Quarries in the Calanques
Extracting Pierre de Cassis
Pierre de Cassis, formerly used widely, is easily accessible and of a very high quality at Pointe Cacau. The oldest official mention of an existence of a quarry in this area dates from 1720. Local quarrying families sold the limestone blocks they extracted to a wholesaler, Sieur César, who sold them to the King's services. The quays of the Royal Arsenal of Toulon were built with these stones.
Visible on the eastern side of the peninsula, the silos mark the local landscape. They are strong witnesses to this stone working activity. Like giant funnels, aggregates and limestone rubble were poured into them, which then slid down to the boats that were positioned just below them. You can imagine the noise that these avalanches of stones produced!
A little-known history
To date, there is no archival data to establish the date of construction or ownership of the silos. However, it is thought, given their architecture, that they were built in the late 18th or early 19th century.
A restored heritage site
The Pointe Cacau silos are now the property of the Conservatoire du Littoral, whose heritage on its territory the National Park manages. A private sponsorship with the architect Rudy Ricciotti made it possible, between 2017 and 2019, to restore a first group of silos that had been severely degraded and was in danger of collapsing into the sea. The National Park is now undertaking the restoration of the second batch, which should be completed by the end of 2021.
Did you know?
Mediterranean house geckos and Moorish wall geckos, two species of protected geckos, have taken up residence on the site of the silos. In order to preserve the habitat of these guests, unsealed spaces have been left free in the restored walls. Will you be lucky enough to see them basking in the sun on the silo walls?
Visiting and regulations
Before coming to the Calanques National Park, plan your visit and read the best practices to adopt and the rules to be followed.
The silos can be seen from the sea or from the medium difficulty path around the peninsula. See the page dedicated to Pointe de la Cacau for more information.
GPS coordinates: 43.200408, 5.512100