© Pascal Beltrami
Saulges300,000 years old…

Saulges

Soak up the atmosphere and be enchanted by the thousand year-old stories of Saulges.

A prehistorical canyon, and an extraordinary place to visit

As if a corner of south-western France, perhaps somewhere near Lascaux, had upped-sticks and moved to the green Mayenne. Deep into the moorland, boxwood and juniper forest, the river Erve has cut a canyon of limestone layers, with lots of mysterious caves.

Saulges is home to the only caves north of the Loire that are decorated with rock paintings.

The caves of Rochefort and Margot bear the marks of human habitation from over 300,000 years ago. The brand new Prehistory Museum brings them to life!

 

The miraculous source

In a delightful green setting by the river, hides the modest and moving Oratory of Saint Cenero.

The hermit Saint Cenero (Cénéré in French) came from Italy in the 7th century and chose this secluded place to meditate. He caused a spring to gush-forth here, which today is sheltered by the oratory, built in the 19th century.

It is a place of pilgrimage and has been visited for centuries.

It is also a very beautiful walk and the surroundings are enchanting!

An open-air history book

Strolling through the village of Saulges and its immediate surroundings is a walk through history.

A Gallo-Roman cemetery once stood where the village stands today. It was still in use when Saint Peter’s church was built, one of the few surviving from this period (8th century). The old church ruins stand next to the Romanesque church (11th century), austere and heavy on the outside but refined and delicate in its interior decorations.

The village has preserved the quality of the building, which bears witness to its prosperity in the 19th century. The water mill in Chémeré-le-Roi also dates from this period. Built on four levels, it is unique in the West of France, and its mechanism is still intact.

A place to stay

To learn everything there is to know about Saulges, you have to come back again and again!

Awarded the “Petite Cité de Caractère,” (small characterful town) badge, Saulges has been attracting tourists for over 150 years. Hotel, restaurant, campsite, bed and breakfast, nothing is missing.

There’s lots to do: Saint-Cénéré leisure centre has a swimming pool, there’s climbing, caving, and some exceptional wildlife to discover.

 

Chauve Souris à SaulgesChauve Souris à SaulgesChauve Souris à Saulges

Did you know…

The valley downstream from Saint-Pierre-sur-Erve was the first site in Mayenne to join the Natura 2000 project, which helps to protect and promote the ecological value of the environment.

The site is home to a wealth of animal and plant life, such as the Southern damselfly, pyramid orchids and bats. The bat caves are closed in winter to protect the animals who need to hibernate in peace.

 

Stéphanie B.

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