Magnanerie de Bourré

La Magnanerie

Useful Information

Location: Near Bourré. On D176 between Montricard and Bourré, on the northen sore of the river Le Cher.
Open: APR to MAY Mon, Wed-Sat 11:30, 14, 15:30, Sun 14, 15:30.
JUN Mon, Wed-Sat 11:30, 14, 15:30, 17, Sun 14, 15:30, 17.
JUL to AUG Mon, Wed-Sat 10, 11:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:30, Sun 13:30, 14:30, 15:30, 16:307.
Tour at 13:30 is in English.
SEP Mon, Wed-Sat 11:30, 14, 15:30, Sun 14, 15:30.
OCT to 09-NOV Mon, Wed-Sat 11:30, 14:30, 15:30, Sun 14:30, 15:30.
10-DEC to 04-JAN Mon, Wed-Sat 11:30, 14, 15, Sun 14, 15.
Fee: Adults EUR 7.50, Children (6-12) EUR 5, Children (0-5) free, Family (2+2) EUR 20, Family (2+3) EUR 25.
Groups: Adults EUR 6.50, Children (13-18) EUR 5, Children (6-12) EUR 4.
Classification: SubterraneaRock Mine SubterraneaFactory SubterraneaCave House
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=60min
Information sheets for tour available in (English Deutsch - German Nederlands - Dutch Español - Spanish Italiano - Italian)
Address: Magnanerie de Bourré, 4 chemin de la Croix Bardin, 41400 Bourré, Tel: +33-666-165717. 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.



Located at Bourré, a small, picturesque town with many quarries and troglodytic houses exists also an underground Magnanerie (silk worm farm). This is the only underground silk worm farm we know of. It is located inside a cliff on the northern side of the river Le Cher, a soutern tributary of the Loire.

The three level cave house is operated as a silkworm farm since the 17th century. However, silk manufacturing started much earlier, in 1470, when King Louis XI decided to found the first Royal Silk Manufacture in Tours. The presence of the Royal Court in Touraine created the market, and after only a century half of the population was working in the field of silk production and the creation of clothes from the precious fabrics. The fading presence of the court and oter events lead to the decline of the silk production, which finally ended with the French Revolution.

It was revived in the 1830s by the invention of the Jaquard mecanical loom. This machine was actually the first computer, a wooden machine controlled by a program punched into cards. It was more efficient and faster, but also allowed the production of complex designs. This second blooming of silk production is still represented by the two companies Le Manach and Roze, which provide high quality materials for decorators and designers.

The guided tour includes the secrets of silk worm farming and the quarrying of the local rocks which created the underground space. Tours are held in French, but visitors can get sheets with the translated explanations in many languages. During the summer season there is a daily English tour, and groups can book English tours at any time.