Inside the Gouffre de Padirac (#2)
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Panoramic photo by Franck Masschelein EXPERT Taken 17:25, 20/08/2012 - Views loading...

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Inside the Gouffre de Padirac (#2)

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The Padirac Chasm or Gouffre de Padirac is a cave located near Gramat, in the Lot département, in France.
The chasm itself is approximately 99 m (325 ft) around its rim with a diameter of approximately 35 metres (115 ft). Visitors descend 75 m via a lift or a staircase before entering the cave system. The cave, at a depth of 103 metres (338 ft), contains a subterranean river system that is partly negotiable by boat. This cave system is regarded as "one of the most extraordinary natural phenomena of the Massif Central".
The chasm was created at an undetermined point in time when the roof collapsed into a large internal cavern. It is known that the cavern existed in the 3rd century, and was inhabited during the 15th and 16th centuries during which time Potassium nitrate was excavated from the area.
The cave was first explored, in 1889, by Édouard-Alfred Martel. Much of the credit for opening the cave system is owed to Guy de Lavaur (1903–1986), who came to Padirac in 1938 and managed to penetrate 15 km (9.3 mi) of the passages.

The shot was taken in august 2012, in the beginning of the evening. Panorama made in HDR version (enfuse).

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gouffre_de_Padirac

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This panorama was taken in France

This is an overview of France

France is affectionately referred to as "the Hexagon" for its overall shape.

French history goes back to the Gauls, a Celtic tribe which inhabited the area circa 300BC until being conquered by Julius Caesar.

The Franks were the first tribe to adopt Catholic Christianity after the Roman Empire collapsed. France became an independent location in the Treaty of Verdun in (843 AD), which divided up Charlemagne's Carolingian Empire into several portions.

The French monarchy reached its zenith during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, who stood for seventy-two years as the Monarch of all Monarchs. His palace of Versailles and its Hall of Mirrors are a splendid treasure-trove of Baroque art.

The French Revolution ended the rule of the monarchy with the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity!" On July 14th, 1789 angry mobs stormed La Bastille prison and began the Revolution in which Louis XVI, his wife Marie-Antoinette and thousands of others met the guillotine.

One decade after the revolution, Napolean Bonaparte seized control of the Republic and named himself Emperor. His armies conquered most of Europe and his Napoleonic Code became a lasting legal foundation for concepts of personal status and property.

During the period of colonization France controlled the largest empire in the world, second only to Britain.

France is one of the founding members of the European Union and the United Nations, as well as one of the nuclear armed nations of the world.

Text by Steve Smith.

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