Today I take you with me to the bowels of the earth, to the cave of Nichet located in Fromelennes in the Ardennes

Do you know the cave of Nichet?

The Cave of Nichet is the only tourist cave in the North of France that can be visited.

With a depth of 53 meters, it has 20 rooms spread over 3 floors. Only a dozen are accessible to the public. The temperature is constant 9 degrees.

This is 1899 that the cave is open to the public for the first time. It will be visited until the 1950s then will be abandoned for more than 30 years because the last war caused a lot of damage. It was after numerous works such as the lighting, the installation of ramps and the sound system, that the cave reopened its doors on April 11, 1987, to the delight of tourists.

The numerous excavations carried out, whether in the Hall of the Gouffre or the Hall of the Lion, have led to the discovery of human bones. They would date from the Neolithic period.

Since then, the site has changed. It now consists of:

  • a small reception chalet
  • a large small restaurant chalet
  • of a car park
  • a picnic area
  • benches
  • barbecues
  • games for children,
  • of a health course,
  • a bouncy castle
  • from a black pine observatory.

The legend of the Nutons

From the Nutons room to the Skeleton room, via the Gouffre room, the Moonlight room or the Lovers room, legends weave their way between the stalagmites and stalactites. A universe at the center of the earth with its imaginary characters “the Nutons”.

Indeed, the visit of the Nichet cave will also lead you to meet the Nutons, the fruit of an Ardennes legend. According to this legend, this people of small gnomes inhabit the caves of the region, including that of Nichet. They live at night and, to feed themselves, perform small jobs on behalf of men.

© David Truillard

It was enough to deposit the materials necessary for the manufacture of an object or what needed to be repaired in front of the cave at nightfall. It was not necessary to forget to offer according to the work to provide bread and wheat as a reward for the task carried out. In the early morning, the villagers found the object made or repaired and the food had disappeared.

However, a miserly lady wanted to take advantage of the generosity of the Nutons by replacing the wheat with ashes, hidden under the bread, in exchange for the sewing she had deposited. Annoyed at having been lured in this way by a villager, they stopped serving the men.

You may be able to spot a little Nuton passing by. Open your eyes wide! 🙂



In April, May and September: every day from 14 a.m. to 18 p.m.
In June, July and August: every day from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m.

Address : Rue de Nichet 08600 Fromelennes
Phone: 03 24 42 00 14 (Town hall)


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