The Underground City of Naours
These immense underground galleries are former quarries that were used from the Middle Ages as shelter during times of war. The site’s remarkable layout has been recognised as one of the largest network of tunnels in Northern France. After a tour of the underground city, visitors can learn more about the history of the region and the craftsmanship of the Picardy people in the museum, before taking a stroll through the 24 acre woodland park.
Great War History
In January 1917, Allan Allsop from Mosman, Sidney, wrote in his diary “Striking a hospital tent in the morning and erecting it again in another part of the grounds. At 1 p.m. 10 of us went to the famous Caves near Naours where refugees used to hide in times of Invasion. These Caves contain about 300 rooms, one cave being 1/2 mile long.”
During his visit, Allan pencilled his name on one of the walls of the underground city. This moving piece of graffiti, which even a century later still looks incredibly fresh, is one of over 3000 pieces to have been currently uncovered. It shows a less violent side to the war, to which we are less accustomed, revealing how soldiers occupied themselves behind the lines. Anoter soldier to have left his mark in Naours was Sergeant Samuel Meekosha VC of the 1/6th West Yorks.
This recent revelation, currently undergoing academic research (since 2014), makes the Underground City of Naours the highest concentration of WW1 graffiti as yet uncovered.
- February, March & November: open every day, except Mondays, from 11am to 4.30pm
- April, May, June, September & October: open every day, except Mondays, from 10am to 5.30pm, and from 10am to 6.30pm on weekends and public holidays.
- July & August: every day from 10am to 6.30pm
- Ticket prices for audio-guided tour: Adults: 11€. Children: 7€
- Ticket prices for guided tour: Adults: 12€. Children: 9€.
- (Under 5s go free)
- Picnic area – Large car park – Gift shop – Bar – Brasserie