The fabulous Gouffre de Padirac, formerly known as the Devil's Hole, could not but attract legends. Some speak of the flames that sometimes escape from it. Others evoke a fabulous treasure that the English soldiers would have hidden there at the end of the 100 years war.
Another legend says that the Devil, wanting to challenge Saint-Martin, would have formed the abyss with a heel strike.
If Saint-Martin succeeded in crossing the abyss, the Devil would give him the souls of the damned peasants that he would lead to hell.
Spurring on his mule and carried by his faith, the Saint, with a prodigious leap of the animal, would have reached the other side of the crater and would have left a hoof print in the rock that can still be seen today...
The Devil, defeated and vexed, would then have disappeared at the bottom of the abyss.
The hidden treasure of the Gouffre de Padirac
A second, equally famous legend feeds the memory of the Gouffre de Padirac, drawing on the medieval history of the region. At the end of the Hundred Years' War, a group of English soldiers led by Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of King Edward III, better known as the "Black Prince", hid a fabulous treasure in the abyss, wrapped in a calf skin.
The peasants have always coveted this mysterious booty but fear prevented them from descending into the abyss. When Édouard-Alfred Martel, the discoverer of the galleries and the underground river of the Goure de Padirac, bought the land around the site in order to open the chasm to the public, the owners demanded that he add a clause to the contract that would guarantee them a part of the loot if he were to find it.
Chasm of Padirac
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator