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Souterrains (Underground Galleries), Provins

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Precisely what this intriguing network of underground rooms was used for is still unclear. It seems as though they were originally quarries, used to extract a particular type of earth to degrease wool, a product that would have been in high demand as the cloth industry was a major part of Provins economy during the Middle Ages. Subsequently, they have been used as storerooms, places of worship and even hiding spots. The lower vaulted rooms with their remarkable arches and stonework are worth checking out, and were probably used a hospital ward for paupers and as secure storage during the Champagne fairs. Check website for guided tour timings.