Tickets are available at the entrance of the caves
TAKE CARE :
The caves were formed 700,000 years ago, at the end of the last local ice age, as a result of a slow calcification of vegetation and foam from an immense waterfall, high in calcium, which covered the whole current cliff face.
The tufa rock formed from this is the result of the fossilisation of this vegetation.
The caves and a large number of the fields surrounding the village belonged to the Benedictine monks from the Saint-Victor Abbey in Marseille. At that time they also had a priory near to the current Saint-Victor Chapel (next to the cemetery) and used the caves, still in their natural state, as a place of refuge in case of raids by the Saracens in the 10th Century.
Later they swapped the caves with the Lord of the Nicolas of Albertas valley. In 1566 he had the site fortified for use as an impregnable position. However, there never was a siege and nobody ever had to live in the caves.
In 1633 they were given to the village and became its property. In 1924 they were classed as a Natural Monument Site under two categories: history and geology. They are part of France’s Natural Listed Sites.
What is being said…
Damien Butaeye, geologist and photographer has devoted a column of his work on the Caves of France to the Villecroze Caves :
Booklet about the Villecroze Caves
Is available from the Tourist Office and the Caves for the price of 2€
Bureau d'Information Touristique de Villecroze :
Du lundi au vendredi : 9h - 12h
Nous contacter :
12 rue Ambroise Croizat - 83690 VILLECROZE
04 94 67 50 00
Mise à jour le 19.01.2022