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Savonnières, France

Les Grottes Pétrifiantes

Limestone grottoes turns everyday objects into stone. 

Objects left for six months to a year under the mineral-rich springs of the petrifying grottoes of Savonnières, France, emerge coated in a perfectly pure white layer of limestone. Bas-relief molds left in the cave for two years at a time (turned once every fortnight) produce fully formed architectural ornaments. The adjacent Museum of Petrifaction collects these beautiful petrified objects–each a marriage of art and nature–for public display and sale.

The grottoes, located just outside the city of Tours, also contain a collection of stalagmites and stalactites, an underground lake, a Gallo-Roman cemetery, and a model of a large and fearsome prehistoric lizard.

Know Before You Go

M10, exit 24, follow RD7 in the direction of Villandry. The Savonnieres' petrifying grottoes are situated at the Savonnieres' exit. Free car park.