Visiting La Balme les Grottes


La Balme les Grottes is a small and ancient village with about 700 inhabitants. His name come from the celtic word "baume" which means "caverne" (cave) . Many vestiges, since prehistory to the Middle Ages, were found in the famous cave.

The born house of Laurent Clerc is in this village (left picture below). The village is so proud to be the native place of Laurent Clerc that one of the places wears the name of the heroe (right picture below).

Maison familiale de la famille Clerc   Le panneau de la Place L. Clerc






On the side of one of the walls there is
the commemorative plaque which remember
the birth of Laurent Clerc in 1785.

This plate, posed in 1987, is
the summarized copy of an original
offered in 1980 by the American Deaf
came to honor Laurent Clerc:

  Plaque commémorative Laurent Clerc  



Among others curiosities in La Balme-les-Grottes, there is this nice old washhouse built in 1880. The water come from the underground lake which is in the cave.

This small brook has no name! We have asked to the La Balme Tourisme office
to call it "Clerc brook"!




A bit of geography !

The town of La Balme les Grottes is at the boundary of a territory called Isle Crémieu. As we can see on the right part of the map below, this name has been given because the territory is limited at the north by the Rhône river and at the south by a marshy area. This look like an island.

L'ile Crémieu

La Balme is at the bottom of a cliff, facing the entry of the main cave. A small path lead to an elevation and to the town called Parmilieu. Not far of La Balme there is an archeological site called Larina from wich the visitor discovers a superb panorama and the nuclear plant of Bugey.


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