LES GROTTES MUNICIPALES DU RÉGULUS
Situated on right bank of the estuary of the Gironde, Meschers-sur-Gironde it is not only know for its beaches but known for its cliffs of limestone and its troglodytics cave too. This is the municipality’s heritage that wants to accentuate when, in 1980, it decide to buy Régulus’s caves and to open then to public. The restoration of this caves were entrust to Mister Clément MOINARD (Meschers, 1910 – 1996), well-digger. After a long work of several years, the municipal’s caves open to public. We are in 1986. Between 2002 to 2003, following the purchase of Fontaines’ caves, adjacent to Régulus’ caves, was built a new reception area. In the same time, additional rooms were set to enrich the visit. Welcoming, in an exceptional environment, more than 70 000 visitors for season the Fontaines’ caves and Régulus’ caves are one of the unmissable actor of tourism in Charente-Maritime.
WHY REGULUS' CAVES ?
We are in 1814. The Captain Jacques Mathieu RÉGNAULD, Régulus' master, a two bridges three masts, receive the order to control the mouth of the Gironde to prevent entry to the British. To be accompanied by three brigs (the Malais, the Sans-Soucis and the Java) he do their part in this mission. Anchor at the bay of Verdon, theses four vessels face rapidly of British squadron of some ten vessels who were coming to regain control of the mouth. In front of the firepower of English fleet, frenchs to place shelter in front of Meschers’ fort. The situation was desperate. Following the instructions, he had receiving to his hierarchy., the Captain Régnauld decide to scuttle his fleet instead of to leave her by the English. During the night of 7 to 8 april 1814, the crews were landed. The officers arranged at strategic places combustible materials and at the middle of the night they set fire to the vessels. Legend has was would it that the Régulus did burned during 3 days and nigths. It’s has been since this night to 7 to 8 april 1814 that « michelaises » et « michelais » are take habit to call the group of the caves at the name of Régulus.