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Unusual: a troglodyte château

The Loire Valley’s greatest oddity is the Château of Brézé and its troglodyte village lying next to its huge moats. This subterranean heritage is open to visitors who come to discover the château’s secrets hidden within the rock.  

To understand the secret of troglodyte dwellings we have to go back to the 9th century, when the inhabitants of Anjou developed the custom of digging into the rock to provide refuge in case of attack. Brézé’s underground fortress was reinforced in the 15th century by Gilles de Maillé-Brézé, who dug out dry moats 12 metres in depth and built the first underground rooms. A century later, the moats extended all the way around the château and went down to a depth of up to 18 metres. It is an awe-inspiring experience to wander through them and look up at the château which seems even more impressive!

Around the same time, the underground rooms were turned into lordly annexes. Today, visitors can still see the silkworm farm and the largest troglodyte bakery in France. The monumental fireplace is fitted with three ovens which were used to bake bread and sweet treats. This extraordinary labyrinth also leads to the pressing room and cask cellar where wine was once made, as well as a patrol path, former stables and an unusual cave which is known as the Cathedral of Images. Here, on the walls of the former lords’ cellars, the story of Brézé is retold in images covering an area of more than 4,000m².
Accommodation nearby
Are you looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, campsite, gite or traditional horse-drawn caravan? Discover all our accommodation ideas for your stay in the Loire Valley.