Last Chance to Pre-order the Atlas Obscura Book and Receive a Free Enamel Pin!
Mini book a30976e9da7a24921cf3be4abf80181ccad21053999e5b9c9eff280eeaa1806b

Bollène, France

Barry Troglodyte Village

Series of underground houses inhabited continuously for centuries 

Edit Place

The Barry Troglodyte Village ("Village troglodytique de Barry") is a series of underground houses that were inhabited continuously—as far as we know—from the Neolithic era to the early 20th century.

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, you can view far to the north, west, and south and watch for approaching threats.

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

Know Before You Go

Driving north only 2 km from Bollène on the D26, the turnoff is marked to the right. The small road zig-zags up a narrow valley and ends at the village.

Edit Place