This former ochre quarry, unique in Europe, with its 40 km of underground galleries tempered at 10° c all year round and its masterly tawny-coloured entrance, offers an astonishing and fascinating visit.
Gothic entrance and ochre facade...
At the foot of the quarry's entrance wall, the effect is stunning, the whole titanic... Think 40 km of gallery, 100km of exploitation, 150 miners...
With your guide, you are on your way in the footsteps of the ocriers. In 1928, 40,000 tons were produced in this way!
You wander through the belly of the mine and its galleries, narrow and very high, some of them up to 15 m high.
The 650 m course is paved with spotlights that project their halo on the walls. Their crenellated relief bears witness to the daily pickaxe blows of the former ocher and the progress of their work can be clearly seen in places. You walk between the utensils and the shades of ochre... And you even come across a gallery that was used to cultivate the famous "mushroom of Paris". In fact, the mushroom farms of Gargas produced up to 700 tons per year until 2007.
The Société des Ocres de France still exploits the last open-air ochre quarry in Europe at Gargas and produces 800 T / year of pigments used in cosmetics, painting...
1434 Route de Croagnes
Tel: 04 90 06 22 59
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator
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