An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years

The Barry Troglodyte Village is a small complex of homes build undeground in the south of France. Though underground homes are unusual, that's not the weirdest part about this place. These subterranean houses have been occupied continuously by people for thousands of years - from the neolithic era of roving tribes, to the early twentieth century.

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Though the buildings are crumbling now, you can still see the rooms that people carved into the hillside in the neolithic era, along with the stone walls built by later generations. Many of the walls contain elaborate carvings like the one pictured above, which looks like a skull.

According to Atlas Obscura:

After being lived in for centuries, the houses started to fall apart in the 18th century. From 500 CE to the 1800s, the number of inhabitants in the village fell to only about 50. At the beginning of the 20th century only one widow and her servant remained in the village and they were convinced to leave after a number of collapses killed off their neighbors.

Overlooking the Rhone Valley, the hill that contains the village was a strategically chosen site. From the top of the forested, shady hill, one can view far to the north, west, and south and watch for any approaching threats.

Archeologists digging in the area have found Paleolithic arrow heads, knives, Neolithic polished-stone axes, and a collection of other prehistoric tools.

There are very few long-term underground cities, and the Barry Trogolodyte Village is one of them. Humans may have abandoned the crumbling structures over the last 100 years, but we may soon be looking to reopen them - especially if we're hit with a comet or zombie attack. In the event of flaming death from the skies, there's nowhere safer to be than underground.

Via Atlas Obscura

Images by Jean Avenas and Le Loup Voyou

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years

by Jean Avenas

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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by Jean Avenas

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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by Jean Avenas

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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by Jean Avenas

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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by Jean Avenas

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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by Jean Avenas

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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Le Loup Voyou

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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Le Loup Voyou

Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years
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Illustration for article titled An underground city in France where people have lived for thousands of years

DISCUSSION

zapan

I actually did a LARP game in Barry. Various association rent the site who belongs to the village of Bollène, and participate in it's preservation. The photos above don't really give a complete view of the site, only the lower dwelling are pictured here, but there is also a path running around a rocky plateau full of caves and niches, culminating on top of a hollow mount that is believed to be the prehistoric site, dominating the whole area.

You can see more of the site here : [www.flickr.com]

Barry is the second southern France Larp site in numbers of events by years, only surpassed by an other historic stone village named Bécours (belonging to the French Scout Association).

It si always a pleasure to come back in Barry, the stone tavern is really perfect for planning a raid around a pint of ale. Climbing to the top cave in full armor is quite exhausting, but worth the view, and cliff dwellings are not for the faint of heart.

In recent years, some houses in Barry suffered moderate damages during a flood, that caused collapsed roofs and some mud deposit in many cave, but nothing permanent.

You can see some pictures of the games here :

[s59.photobucket.com]