Rotunda - Beneath Your Feet

A large cave room with trails going off to the left and right.
The Rotunda is one of the largest rooms in Mammoth Cave.

NPS Photo/ Thomas DiGiovannangelo

Quick Facts
Mammoth Cave, KY 42259
Historic Salt Petre Vats, famous for being one of the big rooms
World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

In 1810 a gentleman from Bowling Green, Ky visited the Mammoth Cave and upon entering the rotunda he proclaimed in a letter to a friend, 

“at the termination of these narrows you are ushered into one of the most sublimely beautiful and picturesque amphitheaters in the world”.

The Rotunda, one of the most visited areas in the cave is a large circular room that is the sixth largest room, about a quarter acre in size.  In the center of the room are the leaching vats from the early salt petre operation. To the right are the two Great War Monuments dedicated in 1922 and 1929. It looks as though swirling water created the circular shape ceiling when, it’s where large slabs of limestone have fallen out creating a breakout dome.  

NPS Mobile App Users: Click here to watch a video of a ranger in the Rotunda. 

Mammoth Cave National Park

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37.733 seconds

Join Ranger Mary as she shows you the Rotunda, 180 feet beneath the surface.

Last updated: February 22, 2021