- On the opposite shore the open air center
- In a beautiful natural site, this activity center offers you to practice various sporting and fun activities: canoeing, sailing, fishing, archery, mountain biking, caving, horse riding, walks...
- This center has high quality accommodation
- To find out more: www.cpa-lathus.asso.fr
- Do not hesitate after your hike to visit the CPA. Also go to discover the little educational farm. It is a farm of 140 hectares of grove. All animals including several hardy breeds (ponies, horses, cows, goats, ewes, donkeys, sows, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese,...) are visible in the pastures, the farmyard and stables. Throughout the year, 2 discovery circuits (blue or red markers) make it possible to freely visit the site of the farm. They also reveal the garden of the senses and the giant metal sculptures adorning the site.
- The Roc d'Enfer site is protected by a biotope decree since 1991 because of the quality of the fauna and flora. It is a popular place that combines a relaxing or sportive walk (climbing the granite blocks of the Gartempe and canoeing). The site belongs to the Lathus Outdoor Center which manages it. Walks in summer are proposed by the CPIE of Val de Gartempe with the support of the Community of Communes of Montmorillonnais.
- The Roc d'Enfer is freely accessible for all, but its access is difficult for people with reduced mobility.
- Some passages of the trail are delicate and need to be vigilant. Swimming is prohibited. Out of respect for the site, thank you for not leaving waste and staying on the roads.
- Located on the edge of the Gartempe, the Roc d'Enfer (also called the Portes d'Enfer) is popular with walkers for its picturesque landscape.
- The Roc d'Enfer is finally a natural wall ideal for climbing (40 lanes). The Roc d'Enfer is also the only whitewater site in the Poitou-Charentes region. Kayakers are known for their national competitions (every year, in March).
- An original geological context
- The Portes d'Enfer are at the transition between the Massif Central and the Seuil du Poitou. Downstream of the site, the Gartempe flows on a limestone base while the upstream is of granite nature.
- The Gartempe, a torrent river, flows at the foot of the Gates of Hell.
- This river has its source about 130 kilometers in the Limousin region in the hamlet of Petillat. It will join down the Creuse La Roche-Posay which itself will grow the Vienna, the "Bec des 2 Eaux".
- The Loire will be the last step before reaching the Atlantic Ocean.
- The unfinished dam
- Its construction began in 1912.Il was intended to supply the town of Lathus electricity. Twice the construction was interrupted (during the two world wars). The site was never taken over... hence its unfinished dam name.
- A floristic heritage
- The site has 320 plant species including 43 protected (regional or national): pear tree heart, ophiogloss Azores and ferns: snake tongue, thorny quillwort, Doradille North...
- On the site, there are temporary Mediterranean pools, heaths, meadows, rocky habitats and forests.
- Many wildlife species
- For example, the presence of iconic fish species such as sculpins or Atlantic salmon. It is also a place of life for many reptiles, amphibians, insects and mammals.
- At Roc d'Enfer, about sixty bird species also find a favorable habitat such as the flagship species: the dolphin.
- A part of legend
- Many tales and legends bewitch the mythical site of Roc d'Enfer, mixing devils and other witches...
- The legends of the Roc d'Enfer
- Between Lathus and Saint-Rémy, you can contemplate, along the road from Chez Ragon to La Gartempe, a torrent, the Ris de Chez Jobart-Petit Mançanarez- which leaps on the rocks during a 200-meter course. to the point where it meets at the river upstream of the bridge.
- At this point, the Gartempe appears in its wildest state.
Its waters, contained in a narrow bed between two small hills dotted with rather curious rocks, flow very rapidly for nearly two kilometers to the Rock of Hell, which can be reached by somewhat rugged and even perilous paths. This rock, the crown of which overhangs, is partly hollow at its base; from there, muffled sounds and sometimes rumblings produced by the waters that engulf it. Add to that a wild site and you will understand the mysterious stories he has created in the aftermath of times.
- The legend, a legend that sounds like Ovid's "Heroic", wants two lovers to have died tragically in this place.
It is the beautiful Theoline, the damsel of Cluzeau, and the brave and handsome knight Gréor de Némon, duke of Lenet.
- It is fair to add that the cruel Alain de Mandreux, lord of the Brissonnière, and his servant, the false Decraise, will also find death in this same place.
- But let's listen to this description:
- "This name: Roc de l'Enfer, really painted this athlete this mass where is shattered, roaring, the wave agitated blacker, seeming to agree, strange, fierce, irritated, with the hard and bitter rusted flank, as a marble of blood where the wind always pantates.
- Theoline, a rare beauty and rich heiress, is coveted by Alain, ambitious and poor. "All my lands are engraved," he says. He seizes by a coup de force the beautiful and fierce Théoline
But Gréor, who fought in Palestine, returns to the fateful moment, takes it back to his captor; hence, a scene of jealousy and hatred, struggles and fights in which Théoline, hijacking Alain's iron, is killed instead of Gréor who can not survive his beloved, is killed in turn on the fatal rock and cursed Alain. "His great eyes, his eyes make the traitor recoil, who sees them all over the night appear granite trembles under his feet, then explodes like a bomb, opening gigantic arms, which will become a grave.
Alain, leaning over, the gaping hole, closes with a giant effort, and pain can feast.
When the dawn appeared, the fearful peasants told each other the dread of that terrible night.
And the most resolute go, trembling and furtive towards dear Gartempe, yesterday still peaceful. They do not recognize this wave nor these edges stop anxious...
- From the castle comes then a strange, fantastic knell, it is a dementia of brass, on a diabolical range, which tons without stop, without brake, of the dungeon carrying the summit the bell in the waves is abyss with furious chords.
Now here is Decraise, who advances in his turn, gone mad, just punishment of the gods, it will be the fourth victim of the mysterious Rock.
"Have you heard," said he, "I knew how to constrain the frightful noise of the Rock to fall and die, I will brave it, follow me, the lady of Cluzeau is dead, and Gréor also by my faith. "
- Sire Alain a demon wins. One arrives at the rock, there under a clear ray lie two bloody bodies, pierced by the iron.
- Near them, the peasants hasten, but more and more anxious, so many different emotions press them and everything is so mysterious.
The madman approaches... the Rock roars, it leaps, disappears under the wave, proclaiming: it is the Rock of Hell!
And since then, every year, when the fatal hour comes, the brass which, under the water, sleeps, makes its voice heard, and the old rock roars...
- They say it's the burst. Two specters, however, reach at once, slowly on his made, where the moon fades.
- It is Gréor de Némon, Théoline the brunette who, constant against remorse, come to perpetuate the crime and the granite then opens.
- Alain appears on top he comes, simulates his package with a gesture, but still dumb, Gréor cursed him in his mist.
- The Rock resumes its prey and the dogs in the neighborhood howl lamentably in a lamentable voice.
The ghosts then go away to see their turns again, to dispute them again at the inexorable time. They pass over the pond without bending a reed. From a nocturnal work echoes the Cluzeau.
Then they leave, following the sky and leaving their shrouds floating towards Lenet, where the cry of the owl vibrates alone.
- Finally, their work finished, they say: the other year! and return to their cold tomb. "
- The castle of Cluzeau, if it existed, no longer exists: there is a mill of this name, lower than the Roc d'Enfer, and the waters of the Gartempe rotate the millstones. That of Lenet still exists.
- When in Brissonnières, the topographic map due to Monsignor Mortier does not mention it.
- Excerpt from Dolmen-Club de Bellac
- Text extracted from the website www.lathus-saint-remy.fr