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Report - Herblay-Conflans quarry and Mushroom bed

Discussion in 'European and International Sites' started by Karibou, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Karibou

    Karibou 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Hey guys,
    On my return to france to visit my family, I visited my cousin who is a proven "cataphile" and we had our first family descent :)
    he brought me to a nice place close to his.


    A bit of history
    Thanks to Rue Des Lumières for the history and the map, for those who can read french and are interested in a detailed story you should have a look, its more detailed than the partial translation I give below, for the others, have a look anyway as their pictures are fantastic.

    On with the history:
    This quarry streches below the towns of Herblay and Conflans in the west of Paris, it was first exploited in the 17th century and remained on a traditional basis until the 18th century, when after a royal interdiction to create new quarries in paris (1776) its exploitation boomed.
    The soaring exploitation was also due to the discovery of the "banc royal" (royal bed) a fine and quite resistant limestone that was used throughout Paris in the 19th century.
    in 1844 there was 7 underground quarries and 7 open-air quarries, with a total of 40 workers
    in 1861: 37 quarries

    Due to the presence of the Seine close by (the entrance is 100 yards away from it) quarriers couldn't go as deep as they would have want, to they exploited the upper parts of the quarries, so the ceiling was quite thin and fragile, hence the numerous pilars.
    and in many places some pillars are beginning to split... i'm afraid some of these days a couple of quarries will collapse.


    Mushroom exploitation started in the end of the 19th century and continued until around 1995, mushroom farmers gave the tunnels all the names that are visible now (cf pic )

    the most interesting part of the tunnel is only open to visit every weekend (I'll be back for it), it comprises many archways. Anyway it is shut from the part we've visited,

    map of the quarry
    our explore was only from the right side of this map (and we spent a good 6hours down there)

    1. entrance with a very decorative watering can
    4790035968_bc750c96ef_b.jpg

    2. a retention basin drain the quite wet tunnels
    4790036196_7f38b0d600_b.jpg

    3. bit of a failed attempt at lightpainting i'm afraid... was nice to see them try though hehe :popcorn
    4790036300_efd13f17c0_b.jpg

    4. Don't let go of that pilar Quentin or everything collapses... allright we'll see you later pal
    4789405449_35f201f36b_b.jpg

    5. it took him a couple of pics to figure out he shouldnt come in front of the camera with the head-torch on...
    anyway good exemple of the kind of pilars that are to be found there
    4790036526_8c5de3b47c_b.jpg


    6.
    4789405949_b084e090f0_b.jpg

    7. hat painting
    4790036742_24abbe4b60_b.jpg

    8. A goode aulde western pose
    4790037060_72ff5e0177_b.jpg

    9. That lightsaber is a fucking ripoff thought Luke
    4790036982_2fee4f6dbb_b.jpg

    10. quite cramped, not more than 4,5ft, these would be passages dug to ventilate the mushroom beds
    4789406565_f22a3a509c_b.jpg

    11.
    4790037314_a59e52bed5_b.jpg

    12.bath time
    4790037202_aaabbcb656_b.jpg

    13. some galleries were used as rubbish dump, obviously.. still good to see those old fridges though
    4790035812_c6e1a39afa_b.jpg

    We ended up finding a couple of small rooms obviously used for parties, one of them containing a star wars rebel fighter toy which I couldn't resist rescuing, nerds will be nerds after all!

    and finally, irrelevant though it may be, it would be unfair to end this report without a declaration of love to my Lense P14 "Karibou lite" which has been lighting up my nights for a couple of months now and which i've been loving since day one :eek:
    4789586339_8ba12843f9_b.jpg


    thanks fot looking!
     

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