Tourist attraction in Normandy – France
The Souterroscope des Ardoisières invites you to visit its underground mines in Caumont l'Eventé, in Calvados. Discover our 19th century mining operations through an audiovisual animation!
The Souterroscope is an old slate mine which has not been exploited for over 125 years (closed in 1891). There was a new attempt after the second world war which lasted only 5 years (from 1947 to 1952).
Extraction started quite illegally at the foot of the church of Caumont l'Eventé.
The Ardoisières de Caumont were the only ones in Normandy to reach a real industrial dimension. The causes of its closure are diverse and varied. At first, they were victims of the economic crisis of the time and were not sufficiently established to overcome the fall of the building industry ( 1882-1883). Secondly, they were unable to compete with Angevine and the lack of railway lines inevitably caused its loss, since they did not have an effective and reliable means of transport that would enable them to transport their goods safely around.
Discovering the slate mining operation
A SECOND CHANCE
Today, the Ardoisières has got a second chance with a reconversion. Indeed, since May 1, 1994, they are opened for visits. From now on, a unique and unusual sightseeing tour is proposed...
From the creation of the world to the discovery of this quarry preserved in its 19th century state, the visitor becomes a miner discovering underground rooms as large as cathedrals... Four rooms are open for visit:
In the first room, visitors can discover the water table through a video describing the water cycle.
The second room, "le gouffre de l'Arc en Terre", is the symbol of the pact established between man and mine: a wonderful play of light and water has been set up there.
The third room proposes a short video on the extraction of the "Caumont blue gold" slate.
In the fourth and last room, an extraordinary collection of giant crystals and semi-precious stones are naturally displayed for visits.
See the wonders of the underworld
Why visit Souterroscope des Ardoisières?
- Remnants of the slate exploitation
- Presence of underground water and learning its cycle
- Large underground spaces
- Geological time scale
- Illuminated water jets
- Mineral Exposition
For additional information, contact our team.
35 km from Caen, access by A84, or D9
25 km from Bayeux, access D6
30 km from Saint-Lô, access by D11
90 km from Mont Saint-Michel
The Site will be open on Tuesday, 1st of May 2018
from 11 am to 5 pm (last visit)
- Without interruption till noon -
Opening hours & days 2018
From February 10 to July 6, 2018:
open from 11am to 5pm (last visit) - Without interruption for lunch -
Closed Monday until March 26, 2018 -included-
EXCEPTIONAL CLOSING OF THE SITE THURSDAY 29 MARCH 2018 (Cabourg Tourism Fair)
Group Rates (20pers.mini)
Children (4 to 12 years)
Food and Drinks:
- Menus, Bar, Snack : FROM €7.90
- Meals for coach groups (menu from €20 drinks included)
- Meals for weddings, baptisms, communions
- Family meals (birthday, other..)
- On-site catering
- Work's council
- Seminars: companies and individuals
- Christmas tree and snack: CONTACT US
- Birthday Snacks: CONTACT US
- 1 small room (50 people)
- 1 large room (100 people)
02 31 71 15 15
Dates to remember
Presentation of the Souterroscope
UNDER THE PRE-BOCAGE
The Geological Time Trail takes the visitor from the Big Bang to present time.
Then it follows the path traced by the miners in the 19th century; an audiovisual animation shows the presence of high mountains similar to the Himalayas here in Normandy.
In the heart of the last room of exploitation, the visitor will discover the traces and understand the originality of this particular slate mining operation.
So far, only the Souterroscope has traces of this activity as practised in the early 19th century.
Water is omnipresent at the Souterroscope. Another exceptional originality: the famous water table.
Another comprehensible underground animation, the water cycle which is the very basis of life.
The visit hides many surprises like the discovery of underground spaces as big as cathedrals, chiselled by the light and resonating with music of all times.
In this setting, water games bewitch the abyss, a display on a giant screen made to listen to the world of geodes, magic mirrors allow young and old to colour the rocks and an exhibition of minerals particularly chosen for their beauty makes the visitor want to return to this mysterious underground world.
START ALL 12 minutes in French or English. DURATION OF VISIT 1 HOUR
- The geological time scale
- Water under the bocage
- Illuminated water jets
- Slate: Caumont blue gold
- Exceptional mineral exposition