Mines d'Argent des Rois Francs

Rue du Pré du Gué
BP 29
79500 Melle
  • Phone : 05 49 29 19 54
  • GPS : 46.21743,-0.14809

Description Review Access

The oldest silver mines in Europe open to visitors, from the 7th through the 10th century they were at the service of the atelier providing the royal Carolignian mint with deniers and oboles. In 864, Charles de Chauves, Charlemenagne's grandson, promulgated the edict of Pître, which limited at ten the number of ateliers in the Carolignian empire with the right to mint; Melle was one of them. By the end of the 10th century operations had ceased, and the mines became a footnote in history. Only in the 19th century were they rediscovered and studied, after having been mentioned in 1830 in an article in the annals of the mines by Mr. de Bonnard, who was an engineer in the royal mining corps. A guided tour explains the geology, the mineralogy, the extraction techniques, the separation of lead from silver (or the extraction from silver from lead), and the actual minting of the coins. A 320-meter itinerary revives the noises emanating from work in the mine. The Carolignian garden brings together 150 plants used over medieval times in food, medicine and dyeing procedures.


  • Activities : Activities,
  • Equipements : Private car park, Picnic area, bus parking,
  • Services : Animals accepted, Guided visits, Guided visits (groups only), Boutique,

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