Champignonnière St Maur

La Cave Saint-Maur - Cave vivante du champignon

Useful Information

Location: Le Puy Notre Dame
Open: MAT to OCT daily 10-12, 14-18.
Classification: SubterraneaRock Mine SubterraneaFactory
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=18,000 m, T=12 °C-15 °C.
Guided tours: L=500 m, D=45 min.
Address: Cave vivante du champignon, Champignonnière St Maur, Monsieur Jacky Roulleau, 1 Rue du Château Sanziers, 49260 Le Puy Notre Dame, Tel: +33-241-522684, Cell: +33-681-173574, Fax: +33-241-388714. 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.
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16th century sart of limestone quarrying.
1938 end of limestone quarrying.
1950 Mr. Roulleau, the father of the current owner, starts to grow mushrooms.
1972 mushromm farm passed on to Mr. Jacky Roulleau.
1998 opened to the public.


The cave vivante du champignon, owned by Jacky Roulleau, is a working producer of mushrooms. They produce and sell the partis mushroom, oyster mushroom (Pleurotus ostreatus), pieds bleus (lépista nuda) and even shii-take (Lentinula edodes). A local specialty is champignon de brouillard (forest mushroom). The tour through the 16th century cellars shows the cultivation of the mushrooms, the life of the cave dwellers during the 19th century, the geology of the limestone rocks and some local history. But the tour is only a small part of the 18 km long cellar system.

The small village Le Puy Notre Dame is underground much bigger than above ground: it has 120 km of underground passages. Many of those passages are used for mushroom growing, others are used for wine aging. The village is one of the biggest producer of mushrooms in France, with some 60tons daily! The cellars started, typical for the area, as ancient underground limestone mines. When the mining ended at the beginning of the 20th century, the cellars were transformed into wine cellars or mushroom farms. The farmers of the village are very successful in growing mushrooms.

Growing mushrooms, especially in such huge mono cultures is very difficult. The probem is, that many mushrooms need specific conditions of temperature and humidity. But generally they are very close to the natural conditions of the cave. The industrial production of mushrooms create the ideal soil for mushrooms, earth for some, wood for others, makes them as easy to absorb as possible, fo example by using sawdust instead of wood. Then the substrate is pasteurized, as the biggest danger for the farm are deseases like mold. The substrate is then seeded with the spores of the fungus. For normal mushrooms, the soil is placed in huge wooden boxes, sometimes even in multiple layers. The wood for shii-take is packed into iron wires and finally resembles short logs. Othe mushrooms are cultivated in bags or in heaps on the floor.