Le patrimoine souterrain de Pontoise
Meet at the Office de Tourisme de Cergy-Pontoise.
During School Holidays Sun 14:30.
22-OCT-2014, 18-FEB-2015, 22-APR-2015, 08-JUL-2015, 15-JUL-2015, 05-AUG-2015, 12-AUG-2015 14:30.
Adults EUR 6.50, Children (7-14) EUR 4.50, Children (0-6) free.
Georges Duclos (1968):
Pontoise féodal et souterrain,
Pontoise, Imprimerie Pâris, 1968, 237 p.
Jean-Luc Maire (1990):
Aperçu géologique du site de Pontoise et méthodes d'exploitation du calcaire,
in Clan spéléo pontoisien, La cave des Moineaux à Pontoise, Pontoise, EDF-GDF Services, 1990, non paginé.
Georges Duclos (1944):
Les souterrains de l'ancien couvent des Cordeliers de Pontoise,
COMM S&O, LIe volume, 1943-1944, 40-45.
Office de Tourisme de Cergy-Pontoise, Place de la Piscine, 95300 Pontoise, Tel: +33-134-417060, Fax: +33-134-417068.
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.|
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.
|Last update:||$Date: 2015/08/30 21:54:45 $|
The city Pontoise, not far from Paris, is located in the middle of the Paris
Basin, which is full of sedimentary rock.
Right below the surface is a massive layer of Campanian (Cretaceous) limestone.
This limestone was used to build houses, and for this reason it was quarried.
The best layers were located below ground, and so the quarries were underground,
following the mined rock.
Over many years, between the 12th and 17th century, a lot of underground
structures were created.
The floor below the historic city core is virtually riddled with caves.
Some of those caves were later used as cellars, others for living, some even for
There are numerous sites underground, all of them are open to the public.
On the European Heritage days, one weekend in September, all of them are opened
for two days.
The rest of the year there are guided tours by the Tourist Office, which show a
few of them.
- La cave des Moineaux (Cellar of Sparrows), Place des Moineaux:
This quarry was in operation between the 12th and 15th century.
Later it was decorated with Gothic elements, the typical four-centred arch.
This place is rather popular as a film location, for example Roman Polanski's
The Ninth Gate and the mini series La Commanderie of the French tv
station France 3.
- La chapelle souterraine du presbytère (Cellar of the Rectory),
25, rue Thiers:
This are two irregular chambers of different size in the same level, which
are reached down a staircase with 22 steps.
They were the entrance of a quarry of at least 200m², which is now
mostly filled in.
The age is unknown, the style of the arches was common between the 12th and
the 17th century.
Originally used as a wine cellar, one of the rooms was transformed into a
chapel, when the house above became a rectory in the 20th century.
- Le souterrain de l'escalier du Général Leclerc
(Underground of Staircase General Leclerc), rue Thiers:
The staircase is named after General Victor Emmanuel
The small square in front of the cathedral has a staircase which leads up to
The place was created like this between 1863 and 1868, the girls' boarding
school at this place was demolished.
Below the stair, still accesible, is what was before the cellar of the
But this structure has three underground levels, the second is extending
below the City Hall and the third below Rue de la Bretonnerie.
There is a legend about an underground connection to the chathedral, which
could not be found by now.
- La Carrière du Grand Godet (Quarry Grand Godet), 8, rue du
A rock mine which was used to quarry limestone until it was closed in 1840.
- Le parc de Marcouville et son souterrain (Park of Marcouville and its
underground), 2, rue des Pâtis:
The cellars below the central park date back to the 17th century.
- La cave du Pont (Cellar of the Bridge), Place du Pont:
This cellar was used for storing goods for a very long time.
Unlike most others it is located at the foot of the city, in the lower layer
of the limestone.
- La cave Fayolle, :
Fayolle is a winery cellar from the 13th century, with two levels.
The staircase which leads into the upper cellar is rather new, the original
staircase leading to the impasse du Trou-Gillet was closed by a wall.
Another staircase leads down to the lower cellar, which was added later to
increase the storage space.
This cellar was a filming location for the movie Vidocq de Pitof
- Carrière du Château (Castle Quarry), Parc du
Originally a quarry, but was used as a cellar for a long time.
- Les casemates (casemates), Parc du musée Pissarro:
This are remains of the castle, which was built in 1102 and destroyed in the
It has shooting stations.
- Port Souterrain (underground harbor), :
- Glacière (The Cooler), :