Star Chamber - Beneath Your Feet

A cave passage with a dark ceiling.
Illusions of the night sky can be seen in Star Chamber.

NPS Photo/ Thomas DiGiovannangelo

Quick Facts

Historical/Interpretive Information/Exhibits

Visitors will enter the cave by lantern light for the Star Chamber tour, you will learn of the early travels of both guides and visitors in the 1800’s. On your way to the Star Chamber you will hear stories about the tuberculosis patients who sought for a cure inside the cave and view numerous signatures and rock formations left by visitors who sought memorable experiences over a hundred years ago. When visiting Mammoth Cave’s Star Chamber, you may feel as though you are above ground gazing at the night sky.  Instead, you will be standing 189 feet below this spot.  Your eyes will be fooled by light specks on the ceiling where people in the past threw rocks to knock patches of sooted gypsum from the ceiling.   

One famous visitor, Ralph Waldo Emerson referred to Star Chamber in his 1857 essay, Illusions.   

“I saw or seemed to see the thick with stars glimmering over our heads.  All the party were touched with astonishment and pleasure.” 

NPS Mobile App Users: Click here to watch a video of a ranger in Star Chamber.

Mammoth Cave National Park

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50.333 seconds

Join Ranger Ashley as she shows you Star Chamber, 189 feet beneath the surface.

Last updated: April 5, 2021