In the middle ages a quarter of the population lived in these caves
A troglodyte is an underground dwelling dug out of limestone rock and lived in.
We are totally stopping at one of these dwellings for some dining!
Troglodytes are found all over the world. The one that comes up most often in google for France is the Village de Rochemenier , a subterranean church, are now open to the public. And have been since 1967. This is the largest accessible group of caves in the whole area. There are 20 underground rooms on an area of more than one hectare.
Rochemenier is a flat landscape, not inside a cliff. In order to build farmyards with cave houses surrounding the yard, they first had to dig a huge pit, generally with a ramp for carriages on one side. The other, steep sides were used to dug chambers into the rock, which were closed by stone walls.
The site is maintained by the couple Anne and Victor Leray . They restore the houses, breed ancient poultry and have their own small rose garden.
It is believed that these living spaces are relatively new only dating back 7-800 years.
Today, beside the mushroom growers and the wine makers, troglodyte dwellings have turned into inns, art galleries, museums and zoos.
It may have started when they dug cellars for storing wine and produce, and noticed how comfortable the temperature was on a hot day through the hot summer. And in winter, the troglodytes protect you against the freezing winter nights of the desert. To some extent these dwellings have also served as protection against robbers.
These caves served as a refuge in times of war over the centuries.
troglodyte villages were built by digging holes like large craters and then carving out the walls.