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Troglodytes sites, a fascinating underground world

Troglodyte sites with their astonishing underground caves are typical features of the Loire Valley. Sitting under plains or in the hillside, they fascinate children in particular, revealing prehistoric sea beds, miniature sculptures and ancient villages.

Incredible underground sites

It’s difficult to imagine that 10 million years ago the vast tunnels of the Les Perrières troglodyte site (Doué-la-Fontaine) were in fact part of a vast sea populated by jellyfish, sharks and whales. And yet, the ‘falun’ stone, a sandy type of rock deposited by the sea, bears testimony to the fact.    The local history is told in a moving way using light shows and projections, with the “Le Mystère des Faluns” (The Mystery of the Falun) exhibition.
The Château of Montsoreau and the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud, huge structures made of tuffeau stone, now have their own tuffeau-stone miniature models at Pierre et Lumière, in Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent. This underground site is home to twenty or so iconic monuments from the Loire Valley (churches, villages, castles etc.), sculpted in miniature in the famous white stone.

Unusual places

We’re off to visit a troglodyte village! Children will discover with astonishment that whole villages have existed underground since the Middle Ages.

For example, La Vallée troglodyte des Goupillières (Goupillières Troglodyte Valley) will reveal three farms dug into the tuffeau stone. It was right here where, in the Middle Ages, farmers lived, raised their livestock and baked their bread (as shown by the ovens). Not to mention the underground passages where the village inhabitants went to take refuge! Brings the kids to come and discover the villagers’ daily lives and visit the farm animals!

Another unmissable experience is the troglodyte village of Trôo. This troglodyte capital has been built over three levels, and will enthral visitors with its quaint little streets and the superb Saint-Martin collegiate church. You can also visit the petrifying cave and admire how the water has transformed things over 300 years. The stalactites never fail to fascinate little ones!

Don’t miss out either on a visit to the troglodyte village on the Rochemenier plain, which covers 1 hectare.

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