miércoles, abril 01, 2009
A paradox typical of the Saumoirois, the inhabitants, dating from the mists of time, have hollowed out the chalk to build their town, chateaux, churches or to build their own homes.
In the later cretaceous period, the tufa measured 50 meters in thickness. Throughout the centuries, worked on by man, or broken up by water, a subterranean world developed under the soil of Saumur: with mushroom farms, caves, workshops, and veritable hamlets with maors and chapels.
It's near Turquant, between Montsoreau and Saumur (the road could equally well lead you to the Abbey of Fontrevault) where you will find the most remarkable cave dwellings. A half an hour's walk towards the West from the church in Turquant offers one a beautiful view of the diversity and ingeniousness of those who have made use of this gift of nature.
-The cave dwellings of the hillsides, hollowed out of the same cliffs, have been built essentially as caves and useful shelters. The principal dwelling is generally situated outside leaning against the rock. A second type of cave dwelling, less well-known, merits special attention. Set back from the bed of the Loire (south of Saumur) the result of the piling up of shell fish shells and marine debris formed in the tertiary, the rock (falun) served, up until the beginning of the Twentieth Century, as a veritable dwelling for the peasants. Less visibly touristy, at once unexpected and often impressive, these flat land cave dwelling sites called are found near Doue-la-Fontaine.