by Frontier Publishing
& Adventures Unlimited Press.
visit the store
The Vault of Notre-Dame-de-Marceille
A photographic overview
entrance to the underground vault is situated next to an
old electricity transformation house, now largely in ruins.
to the site was excellent in approx. 1995, degenerating
by 1997 and 2001 and currently virtually inaccessible -
a conscious decision of the local authorities it seems to
dissuade people to venture towards what in essence is a
higly dangerous site. Still, the site is not "inaccessible"
and those willing to battle with thorns should have no problem
in seeing this view, taken in 1995.
Keith Prince's fall, access to the entrance was "cordoned"
off by placing 2 steel rods, supporting a metal sheet (bottom
right of photograph). Some black and yellow tape on the
inverted U irons in the centre are remains of the 1995 rescue
operation. This photograph was taken in 1997. Access to
the corridor leading towards the vault is literally underneath
the two steel rods.
two inverted U irons, with red paint, are part of the alterations
made to the site in the 1920s, when the transformer was
planted in and beside the vault. Many eyewitnesses have
argued that the inverted U and the underlying cement might
possibly obstruct/fence off an as yet undiscovered part
of the vault.
of the entrance, bird's eye view.
the entrance/corridor, looking right, we see a fenced off/cemented
part, even though the construction of the corridor suggests
it continues. On-site inspections are required to see this
detail - photographs are unable to capture the detail of this.
The size of this cement block is just big enough for an adult
to crawl through. Photograph taken in 1995.
the corridor. Not the white and red (further down) marble
ceiling slabs. The floor of the corridor slowly descends.
The stones at the top of the ceiling, visible in the distance,
are the stones of the vault itself, where corridor and vault
inside the vault, looking down. The wood visible in the bottom
was "cleared" during 1991, by friends of Jos Bertaulet.
No doubt, the site was used as a dump for such wood, in decades
leading up to 1990. The hole in the lower masonry in the centre
of the photograph is the bottom passage way into the second
chamber of the vault. This photograph was taken in 1995.
from the end of the corridor into the chamber. The "window"
of at the top is the "window" between the first
and second chamber of the vault. Also observe the curved ceiling
(arch) of the vault. This photograph taken in 1995.