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[DE] Troglodytic sites

troglo sites

Unusual troglodyte sites

In the Loir Valley, the use of rock as a dwelling place has made some hillsides and cliffs resemble portions of Emmenthal cheese !

The first inhabitants had already found shelter in the natural cavities, and their successors have dug into the tufa rock themselves in order to live here in greater comfort. The “troglos”, little people living in rather poor conditions, were often looked down upon before the middle of the 20th century. But from that time onwards, the occupants of the hillside lived there because they wanted to do so.


The troglodyte dwellings give a bizarre impression of being timeless. But the rock is not simply used for dwelling places: here mushrooms are grown, you can eat a meal in a restaurant, dance, work …

From simple recess to immense quarries, the “tuffe” rock conceals some incredible examples of underground architecture.

It seems that the “cave-dwelling” instinct of our prehistoric ancestors has never completely disappeared! There are still numerous inhabitants whose houses are at least partly troglodyte, in Villiers-sur-Loir, Lavardin and, of course, Trôo. The old “living caves” have been replaced by far more comfortable dwellings, developed throughout the 20th century, often extended to the outside, with traditional facades, doors and windows, …. A new population has taken possession of the hillside, consisting mainly of people who love this way of life, for second homes, artist’s studios or retirement homes for ex-town dwellers.

Trôo is Trôo!

Although dozens of troglodyte hamlets and villages have disappeared, the Trôo site is seeing happier days. Between the remarkable small Romanesque church of Saint-Jacques-Des-Guérets (left bank of the Loir) and its mural paintings, and its 12th century collegiate church, this multi-level village attracts several thousands of visitors a year.

In addition to an old dwelling dug into the top section, here we discover an exhibition cave and the “Yuccas cave” (preserved old dwellings). With its narrow little streets and stairways, Trôo reveals to its visitors a history over a thousand years old, a mix of peaceful and troubled times, in which the houses, caves, former chapels, wells and associated little “constructions” (all dug into the rock) bear witness to everyday life across the centuries.

The supreme reward: magnificent views over the valley from the site of the collegiate church and its viewpoint indicator.