The Petrifying Fountain is a magical, amazing, remarkable place...
This fountain builds itself by depositing the limestone dissolved in the water.
Some people see there a monster's mouth! The site, although landlocked, is nevertheless protected for several reasons.
Surprising natural curiosity...
Unique natural curiosity in the department, formed by the deposits of mineralized water, "it presents draperies of brilliant concretions. Since the beginning of the 1980s, part of the head has broken off but is gradually being rebuilt thanks to the contribution of tiny limestone particles. This waterfall, both fragile and worrying, is made up of two parts: an aerial water inlet channel ending in a spillway and a large basin in which insects, twigs and leaves are imprisoned in the limestone. The water of the Fountain coming from a thermo-mineral spring, around 22°, is rich in gypsum and limestone. In contact with the air, the carbonate-laden water forms concretions with strange contours that constantly evolve over time.... »
During the construction of the Gap-Briançon railway line at the end of the 19th century, the base of the fountain was amputated. The train now passes in the immediate vicinity. At the end of the 1930s, on June 7, 1937, the site was therefore classified as a picturesque natural monument in the Hautes-Alpes in order to protect it from further amputation.
Also during the construction of the train line in 1889, between 300 and 400 Roman silver or bronze coins were discovered at the foot of the fountain. Dating has established that these coins date from the reign of Augustus B.C. to the reign of Magnence (350-363 A.D.). Various offerings left there by travelers were also found, including a small Roman bronze leg.
These archaeological finds can be seen in the Gap Museum. The site of the Petrifying Fountain was indeed located on the Roman road Arles-Rome, and therefore already visited.
The Petrifying Fountain is to be seen in springtime, the sound of the water mixing with the songs of the many birds that live in this humid and wooded place. Or in winter when the water has frozen, enormous ice cubes cling to the fountain, giving it the appearance of a monster with long, sharp teeth.
To access the fountain, the visitor will have to walk through a landscaped area where "yellow toads", a protected local curiosity, are installed. Then a dirt road, at the foot of the cliff, for about 300 meters allows to reach the fountain.
Open every day.
Tel: 04 92 45 04 37
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