Saint Léonard Lake akin to Iran’s Alisadr Cave: Swiss embassy tweets

April 19, 2020 - 21:20

TEHRAN – The Embassy of Switzerland in Iran in its official Twitter account has compared Saint Léonard underground lake in the European country with Iran’s Alisadr water cave. 

“‘Lac Souterrain de St. Léonard’ in #Switzerland’s Valais region is the largest underground lake in Europe attracting 1000s of tourists every year. In #Iran, the Alisadr cave system near Hamedan offers a similar feature, incl. pedalos to explore the water cave #DreamNowTravelLater,” the tweet reads. 

A top destination for domestic and foreign sightseers, researches, history buffs, and day-trippers, Ali Sadr Cave is a gigantic water-filled cavern wieldy believed to date from Jurassic era. It embraces a huge matrix of sunless channels, ponds, grottoes and water passages which are stretched along with imposing rock formations and stalactite-covered tops in a span of several kilometers.

The entrance to the lengthy cave is situated some 70km north of Hamadan in west-central Iran. Sightseeing there is connected with traversing in well-lit labyrinths of waterways via paddle boats, walking on subterranean islets, as well as observing rock carvings of hunting scenes, artifacts, paintings and vessels which are associated with prehistorical troglodytes.

With a length of 300 and a width of 20 m, which is situated at Saint Léonard in the canton of Valais, Lac Souterrain de St. Léonard is the largest underground lake in Europe. Sources say that it was formed where a bed of Triassic gypsum, emplaced within impervious Carboniferous strata, has been dissolved by groundwater. 

The underground lake was discovered in 1943 by Jean-Jacques Pittard. Before 1946 the water-level was much higher, but an earthquake with a force of 5.6 on the Richter-scale opened additional fissures in the cave on January 25, 1946 made it more readily navigable. The lake is accessible by the public since 1949.

Photo: The combination photo shows Switzerland’s Lac Souterrain de St. Léonard (L) and Iran’s Alisadr Cave


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