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I found this former marble quarry in my search for more abandoned places via Google Earth. The quarry already existed in the 13th century. In the 14th to more intensive use in the 17th century, the marble was used for monasteries. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
I spent a week visiting my brother in a town called BÃ©ziers in the south of France and decided to see if there were any spots to explore. My research didn't come up with much so I just showed up hoping I might spot something worthwhile. It turns out one in every four buildings in BÃ©ziers is abandoned so it didn't take me long to find some stuff. Here is some history about the place.... This beautiful old house in the centre of BÃ©ziers was originally a hotel called Hotel Chappaz. It was Joseph Chappaz, a wine merchant who specialized in vermouths such as Noilly-Prat who had the building built in 1868 for his wife Augustine. He commissioned Jean Antoine Injalbert (1845-1933), a famous sculpter from BÃ©ziers to execute the statues on the front of the building. The building is now much neglected but Injalbert's sculptures are still intact and are arguably some of his best work, hopefully the BÃ©ziers authorities will make sure that Injalbert's work survives. I am told it has since belonged to a wealthy family and was last lived in by the mother who passed away five or six years ago. Her son tried to sell the property but to no avail, it was due for demolition last year although there is now a possibility of it being restored and used as lawyer's offices for the court house due to be built next door. There is evidence of squatters having lived inside at some point but not for quite some time. Although it is pretty much stripped and in poor condition it still retains some stunning features, the ground floor is almost entirely made from marble and the ornate sculptures by Injalbert are amazing. Access was a bit of a nightmare but I managed it on my third attempt, then five minutes later I heard a certain something being dragged away by a street cleaner which sent my exit strategy out the window (no pun intended). Due to this I was a bit concerned that someone may be alerted to my presence so I didn't hang around too long inside. Still, I managed to find an easier way out than I'd originally planned so it worked out quite nicely in the end Full flickr set here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/sets/72157642237352965/ Thanks for looking