The greatest cistern of Europe of its century

Nestled in the small village of Saint-Martin de Pallières, this architectural rarity was built in 1747. It was ensuring the huge water needs of the castle park.

With its impressive size (more than 500m²) comes its uniqueness. Who would guess that in this small village, hidden under the ground would be a huge cistern looking like a cathedral ?  

The vaults sustained by 20 pillars illustrate the gothic architecture of that period. The "Underground Cathedral" is registered at the Monuments Historiques since 2003.

The owners -aware of its architectural and historical value- undertook huge works on the cistern in 2017 and opened it to public in May of the same year.

Cathédrale Souterraine de Saint-Martin de Pallières, plus grande citerne d'Europe au 18ème siècle et inscrite aux Monuments Historiques. Var. Visites. Saint-Maximin la Sainte-Baume
Village de Saint-Martin de Pallières, abritant la Cathédrale Souterraine, Monument Historique. Plus grande citerne d'Europe au 18ème siècle. Var. Visites. Saint-Maximin la Sainte Baume

"Through this remarkable historic work is transcribed the spirit of a whole era. Indeed, the cistern illustrates the French fortresses' transformation into residential castles, according to more peaceful times."

 

Diane and Michel de Boisgelin, owners