The Tourtoirac cave

Jean-Luc Siriex
Jean-Luc Siriex

The Tourtoirac cave was discovered on the 28th January 1995 by a potholer form Mussidan, Jean-Luc Sirieix.

The Clautre Spring at Tourtoirac had already attracted the attention of cavers for many years. In 1980, Gerard Bugel, a potholer, had dived in this spring and managed to pass 130 meters of siphons after which he came into a small open-air gallery. But there, he could not find a way to continue and had to return.


On the 28th Januari 1995, Jean-Luc Sireix, more experienced

-or maybe he had more luck - also dived into the spring and managed to go further, discovering this beautiful cave. Being very proud of his discovery, he wanted to show the cave to some potholer friends: Philippe Marchive and Annie and Michel Maire. So he organized a second expedition on the following Saturday, the 4th February 1995.


They went into the cave for several hundred meters, but on their way back through the siphons tragedy struck, and Jean-Luc and Annie Maire drowned. Philippe Marchive and Michel Maire only just escaped.

The parents of Jean-Luc, Jean and Arlette Siriex, were determined that the cave should have a touristic role.

In 2000, with the valuable help of Philippe Marchive and Bernard Gauche, the municipality of Tourtoirac was able to dig a first shaft of 25 meters deep, by which a feasibility study could be done. And the Tourtoirac Council could finally take a look in the cave themselves to see its qualities.


It was not until May 2007 that work on the project started, and the cave was opened to the public in May 2010.

The municipality of Tourtoirac is responsible for the management and administration, with the help of Jean Marie Freyssinet (construction) and Ysea Duba (design and lightning).

La fontaine de la Clautre