Times, guided tours and prices for the troglodytic caves :

You have the choice between selfguided visits ou french guided visits : it's the same price !

The ticket counter closes 20 minutes before the unguided visits or 5 minutes before the guided tour 

  PRICES : 

Entrance : 4 €

Less than 12 years old : free entrance
More than 10 adults : 3 €

Tickets are available at the entrance of the caves

 

TAKE CARE :

The access is difficult or impossible for people

with reduced mobility 

Closed shoes recommended

 

 - Animals are not allowed in the caves -

 - Children must be accompanied by an adult - 



Troglodytic Caves : a little history...

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 :

 http://www.lafrancevuedesgrottes.fr/?p=1135 

 

Villecroze is part of the National Association of Caves of France  www.grottes-en-france.com

 

 

Booklet about the Villecroze Caves

Is available from the Tourist Office and the Caves for the price of 2€