In the Saumur region of France there are over a thousand miles of underground tunnels and thousands of caves, known as "troglodytes", homes, hotels, restaurants, museums, wineries, farms (silkworms, mushrooms, snails) and even a disco and a zoo (for nocturnal animals like bats).
What makes this land so perfect for underground dwellings is its very malleable rock. 100 million years ago, this part of France was covered by sea. When the water receded, it left a layer of tufa, or tuffeau, a type of limestone that turned out to be ideal for building castles, churches and homes in the surrounding area during the Middle Ages.
All of this quarrying created lots of tunnels and caves that turned out to be ideal homes, especially for quarrymen. Up until the early 20th century, troglodyte living was still common in the area. Even entire villages, like that of Louresse-Rochemenier, were housed underground.
In 2000, when Henri Grevellec retired from teaching, he bought an old quarry and moved into one of the old caves. On his property in Grezille, France, there are 6 caves that had once housed quarry workers centuries ago.
The site was abandoned when Grevellec purchased it, but he cleared away the growth and renovated the caves himself. He put in a modern kitchen and bathroom and in his bedroom (at the far back of the cave) he added a skylight to improved air circulation and add a bit of light.
Of the 6 original caves, one became a guest room (which he connected by tunnel to his main home), another is now his workshop (for his stone-working tools), another he left as it once had been (complete with wood-burning oven) and he uses part of one as a wine cellar.
Grevellec says the temperature in his cave home is naturally temperate. He doesn't need air conditioning and leads much less heat than a normal home because the earth walls act to naturally regulate the indoor temperature (see more on earth sheltering for details on earth walls as thermal mass).
Music credit: "Ranz des Vaches" by Kevin MacLeod, "The Forest and the Trees" by Kevin MacLeod, "Divertissement" by Kevin MacLeod (http://incompetech.com)
Original story here: http://www.faircompanies.com/videos/view/cave-home-in-loire-is-charming-bioclimatic-troglodyte-house/
Achei incrível! Eu teria coragem de morar numa caverna.
Eunice Wong (8 months ago)
Is it possible to get in touch with Monsieur Henri Grevellec since my husband is also from Bretagne and we'll be staying in a troglodyte nearby his place soon? Merci!
Marlene (11 months ago)
I could so live there!
Mr. Morris (1 year ago)
Who else thought when he said "They hung here" that the tour was about to go left
karthick k (1 year ago)
This was touching heart .
Cng215 (2 years ago)
William Pettas (1 month ago)
I was very surprised to see so much of Greece!!
Coach House Studio Barry (2 years ago)
May i please visit you at your cave home? I will be in France in May 2017. I live in New York USA.
Stephen Johnson (11 months ago)
choerd (5 years ago)
I would love to visit these caves.
Sandra Peterson (3 years ago)
+choerd Check out "Rock Houses in France" msrunner58
Shadowkey392 (5 years ago)
John Glendenning (5 years ago)
This has great potential,Like a lot . . .
Alice Swanderful (5 years ago)
What a gorgeous house. And what a lucky man to be able to live somewhere so natural and so beautiful.
Sandra Peterson (3 years ago)
+Alice Swanderful check out "Rock Houses in France", msrunner58
slobomotion (5 years ago)
We love troglodyte stuff here in France! If anyone wants to see some in and around Paris, France, I recommend a daytrip up to Les Andelys, which is the most spectacular place in France I know for a picnic. But there are other places in other regions, of course -- we saw an amazing troglodyte palace down South. My clips of St Roman in France might interest people to see an ancient thriving early Christian community. Also, a UFO showed up in one of my clips. Uprated, fantastic!
Sandra Peterson (3 years ago)
+slobomotion Check out " Troglodyte Village" on my site msrunner58
Keith Kibler (6 years ago)
Always Falling Short (6 years ago)
ihaslsm23 (6 years ago)
The old way of life he says I think is the best way to live.
Moderately Minimalist (6 years ago)
I want to marry that man!
pyricexhoarder (6 years ago)
i like these videos so much. its like going on a little adventure every time. 10 minutes of joy. thank you very much. i wasn't going to add this last line but i feel as tho i would regret robbing you of one other fact. you make me smile, with your video stories.
FirstwaveB34ST13 (6 years ago)
I would luv to live there.
mbormes (6 years ago)
I bet he gets terrible cell phone reception in that house.
fritagogo1 (6 years ago)
Un des problèmes du logement mais faut aimer l'humidité...
Shyelusiveheart (7 years ago)
what a beautiful way to live.
OurHumbleLife (7 years ago)
Moon (7 years ago)
Ahhh, the simple life, they must have it really good there.
Argent1980 (7 years ago)
@3martijns I'm going to let that slide because you don't know me and you're making a lot of pretty absurd assumptions about who you're talking to. It's not whining to have your eyes open and see things for what they've become. If believing these people are going to change anything for the better helps you, have at it. Good for you. But I've watched my party get turned into a circus by RINOs and sell outs, you'll pardon me for not celebrating it.
Argent1980 (7 years ago)
@3martijns Someone from this so-called "Republican" party is going to fix this? You've got a radical fundamentalist member of Opus Dei, a sociopath corporate raider, a career politician who is the poster boy for political corruption, and a man who doesn't stand a chance because they'll never allow him to win even if he gets the votes. Neither party gives a damn about the US, they only care about themselves. They'll do what they are paid to. No different than Obama.
docsis3 (7 years ago)
So where is the cave disco ?
Volutebleue (7 years ago)
Wouaaaah ! Y'a t-il moyen d'y loger ? gîte de vacances ? trop beau ! trop original ...j'aime !
Bunny1412 (7 years ago)
Wow so cool!!
I would love to visit a place like that. When I was a kid I used to like design cave houses for some reason .... :P
Conrad Hergott (7 years ago)
Anthony Rizzo (7 years ago)
Rachel Ward (7 years ago)
That is the exact kind of place children would have a FANTASTIC time growing up in. It would have all the magic to excite their young imaginations. Who needs toys when you live in a cave home with those wonderful grounds all around??
militaina (7 years ago)
What a beautiful piece thanks for sharing :)
MagicNateball (7 years ago)
Amazing! It really is an enchanting place. I've always loved caves, but I never really thought about living in one. Thank you so much for you videos! Happy new year!
oldschoolgreentube (7 years ago)
Beautiful. Couldn't do it here in the US cause some epa liberal eco-terrorist type would claim that you are destroying something. But it seems peaceful and, for all intents eternal. People will be living there for hundreds of years. Kind of gives you a sense of continuity.
Kaiser Maximilian (7 years ago)
It*s only charming if I can move in!!!!!!
capedchameleon (7 years ago)
best channel on youtube! ^^
khunopie (7 years ago)
the french are an interesting breed
ThePoliphilo (7 years ago)
beautiful and simplistic. would a property like this be really expensive?
TheMan1510 (7 years ago)
I would love to have a house like that...
TheDenisedrake (7 years ago)
Never thought a cave could be so interesting and beautiful.
gclaudia1 (7 years ago)
What enchanting place! It's wonderful that he's restoring these old dwellings with such love.
Khamomil (7 years ago)
@vention4wh I believe sedimentary rock doesn't emit radon. Volcanic or metamorphic rocks are those that do.
boscoitalics (7 years ago)
its beautiful! Kind of a hobbit mansion :p
Narfi Hjartarson (7 years ago)
The modern Caveman.....
vention (7 years ago)
Awesome (as long as isn't any radon gas seeping into your home). I hope he tested for it. In the pacific northwest, especially around northern Idaho, Radon can be a problem.
Her Ladyship (7 years ago)
~~ fantastique!! Je voudrais!!
Eric (7 years ago)
Kristen thank you for your hard work in filming and editing these crafty and interesting videos, happy new year