Mines, quarries, troglodytic villages, mushrooms cellars, underground refuges, caves, abysses, fortifications... French basement abounds in subterranean cavities. Thousands of them spread under our feet. Many sites sank into oblivion, others wait for their inventors, others still accessible and known by a minority owe their preservation to their confidentiality. Indeed, a fame as sudden as inconvenient in these fragile places could cause guests influx that would irreversibly degrade them... The present guide deals with another category of souterrains: natural and artificial cavities opened to the public about which visits can be done in complete safety...

These "official" cavities highlighted by professionals, amateurs, volunteers or associations belong to the French patrimony in the same way as "surface" sites. Nevertheless in most of cases, their fame rarely pass the limits of their department or even of their municipality.

This small guide aims to promote all these natural and artificial cavities so strikingly highlighted. Every site listed here is worth the detour of a small visit. The underground cavities fanatic will find there his interest and the novice will discover a fascinating universe related with history, fortification, geology, ethnology or industrial patrimony.

Every department has its own curiosities, to you to unearth them. Good investigation!

This list isn't exhaustive, we shall not miss to add in it every new underground curiosity you will report us or to correct the errors which slip into it. Don't hesitate to contact us...


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Last update : 07-21-2009


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