Like many villages, towns and hamlets of the Touraine, such as Le Grand Pressigny, Paulmy, in the Touraine du Sud, is no exception in having its own troglodyte dwellings.
Last summer I, Sandra and our friends, Graham and Lisa, were invited by Nicole Auvray to visit her magnificent house on the edge of Paulmy.
Her home, which she completely renovated herself, is a complex of troglodyte dwellings which once housed a number of families of the village.
The caves were hewn by hand from the soft limestone rock of the Touraine to create ideal living conditions for both humans and animals. With their constant, stable, all-year-round temperature the caves are also perfect for the storage of wines, beers and foodstuffs. The excavated white stone, tuffeau, was used in the construction of external extensions to the caves dwellings themselves as well as in other houses and farms in the area.
In true French style, Nicole has her own mini, edible snail farm one of her caves. A further space in the labyrinth was the place for the communal bakehouse, four banal, as can be clearly seen in one of the images below.
Images by our friend, Graham of Graham Shackleton Photography.