Grotte de la Luire

Useful Information

Location: Saint-Agnan en Vercors. Southwest of Grenoble, west of La Mure.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst cave
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=37,563 m, VR=547 m.
Guided tours:
Address: Grotte de la Luire, F-26420 Saint-Agnan en Vercors. Tel: +33-475-482583, Fax: +33-475-482369.
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.


1896 some inhabitants of Chapelle-en-Vercors tried to explored the cave..
World War II cave entrance used as shelter for a partisan hospital.
27-JUL-1944 hospital discovered by Germans, all .
15 to 16-NOV-2002 enormous floods in the area.
03-DEC-2003 enormous floods in the area.


The Grotte de la Luire is located to the south of the area. The huge entrance portal with an intermittend spring is known for a very long time. It is the location of some prehistoric finds. The first attempt to explore the cave was made in 1896. Some inhabitants of Chapelle-en-Vercors tried to enter the cave, but it seems they were discouraged by rising water.

But the most important, although disreputable, historic event of the cave happened during World War II. The cave was used to evacuate the people from the two military hospitals at Saint-Martin and Tourtre. The cave has huge chambers and it was considered to be well hidden. But on the 27-JUL-1944 an airplane saw the flag of the red cross, and a troop of German Gebirgsjäger was ordered to the cave. Some of the severely injured patients, a north African and one nurse were shot immediately inside the cave, the others were imprisoned. Later two doctors and a Jesuit are shot and seven nursed deported.

The Grotte de la Luire is located in a mountain range south of Grenoble. This whole mountain range, part of the northern limestone Alps and composed of limestones and dolomites, is karstified and has numerous huge caves and karst springs. The most importante caves are the Grotte Favot, the Grotte de Bournillion and the Grotte de la Luire. The most important karst springs of the area are the Source d'Arbois, the Goule Blance (White Spring) and the Goule Noire (Black Spring) in the gorge of the Bourne. All those karst features belong to the Luire-Bournillon-Arbois system. The valley of the Arbois became rather infamous in the last years with repeated floods caused by enormous rainfalls. The karst springs, being very sensitive to changing weather conditions, spilled enourmous amounts of water, which flooded the valley below.