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In Tartaras, we are moving away from the green and into the black. The black gold that lies underfoot has written some of the most glorious pages of the town's history. And it's the Rock that is going to tell you the story.
In the land of the Tartarinaires (the locals...) life seems so calm and tranquil.
Who could believe that this little town that lives at the pace of nature and the animals was a bustling industrial centre just 100 years ago
And yet it was.
And not just the weaving shop or forge. No, coal mining. No less.
And such big quantities that they had to organise the traffic by building a canal from La Grand-Croix to Givors.
And they while they were digging away at the ground to get the coal out, the local people even ended up finding some Gallo-Roman sarcophagi (and they just missed striking oil, I've heard).
Anyway, from this glorious industrial past (I know, I know, blowing our own trumpet...), the town has come away with a nice souvenir that goes under the name of the "site du Rocher Percé" - the "rock with a hole in it" site - and since we can't help but be proud of it, we've created a discovery trail so that you can relive the story of the workings and even installed metal bridges so that you get over the canal. As you will have understood, here the black was coal black, not that that gives us the blues.
Fortunately, there is someone round here who kept his head on his shoulders (literally). According to Diderot (you know, the one with the Encyclopaedia...), he knew his subject. I mean Charles Bossut, the most illustrious person to come out of this town. There's a bust just next to the church. Go and have a look, you'll see what I mean.
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