottery, tools, stone weapons and jewelry were excavated between 1891 and 1899. They were dated between 4000 and 3000 BC. The excavated remains are on display in the Musée d'Histoire de Belfort which is located inside the Belfort Citadel.
Numerous human bones were found in the Cravanche Cave near Belfort, which probably dates from the close of the Neolithic period, judging from the total absence of metal and the shape of the flint and bone implements picked up.
Here too the bodies were bent almost double, the head drooping forward and the knees drawn up nearly to the chin.
Several of these skeletons were completely imbedded in the stalagmite which had formed in the cave, the head and knees alone emerging from the solid mass.
The position in which they were originally placed had thus of necessity been maintained.
Marquis de Nadaillac (1892): Manners and Monuments of Prehistoric Peoples G. P. Putnam’s sons, New York, The Knickerbocker Press, 1894
The cave had some local fame and was opened to the public by the Société Belfortaine d'Émulation in 1891. There were many visits, but it was finally closed to the public in 1933 after collapses. It was closed for 75 years as a show cave, but unfortunately not gated. As a result it was vandalized, speleothems broken, and even tires burnt inside. Finally, the City of Belfort decided to protect the cave by gating it and developing the first three chambers with safe trails. It was reopened in 2008 for special events like the heritage days and for school groups. There are also a few tours per year for individual visitors but they are sold out very fast. The tickets are sold only online by the tourist office Belfort Tourisme.
The cave is used by bats for hibernation and is thus closed for visits during winter. It was declared a Zone d’intérêt Ecologique, Faunistique et Floristique (Zone of Ecological, Faunistic and Floristic Interest).