Rochemenier: an underground village!
Rochemenier: an underground village - Atlantic Loire Valley, France
Head underground 25km West of Saumur and discover the incredible rural museum of the village of Rochemenier, chiselled into the "falun" rock! Explore homes, discover old tools and meditate in the subterranean chapel...
Homes that reveal the daily life of peasant farmers
It almost seems as though the occupant of this house has just made his bed before heading out into the fields! On the wall, old guns jostle with family photos and ceramics. It is a captivating experience indeed, stepping into the daily life of peasant farmers who once occupied the village of Rochemenier, part of which has been transformed into a museum. From the Middle Ages onwards, instead of building their homes on the surface, the locals chose to dig them into the falun rock that surrounded their smallholdings, to create something resembling open-air quarries.
A 13th century underground chapel!
The troglodyte complex unveiled before our eyes was created between the 17th and 18th centuries before being abandoned in the 20th. Further away is a second farm, a more modern home, a chicken coop and an extraordinary underground chapel from the 13th century, with an enchanting aura about it. It is worth knowing that Rochemenier has three times as many underground homes than those on the surface!
A multitude of events held on-site
Visitors can explore a total of 2.5 acres of rooms and cavities through which kids love to stomp, weaving in and out as they discover bread ovens, chicken perches or old tools used for working in the fields and the vines. The tour lasts around an hour and a half in cool conditions, with temperatures varying between 5°C in winter and 18°C maximum in summer. Note that on sunny days, the site also holds events such as concerts, candlelit night-time tours, handicraft workshops for families, storytelling evenings or tasting days. A good opportunity to further uncover the mysteries of this subterranean world...
Enter the troglodytic village of Rochemenier