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The Coumiac Marble Quarry (Cessenon)

Route de Causses et Veyran - 3460 Cessenon

The Coumiac marble quarry is a small geological wonder that lies just a few kilometres to the north of Cessenon. Marble from Coumiac, dubbed marbre griotte (Morello cherry marble), has been used since the 6th century for decorations and for covering gravestones. In 1890, Nicolas Gauthier, a stonemason from Jura, opened the quarry, which would remain in use until 1965. Its top-quality marble was used to decorate prestigious buildings such as the White House in Washington and the Maison de la France in Rio de Janeiro.


There are particularly outstanding records of the crisis that marked the end of the Paleozoic Era in the geological layers visible in the Coumiac quarry in Cessenon. Unsurprisingly, this quarry was chosen in 1989 in Washington by the International Commission on Stratigraphy as the global benchmark for the Frasnian-Fammenian boundary. This geological site and international benchmark was the remarkable witness of a crisis that affected all marine species 365 million years ago.

The listing of this site as a regional nature reserve will be included in the network of nature reserves to highlight the geological history of our département (or region) and to ensure its long-term survival given its importance in terms of heritage, science and teaching.


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