Carrières de la Lie

Useful Information

Location: La Roche Vineuse, east of Somméré
Open: JUL to AUG Thu 16, Sat 15, Sun 16.
Fee: Adults EUR 4, Children (12-16) EUR 2.50, Children (0-11) free, Students EUR 2.50.
Groups (10+): Adults EUR 3.
Classification: MineLimestone Mine ExplainRoom and Pillar Mining
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=300 m, W=70 m.
Guided tours:
Bibliography: Francois Cognot (2002): Les carrières de la Lie à La Roche-Vineuse (Saône-et-Loire), Gallia, 2002, vol. 59, pp. 121-131 [11 page(s) (article)], ISSN 0016-4119.
Address: Association "Les Carrières de la Lie", Rue des Loisirs, 71960 La Roche Vineuse, Tel: +33-385-290292. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1995 association "Les Carrières de la Lie" founded.


The Carrières de la Lie (Quarries of Lie) are limestone quarries which are in used since Gallo-Roman times. Archaeological excavations revealed remains from 2,000 years ago to the beginning of the 20th century. The quarries were worked during Merovingian era (5th to 8th century) and the Middle Ages until the 12th century. In the 19th and 20th century there are numerous accounts, but the quarry was leased only for short times. It seems it was not a profitable asset in this time.

Finally in the early 20th the area was used as communal pastures, and in 1955 the municipality decided to plat pine trees. Today the place is famous for its wealth of fauna and flora, including newts, lizards, butterflies, and orchids.

The quarries started as open cast quarries, later they went underground in the classical room and pillar technique. The tour explains the techniques and the tools which were used. They are organized by the non-profit Association Les Carrières de la Lie. It was founded in 1995 to protect, develop, study and report on the archaeological site of the quarries of lie.

The white limestone was mainly used for buildings, the white facades of many houses in the area are a typical sight of La Roche Vineuse. During Roman times the rock was also quarried for sculptures and for sarcophagi. The Romans used it to create their monumental burial grounds.