13-FEB to 28-MAR Sat, Sun 14:30-18.
APR to 03-OCT Wed-Sun 10-12:30, 14-18:30.
04-OCT to 14-NOV Wed-Sun 14:30-18.
JUL to AUG Tue evening until 22.
Adults EUR 6, Children (8-14) EUR 3.50.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 5.
|Classification:||Limestone Quarries and Mine|
|Address:||Le Troglo des Pommes Tapees, 11 rue des Ducs d'Anjou, 49730 Turquant, Tel: +33-241-514830.|
|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.
The Troglo des Pommes Tapees (Underground of the Hammered Apples) is dedicated to an old local industry. During the 19th century apples were dried to make them durable. This method was known since the time of the french Revolution, but its heyday was during the 19th century. Around 1880 the vines in the area were destroyed by the grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae), and for some time many people were looking for alternative work. Dried apples (and dried peaches) were produced in huge amounts and exported to Belgium, Great Britain, and Sweden. However, the process is very costly and was abandoned at the begin of World War I.
The process to dry apples was very time consuming, but in an era when only very few methods for food preservation were known, it was one of very few techniques available. The apples were first peeled, then placed in shallow baskets called rondeaux and heated for five day in underground ovens. During this drying process most of the water was removed. It was important to dry them fast, before they could start to rot. The dried apples were then tapped with a special hammer until they were flat. The result was durable and could be stored for months.
Actually the caves had nothing to contribute to the process, except vast spaces for workshops and storage. This industry did not depend on the caves, nevertheless the vast vaults were cheap and therefore used. But the cellars are not very suitable for storing dried fruits, because of the high humidity.
The Troglo des Pommes Tapees is located in a set of caves called Le Val Hulin in the village Turquant. The caves were purchased by Monsieur and Madame Ludin in 1990. When they renovated their new caves, they discovered the remains of an ancient industry. After two years of investigation and research, and some try and error, they had rediscovered a technique which had been lost. Béatrice et François Vermeulen opened the Troglo des Pommes Tapees to make this aspect of the work life of long gone generations public.