vendredi 12 mai: les carrières de Caen


On Friday, 12th May, we went to Caen. In the morning, we visited quarries. We separated into 2 groups. The visit was in English and gave to us geological, technical, historical and other wonderful information. Our guide was very nice and very good. He explained to us everything clearly and simply.

The quarry we visited was used in 1986 for the last time. Refugees used it after Caen was bombed during WWII and the father-in-law of the guide was one of the refugees and went there to hide. In the quarry, we could find limestone, la Pierre de Caen. La Pierre de Caen is very white but absorbs water, so if it has water in it and if it is freezing, it can explode. Above the quarry, a district has been built.


Above one of the pillars in the quarry, there is a crèche. some pillars are very old, so, they have been reinforced with concrete. In winter, there are a lot of bats in the quarry. There are also wells, some are 25 meters deep, and were used to pull up blocks of la Pierre de Caen. One or two men were in a big wheel like a hamster wheel, and they walked and walked in the wheel to get la Pierre de Caen up.

A lot of cathedrals, have been built with this stone, especially Norwich Cathedral, the white tower of London, Canterbury Cathedral and Westminster, and also some castles, Hastings castle, Colchester castle … Now la Pierre de Caen is bought by Arab emirates, U. S. A and England, to build luxurious houses, it is kind of tribute to the past.


Arthur Frayssinet

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