6 Route de la Grotte 25500 Les Combes
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=30 m, W=12 m, H=4 m.|
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Grotte Chapelle Notre-Dame de Remonot, 6 Route de la Grotte 25500 Les Combes.|
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|12th century||cave first mentioned.|
|1863||cave chapel consecrated.|
|29-DEC-2009||listed as a National Monument.|
The Grotte Chapelle Notre-Dame de Remonot (Grotto Chapel of Notre-Dame de Remonot) or shorter Grotte-chapelle de Remonot (Cave-chapel of Remonot) is a cave church. The chapel is catholic and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There is a pilgrimage to the chapel every year on 15-AUG, the day of the Assumption, on Whit Monday, and on the second Sunday of September..
The cave was in use as a hermitage since the 8th century, at least that was documented in the 12th century. The first inhabitants of the cave were hermits who evangelized the region of Haut-Doubs. It was transformed into a chapel in the 17th century, served by a monk from nearby Morteau monastery. The monk had a small house nearby where he lived, and in 1832 a new church, the Eglise Les Combes, was built near the cave. It also provided a cemetery from the small village. The cave was abandoned and shortly used for other things. Nevertheless, the chapel was obviously reactivated and consecrated in 1863.
The cave os located in the cliff face above the river Doubs, separated from the river by the modern road. On top of the cliff right above the chapel is a small isolated bell tower. The entrance of the cave chapel is closed by an iron grate. The high altar is in Art Deco and has a statue of the Virgin Mary which originates from teh 15th century. Behind teh altar a metal footbridge crosses a cave lake and lead further down to two small successive rooms and another cave lake. The cave is actually the source of a very short river named Gesambrune, which flows into the Doubs on the other side of the road. Today the river is completely covered by the chapel and the road. The spring inside the cave was said to have healing properties. After heavy rains or during snow melt the spring may rise and flood the chapel partly. The small paved square in front of the cave, the cave with the chapel, the bell tower above and the area 40 m from the edge of the cliff are protected as a National Monument since 2009.
The cliff face is quite spectacular and several hundred meters long. Adjacent to the chapel is a building which is called the Restaurant de la Grotte.
The last hermit living in the cave was caretaker for a statue of the Virgin Mary. This statue had healing properties, including eye diseases. The people were washing their eyes with the water from the cave and regained their sight. When the hermit died, the monks of Montbenoît monastery rushed to bring this sculpture to their monastery. As a result the miracles at the cave ended. But one day the statue was gone, it had miraculously returned to the cave. So the chapel was restored, the gate at the entrance constructed, and the wooden bell tower on top erected. A few years later the chapel was consecrated.