Picardie (Picardy) is one of the northernmost regions of France, located directly north of Paris, in comfortable distance to other metropoles of Europe: London 2.5 h, Bruxelles 1.5 h. This is the place were Ch'ti is spoken.
Around Picardy, scores of villages are mirrored underground by subterranean Villages, which included houses, stables, stores and streets.
The Muches were constructed in the 16th and 17th Centuries as refuges during the French Spanish Wars. Some were undoubtedly developed from earlier medieval stone quarries. Most sites are located under or very close to churches. Probably because church tower played an important part as a lookout during times of conflict. Should the enemy gain access, the twisting passages and low ceilings, would put them at a disadvantage against those who knew the layout. Smoke from underground fires was led into surface buildings so as to reappear through a normal farmhouse chimney! Due to their proximity to the front line, in World War One, many were used for shelter.
Text by Tony Oldham (2002). With kind permission.
There are muches below Hiermont, Fransu, Bouzincourt, and Warloy. Two of those underground cities are open to the public, in Domqueur and in Naours. Some others are open only on special occasions or for groups.