La Cave aux Sculptures – Dénezé-sous-Doué, France - Atlas Obscura
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Dénezé-sous-Doué, France

La Cave aux Sculptures

"Sculptures in the Basement" -- Figures of unknown origin carved into the surfaces of underground caves. 

Over 400 figures populate the caves beneath the village of Daneze-sous-Doue in western France, carved into the soft limestone surfaces of the caves’ walls, floors, and ceilings.

The sculptures are believed to date back to the late 1600s, but little is known about their origin; the identity of the sculptors and the intent behind the work remain a mystery. There is believed to be a  strong religious component to the work, and some speculate that the artists were Protestant stonemasons who found refuge from persecution underground.

The figures themselves are often described as caricatures and some are believed to represent and even satirize various public figures of the era.

 

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