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Silver Mines of Frank Kings

Category : Mines
Department : Deux-Sèvres

The most ancient mines opened to visits in Europe. Silver extraction was done there in the early Middle Ages.

Opening : All days from June 1 to September 30 from 10.00 am till midday and from 2.30 pm till 7.30 pm.
From October 1 to November 15 and from March 1 to May 31 on weekends and French national days from 2.30 pm till 6.30 pm.

BP 29
79500 Melles

TEL : (33) 5 49 29 19 54
FAX : (33) 5 49 29 16 64



Souterroscope of Caumont L'Eventé

Category : Mines
Department : Calvados

The souterroscope is fitted out in 4 ancient rooms of an old slate mine which operated during second half of 19-th century.
Visit is mainly a son et lumiere spectacle which follows the guest throughout his progress. Documentaries projected in every room bring to the set a light cultural varnish by approaching very generic subterranean subjects. But, on the slate strictly speaking, except for some brief explanations on the size of this one, there is nothing (or so little) about the so particular techniques of its exploitation, what was nevertheless the purpose of the visit.
In surface there is nothing left about mine buildings except a monumental bridge made of slates of which usage remains obscure. Compared with fire the Blue Mine, this slate mine is as matter of fact a little bit disappointing.

Opening : From October to April, all days except mondays from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Closed in December and February.
In May, June and July, on weekdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and on sundays from 10 AM to 6 PM.
In July and August all days from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Le Souterroscope des Ardoisières
Route de Saint-Lô
14240 Caumont-L'Eventé

TEL : (33) 2 31 71 15 15
FAX : (33) 2 31 71 15 16

Access : From A84 (Caen - Rennes freeway), take Villers-Bocage exit. After going through this town, follow D71 road during 8 miles to Caumont l'Eventé where the way to the mine is indicated.



The Blue Mine

Category : Mines
Department : Maine-et-Loire

Closed in 2000 for financial reasons, the Blue Mine recently reopened. This Mine was an ancient slate mine which has kept all its infrastructures, reorganized and opened to the public in 1992.
Visit began by a drive in mine train at 130 metres deep towards extraction rooms (for the descent, a modern elevator replaced the funicular always in state of work), where retired minors reconverted to guides explained the evolution of slate extraction techniques. In surface a museum completed the visit which ended on the "mound of fendeurs" where "ardoisiers" cut slates with old tools.

Opening : all days from May to September from 10 AM until 7 PM

49520 Noyant-la-Gravoyère

TEL : (33) 2 41 94 39 69
FAX : (33) 2 41 94 39 69

Access : From Angers, take road N162 in the direction of Segré, after Segré continue on Noyant-la-Gravoyère.
From Rennes take road N163 in the direction of Chateaubriand, after Chateaubriand continue until Noyant.



The Slate Museum

Category : Mines
Department : Maine-et-Loire

Au coeur d'un ancien site ardoisier, le Musée de l'Ardoise propose :
- Un démonstration de taille des ardoises selon les méthodes et des outils anciens.
- Une exposition sur l'évolution des techniques d'extraction et des méthodes de taille.

Opening : July 1 to September 15, everyday from 2 PM to 6 PM.
September 16 to November 30 and February 15 to June 30 every Sunday and public holyday from 2 PM to 6 PM.

32, rue de la Maraîchère
49800 Trélazé

TEL : (33) 2 41 69 04 71
FAX : (33) 2 41 69 04 71



Val-de-Fer Studio-Museum

Category : Mines
Department : Meurthe-et-Moselle

Témoin d'un siècle d'activité minière à Neuves-Maisons, l'Atelier-Musée installé sur le careau de Val de Fer retrace l'histoire de l'extraction et du traitement du minerai de fer de 1874 à 1968 date de la fermeture de la mine.

Atelier Mémoire Ouvrière - Place de la Gare
48 bis, rue du Général Thiry

54230 Neuves-Maisons

TEL : (33) 3 83 47 19 08


Vieille-Aure Mine-museum

Category : Mines
Department : Hautes-Pyrénées

Used by craftsmen for the oxides, the manganese becomes after the invention of electrometallurgy, a very popular metal, being of used for example to the manufacture of special alloies. In Pyrenees, it was exploited for a long time. Its presence in the valleys of Aure and Louron is bound to the geologic history of the massif.
At Vieille-Aure, exploitation definitely stopped in 1923, but several mine galleries were rehabilitated between 1992 and 1995 and opened to the public to keep the memory of these generations of men, women and children who worked hard there. A museum completes the subterranean visit of about one hour long.

Chemin départemental 123
65170 Vieille-Aure

TEL : (33) 5 62 39 46 19

Accès : En arrivant par Arreau, prendre la direction du Pla d'Adet. Vieille-Aure est situé à 2 km de Saint Lary.


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