La Grotte de Gaulier

Grotte du Massacre

Useful Information

Location: 37 Av. des Martyrs de la Résistance, 08200 Floing.
(49.711158, 4.928399)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: SubterraneaCellar
Light: bring torch
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: yes
Address: La Grotte de Gaulier, 37 Av. des Martyrs de la Résistance, 08200 Floing.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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28 to 29-AUG-1944 a group of French Nazis kills 19 Maquis and wounds 2.


The Grotte de Gaulier is despite the name not a cave, it is a former cellar dug into the white limestone cliff. Probably it was formerly used to mine the rock. Later it was closed at the front by limestone wall with a window and door with a barrel vault. There is not much known about the origin of the small cellar.

Quite famous is the site under its other name, Grotte du Massacre (Cave of the Massacre), which it received after World War II. In the last days of the war, while the allied forces were approaching and the German army was retreating, a group of French Nazis captured a group of resistance fighters, tortured them and finally shot them in the cave. Then they left leaving the bodies of their victims in the cave. The locals investigated and found all but one dead. The only surviver, Georges Cablat, was found among the dead, heavily wounded. He was transported to the hospital and successfully operated by Doctor Martin. But the killers heard he survived and tried to kill him again, but he was hidden by a nun who was able to fool the killer. Sedan was liberated by the American Army two weeks later.

It was a group of Francistes, French Nazis, which were led by a man named Paoli. He was quite ruthless and had become the head of the Gestapo in Bourges. Among his death squad was a guy with a humpback, so the people of Sedan called the group secretly la bande du bossu (the humpback gang). They came on 22-AUG-1944 in the vans of the retreating German Army. They faked to be Maquis and when real Maquis fell for this ruse they shot them, killing 19 and wounding two. When they were gone the people found the dead in the cave, and it became known as Grotte du Massacre.