Sautadet Falls

Sautadet Falls, France
Sautadet Falls / Benh Lieu Song, Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 44.1898 N 4.5270 E
No:247        (list of all attractions)
Category:Waterfalls
Values:Geology, Visual
Rank:7
Address:Europe, France, Languedoc - Roussillon, Gard department, south from La Roque-sur-Cèze town on Cèze river.
Name in French, alternate names:Cascades du Sautadet, Les Chutes du Sautadet, Saut de la Cèze
Height:?
Width:25 - 40 m

Sautadet Falls belong to comparatively little known natural wonders of France. This is an unusual landmark characterised by a rugged beauty.

After leaving the dramatic Ardèche Gorges Cèze river enters the vast plains in Rhone valley. But here awaits the last obstacle – an enormous block of limestone formed some 5 million years ago.

The power of the stream has gnawed a passage through this stone – a 470 m long section of waterfalls, rapids, narrow ravines, hollows and sharp stone blades.

Interesting features are up to 10 m deep kettles, hollowed by turning stones (Marmites géantes). These cylindric hollows may have a diameter of several metres.

This natural monument is quite dangerous. Inattentive visitor may fall on the sharp limestone blades or in a basin of raving water.

Sautadet Falls, France
Sautadet Falls / Aslak Raanes, Flickr. CC BY 2.0

In summer the weather here might be hot and dry, but in autumn the water level rises turning the labyrinth of gullies and waterfalls into a single roaring rapid. Very frequently here blows a cold, sharp wind – mistral. It is considered that the wind also has been actively shaping the cliff formations.

In 1881 above the falls was built a weir – it allowed to operate a flour mill until 1900. Around the falls has been made also a diversion channel – Béal.

This waterfall and the harsh landscape around it is protected since 1993.

Map

See Sautadet Falls on the map of Languedoc - Roussillon!

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