|Location:||Louresse-Rochemenier, near Doué la Fontaine.|
FEB to MAR Tue-Sun, Hol 10-18.
APR to SEP daily 9:30-19.
OCT to NOV Tue-Sun, Hol 10-18.
Closed 01-MAY, 11-NOV.
Adults EUR 5.50, Children (6-18) EUR 3.10, Children (0-5) free, Students EUR 4.10, School Pupils (6-18) EUR 2.80.
Groups (20+): Adults EUR 4.10, Children (6-18) EUR 2.80.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Address:||Village troglodyte Rochemenier, 14 rue du musée, 49700 Louresse, Tel: +33-241-591815, Fax: +33-241-593513. E-mail:|
|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.
|1967||opened to the public.|
In this area once most farms were underground, two of these farms and the Chapelle souterraine du village de Rochemenier, a subterranean church, are now open to the public. This is the largest accessible group of caves in the whole area. It is called Village Troglodyte de Rochemenier (Underground village of Rochemenier). There are 20 underground rooms on an area of more than one hectare.
The farms were built underground, inside the rather soft limestone. This rock was quarried all around, but here it was used for living. But the brook Rochemenier lies in a flat landscape on top of the plain, not along a cliff or hillside. In order to build farmyards with cave houses surrounding the yard, the first thing necessary was to dug a huge pit, generally with a ramp for carriages on one side. The other sides, the steep ones, were used to dug chambers into the rock, which were then closed by stone walls.
This site was created by the couple Anne and Victor Leray, who are now retired. They restored the houses, bred ancient poultry and had their own small rose garden. Today the site is maintained by Frédéric Marteau. During the years the site has become so well known, it was even used for a French postal stamp in 2004, worth 0.50 €.