Montpellier-le-Vieux, mineral wonder
Also known as the City of Stones, Montpellier-le-Vieux is a surprising mineral spot.
Set in the Black Causse, a little more than 200 km from Uzès, Montpellier-le-Vieux dominates the Dourbie gorges, a splendid "canyon 400 m deep and 1 km wide on average", which can be seen from the belvedere.
Spreading over 120 hectares, the dolomitic limestone formations of the City of Stones form ruiniform reliefs of wild beauty, 200 million years old*.
Their discovery is a great opportunity to meet, once more, the French father of modern speleology**, Edouard-Alfred Martel, whom we had already met during our walk in the heart of the abyss of Bramabiau. He visited and topographed the site back in 1885, and named the main rocks, his inspiration coming from mythology, history...
Harlequin, Victoria, a rock Martel names to "pay tribute to the Queen of the United Kingdom, Empress of India", the alley of the tombs, the pulpit of the devil, the famous door of Mycenae, an arch about 39 ft tall...
Look also at the keel, a gigantic monolith more almot 46 ft tall, the ramparts, the bear's head or plunge your glance in the hollow of the cave, a chasm "ending in 55 m under ground"... It's "first exploration goes way back to 1897, and Louis Armand's coming, the same year of his masterful discovery of the Aven Armand", which is obviously named after this explorer.
To discover the site, follow the paths that wind here and there, with several levels of difficulty, and that allow you to wander around the site according to your emotions. That's quite perfect to let your imagination run free.
Did you know that?
The Dourbie river flows on almost 72 km, between Aveyron and Gard.
Dolomitic limestone is composed in part of dolomite, a sedimentary rock which owes its name to its discoverer, French geologist Déodat de Dolomieu **.
Some scenes of the French movie "La Grande Vadrouille" were shot near the Mycenae gate, in Montpellier-le-Vieux in 1966.
The right address : La Cité de Pierres, Montpellier-le-Vieux, Lieu-dit Le Maubert, 12100 Millau.
Sources : * La Cité de Pierres, ** wikipedia.