We took horse to see certain natural caves, called Gouttières, near Colombière1 where there is a spring within the bowels of the earth, very deep and so excessive cold, that the drops meeting with some lapidescent matter, it converts them into a hard stone, which hangs about it like icicles, having many others in the form of comfitures and sugar plums, as we call them.

Near this, we went under the ground almost two furlongs, lighted with candles, to see the source and spring which serves the whole city, by a passage cut through the main rock of freestone2.

  1. Some people believe this to refer to the nearby Savonnières. I believe it refers to the lands of Villandry surrounding the Château de Villandry which was known as Colombier until the 17th century. (Source: “Touraine, history and monuments” by Jean-Jacques Bourassa. 1860 – GS 

  2. The stone -Tuffeau – was quarried from the caves and used in nearby buildings in the Loire area -GS