So this was more of a cheeky little explore than anything planned in advance. A few of us were in the South of France for the Urban Explorer Wedding of the Year, an event that was most definitely epic and involved many many drunken selfies of at least half a dozen drunken explorers (including the Bride and Groom) but hey that's another story and not one for here
The day after we left the Bride and Groom to do Honeymoony type things and took ourselves off on a trip to the local cokeworks/coal miney type place. It isn't epic or awesome but it was a pretty damn fine mooch to end the trip with.
It is a derpy derp and appears to be a popular place to burn out cars but worth a trip anyway
History is limited and in French so here is my best shot at something that vaguely resembles information but however doesn't mean a great deal to me and is probably worth skipping lol!....
The Sainte Marie open pit was a coal mine of the Mining Unit of Tam, H.B.C.M. (Houilleres du Bassin Centre Midi), in the south-western part of France, near Albi. In this area, a large amount of coal has been exploited by Underground mining. This pit was designed in order to exploit the coal remaining around the shaft (Saint Marie shaft) of an old Underground mine situated in the basin of Carmaux.The diameter at the top of the pit was 1200 metres and its final depth was expected to be 300 metres. The first 100 metres were composed of tertiary deposits (clay and sand) which covered the carboniferous formation. The average slope angle of the Tertiary is 37° (without benches) and in the Coal Measures, it was foreseen from 37° to 50° (with benches of 6 metres high) depending on the slope situaüon. At present üme, the depth of the mine is about 160 metres.
Nine coal seams have been mined by Underground working between 1900 and 1984. Different methods have been used depending on the thickness, the dip of the layer and the dimension of the panel. In fact, panels were backfilled, caved or undermined long-wall. The basin of Carmaux is a large synclinal split by a dense network of faults which directions are approximately N 140 E. The dips and the dip directions which was left around the shaft, but, close to the slopes, begin the old exploited long walls. These long walls are at different topographic levels due to the particular structure and have been exploited in panels lined by the faults odented approximately N140.
The first design of the open pit was done by a Standard geotechnical survey; this one has taken into account the geomechanical, hydrogeological, structural Parameters äs well äs the "decohesion", induced by the revival of subsidence due to old Underground mining. However, some mining slopes can locally present risks of slipping induced by old Underground mining.
Anyway here are a few pics
Thanks for looking
Ouvrage A28 is a smaller plant (petit ouvrage) of the Maginot Line.
The site was surveyed by CORF (Commission d'Organisation des Régions Fortifiées), the Maginot Line's design and construction agency; A28 was approved for construction in May 1931. It was completed at a cost of 11 million francs by the contractor Duval-Weyrich of Nancy. The petit ouvrage was planned for construction in two phases. The second phase was to provide a separate entrance block a short distance to the rear. Heavy water infiltration required the provision of more extensive drainage work than originally planned. The galleries are excavated at an average depth of up to 30 meters (98 ft).
The 1940 manning of the ouvrage under the command of Captain Coste comprised 127 men and 2 officers of the 161st Fortress Infantry Regiment.
A28 played no significant role in either the Battle of France in 1940 or the Lorraine Campaign of 1944. After the Second World War it became part of a strongpoint in the northeastern defenses against Soviet attack. A28 remained under Army control until after 1971, when it was declassified and sold.
Visited with The_Raw.
The fortress with a lot of murals in its bunkers is part of the second fortified belt of forts of Metz and had its baptism of fire in late 1944, when the Battle of Metz occurred. The Fortification was part of a wider program of fortifications called "Moselstellung", encompassing fortresses scattered between Thionville and Metz in the valley Moselle. The aim of Germany was to protect against a French attack to take back Alsace-Lorraine and Moselle from the German Empire. The fortification system was designed to accommodate the growing advances in artillery since the end of XIXth century. Based on new defensive concepts, such as dispersal and concealment, the fortified group was to be, in case of attack, an impassable barrier for French forces.
Covering an area of 83 ha, the Fortress is constructed from 1907 to 1914. The group fortification has 2 fortified barracks and can accommodate a total of 560 men. It has 8 pieces of artillery, 6 of them 100mm and 2 of them 77mm. It has eight domes and twenty observation points and lookouts. The various items are connected by 1,700m of underground galleries. In its water tanks, it has 2,640 m3 of water. The energy required for its operation is ensured by seven diesel engines of 27 hp each.
During The Annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, the fort receives a garrison of gunners belonging to the XVIth Army Corps. From 1914-1918, it served as a relay for the German soldiers at the front post. Its equipment and weapons are then at the forefront of military technology. In 1919, the fort was occupied by the French army. After the departure of French troops in June 1940, the German army reinvests the fort. In early September 1944, at the beginning of the Battle of Metz, the German command integrates the fort into the defensive system set up around Metz.
In Second World War, on September 2, 1944, Metz is declared fortress Reich by Hitler. The fortress must be defended to the last by German troops.
Visited with The_Raw, extreme_ironing and Maniac.