Mesdames, Messieurs,

Les Grottes du Régulus ont fermé leurs portes le Dimanche 13 Novembre 2022.

Rendez-vous en avril 2023.

Très belle journée.

L’équipe des Grottes du Régulus.

« Serait-ce au fond de ces trous perdus, sous ces couches séculaires de fossiles amoncelés que le bonheur a fait son nid ? »

M. BROSSARD de CORBIGNY, La Nature, 1891.

Les grottes du regulus

Presentation

Situated on right bank of the estuary of the Gironde, Meschers-sur-Gironde it is not only know for its beaches but known for its cliffs of limestone and its troglodytics cave too. This is the municipality’s heritage that wants to accentuate when, in 1980, it decide to buy Régulus’s caves and to open then to public.
The restoration of this caves were entrust to Mister Clément MOINARD (Meschers, 1910 – 1996), well-digger. After a long work of several years, the municipal’s caves open to public. We are in 1986. Between 2002 to 2003, following the purchase of Fontaines’ caves, adjacent to Régulus’ caves, was built a new reception area.
In the same time, additional rooms were set to enrich the visit. Welcoming, in an exceptional environment, more than 70 000 visitors for season the Fontaines’ caves and Régulus’ caves are one of the unmissable actor of tourism in Charente-Maritime.

Why regulus' caves ?

We are in 1814. The Captain Jacques Mathieu RÉGNAULD, Régulus' master, a two bridges three masts, receive the order to control the mouth of the Gironde to prevent entry to the British. To be accompanied by three brigs (the Malais, the Sans-Soucis and the Java) he do their part in this mission. Anchor at the bay of Verdon, theses four vessels face rapidly of British squadron of some ten vessels who were coming to regain control of the mouth.

In front of the firepower of English fleet, frenchs to place shelter in front of Meschers’ fort. The situation was desperate. Following the instructions, he had receiving to his hierarchy., the Captain Régnauld decide to scuttle his fleet instead of to leave her by the English. During the night of 7 to 8 april 1814, the crews were landed. The officers arranged at strategic places combustible materials and at the middle of the night they set fire to the vessels.

Legend has was would it that the Régulus did burned during 3 days and nigths. It’s has been since this night to 7 to 8 april 1814 that « michelaises » et « michelais » are take habit to call the group of the caves at the name of Régulus.

Guided tours

A period of three-quarters of an hour, they allow to discover the story of Meschers’ cliffs from the origin to our times. During this travel, the long and the short history to meet sometimes the legend…

To our English, German, Dutch, Spanish and Italians friends, written translations are available. Touchscreen tablets are available for deaf and hard of hearing.
Touch tablets available to the deaf and hard of hearing.

Thematics which are broach

Geology

Between 140 to 65 million years (at the cretaceous), our latitudes were lulling by a tropical climate, waters used to cover our region. Meschers was under a shallow sea where was living many animal and plants species. At their death, shells and skeletons settled at this seabed. This finish to form a sedimentary pile. The cliffs still underwater are borned. With glaciations periods, we will have to wait the end of tertiary and quaternary era in order to water withdraw and finally the limestone cliffs of Meschers appearing openly.

Estuary of Gironde

It begins to Bec d’Ambès and finish to the points of Suzac and Grave. 75 km long, 12 km large at his maximum (in terms of Mortagne) and around 635 km², the estuary of Gironde is the greater estuary of Europe. It is also the only estuary of France where two rivers plunge into (Dordogne and Garonne).

Peach in the estuary

The meager (maigre) and his grunts, the small (pibale) or civelle (elver) and his amazing journey since the sea of Sargasses but also the European sturgeon which once we are producing the « caviar d’Aquitaine » and today his protection program.

Restaurant of Fontaines

Former open-air café which was receiving at the XIX century the middle class in holiday on our coasts where the first sea bathing has grow.

The fishing net

That stranges' huts which populate our coasts.

The history of Regulus

This model made dream small and big people.

The legend of Cadet

Cadet by means of his goat which is name Belin, during storms, are prompting sinking of the ships passing offshore our cliffs. The shipwreckers, myth or reality?

The Man and the cliff

Used like refuge by the Protestants « michelais » during religions wars, it’s at the end of XIX century that womens and mens are coming settle for a long period. At this moment, we speak about troglodytic’s caves. The reconstruction of an accommodation and many post cards elders allow to understand the lifestyles. It is based on a convenience rural economy.

Le jeu de piste de MINIDIK

Pendant la visite, les enfants sont invités à répondre aux questions que leur pose la petite crevette Minidik et à participer au tirage au sort de fin de saison pour gagner de très jolis lots.

« Je m’appelle Minidik et je suis le descendant d’une longue lignée de crevettes grises. Mon aïeul, le vénérable Primodik, s’interrogeait déjà sur les habitudes de ces drôles d’animaux à deux pattes qui se nomment des hommes et qui vivent dans la falaise du Régulus. J’ai décidé de trouver des réponses aux questions que je me pose. Aide-moi à y répondre. Pour y arriver, écoute le guide, sois observateur, consulte les panneaux d’informations et tu découvriras les indices qui t’aideront dans ta recherche. »

Le Rallye de la Cagouille

« Profitez de l’instant et laissez-vous entraîner à la découverte des Grottes du Régulus en participant au Rallye de la Cagouille… »

Dans un esprit de balade, le site du Régulus accueille les groupes d’enfants de 3 à 12 ans à la découverte des Grottes de Meschers.

Le Rallye s’organise autour de trois objectifs :

– Découverte du fonctionnement d’un estuaire et sensibilisation à son écosystème et à sa fragilité ;
– La compréhension de l’origine du nom des Grottes du Régulus ;
– Approche du phénomène troglodytique ancien et contemporain.

Le Rallye de la Cagouille est une visite adaptée au jeune public (3 – 12 ans) qui leur permettra de découvrir dans les meilleures conditions ce site exceptionnel.

Sur réservation au 05 46 02 55 36

Le Rallye de la Cagouille

Animation

Les nocturnes

Chaque mardi soir de juillet-août, venez à la rencontre des plus célèbres troglodytes de Meschers. De la Guicharde, fameux personnage de carte postale, à Cadet le naufrageur en passant par le capitaine du vaisseau le Régulus et quelques autres de leurs compagnons… Embarquez avec la troupe des « Passagers du Régulus » pour cette aventure où ils vous feront rire, danser, chanter et bien d’autres surprises encore !
Sur réservation au 05 46 02 55 36

The « Déambulations » (for family)

Every Thursday night in july and august, between 21h00 and 23h00, the Régulus’ caves opens to the public at the nightfall. It’s a privileged and original moment to share. The atmosphere is mysterious that night. Ideal for family.
Walk without guide. The box office close at 22h30 (without reservation)

Prices 2022

Child under 6 years old
Free
Child 6/15 years old
5,50 €
Nocturnes Enfant de 6 à 15 ans
8,70 €
Adult
8,00 €
Nocturnes Adulte
11,60 €
Adult Group
7,00 €
Child group
4,80 €
Adult reduced rate on presentation of proof
(students, job seeker, disabled)
6,70 €
Child reduced rate on presentation of proof (disabled)
4,40 €
Rallye enfant (groupe scolaire, centre de vacances)
( y compris moins de 6 ans)
4,80 €
Déambulation (from 6 years old)
3,60 €
(Every thursday night of july and august)
Free
Paiement

Schedules

 Site opened 7j/7 until 13 november.

Hours of guided tours (45 minutes) :

To 1st October until 21 october : 14h30 – 15h30 – 16h30.

To 1st October until 21 october : 14h30 – 15h30 – 16h30.

To 22 october until 6 november : 10h30 – 11h30 – 14h30 – 15h30 – 16h30.

To 7 november until 13 november : 14h30 – 15h30 – 16h30.

Pratical informations

About

Guided tours are without extra at the entrance fee of the site.
Tour circuit in inside and in outside, convert on the side of a cliff.
I am with a baby, can I visit the site with him?

We welcome with pleasure kids off all ages even if a kid less 3 or 4 years old is probably too young to apreciate the visit. For an infant, make sure you have to covered him depending on climatic conditions and to take a baby carrier. The pushchair are advise against doing in the cave.
Pour un nourrisson, prévoyez de bien le couvrir en fonction des conditions climatiques et de prendre un porte-bébé. Les poussettes sont déconseillées dans la grotte.

I'm with my dog. Can I vist the caves with him?

The pets are admit provided they are keep on a short leash and they are not disturb the others visitors. An exterior watering place is accessible near to the entry of the cave.

People who move with difficulties.

The guided tour of the cave last 45 minutes and de done on foot on a route around 200 meters which are convert (handrails and guardrails). The course comprise a hundred steps.

Services…

We provide hearing impaired people with touch pads.
Brochures of visits are available in the languages next : english, dutch, german, italian, spanish.
Wifi
Car park of the city are free along the boulervard and in the ton centre.
Close by the city centre : restaurants and shops.

Merci aux partenaires et généreux donateurs !

La Ville de Meschers-sur-Gironde remercie les généreux donateurs et mécènes qui ont apporté leur soutien au financement des travaux des Grottes du Régulus dans le cadre de l’appel au don lancé par la Fondation du patrimoine :
Martine AVENARD, Philippe BARRAUD, Françoise. BAYOUMEU, Delphine BENASSY, Nadine BOUCHER, Christophe BOUTRY, Josiane CHARIT, Pierre CHAUNARD, Pascal CLAIR, 
Marie-France DINAUD, Nicole DURAMAY, Serge FOCQUENOY, Marie-Thérèse GAUTIER, Manuel GERARD, Jean-Noël GOETZ, Marielle GUILLAUD, Hervé GUILLOUX, Etienne HOUILLON, Christophe JONIAUX, Bernard KUPPERS, Pierre-Marc LIS, Jean-Luc, MAUDOUX LE BERCEAU, Yves MORIN, Erick MOUTON, Sheila PEASE, Sarah RAYNER, Leïla RENON, Patrick RINGOT, Isabelle THOMAS, John THORBURN, Daniel THUILLIER
Et tous les autres…

Partenaires

Contact



Grottes du Régulus
81 boulevard de la Falaise
CS 90094
17132 Meschers sur Gironde

grottesduregulus@meschers.fr

05 46 02 55 36

Access to the Regulus Caves


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