Archived Pages from 20th Century!!
The famous Caves of Han-sur-Lesse, in Belgium, are known throughout the world. Every year more than 500.000 visitors find their way to this picturesque little village and visit this underground wonderland.
But can the visitor know that a few meters from where he's walking explorers have lost their lives trying to find the unknown course that the Lesse River follows? Can he envisage that a couple of hundred meters further a fantastic underground river flows through an enormous gallery that's only been seen by a handful of cavers? How can he imagine that under his feet there is a cave of such exceptional beauty that the cave that is open to the public pales in comparison?
Can he somehow feel that the point where the Lesse reappears has been considered sacred throughout Europe since the Neolithic period? Can he visualize the courageous explorers in the 19th century, who, guided only by flickering torches, thought they were entering the lair of an evil spirit but eventually discovered the enormous Dome Room; can he feel the chill and excitement that the first diver felt as he let himself be lowered into the ice-cold, muddy water to sink under a rock and into a gorge to be the first to set foot in a whole series of fantastic underground cavities?
And, finally, is he aware of the scientific, ecological and historical importance of this underworld that right below him contains some of the most beautiful, but also the most fragile specimens of mineral art?
Out of the 16 kilometers of galleries discovered in Han-sur-Lesse, only 3 kilometers are opened to visitors.
The Mystery of the Underground Lesse River!
Last modified: Mon Mar 18 10:59:21 MET 1996
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