One of the most unusual things you can do while visiting Tuscany is wander among abandoned places. The first that comes to mind is the amazing Abazia di San Galgano. But there are many more interesting Urbex places to visit in Tuscany. One of my favorites? Without a doubt Henraux, an abandoned marble quarry. Nearby Lucca, this incredible place, also known as “Le Tagliate”, has been abandoned for many years now. If you’re planning to visit Isola Santa nearby Lucca, It’s absolutely worth a detour.
A special thanks to my dad that discovered this place for us. You can check his detailed portfolio here.
The history of Henraux
Marco Borrini and Jean Baptiste Alexandre Henraux acquired the rights to exploit the whole area in 1821. Their society opened more than a hundred quarries. Some of them were so ancient, that the Romans used them to provide marble for their sculptures and constructions.
The society prospered for over a century. But unfortunately, World War II and the Nazi’s conquest ended the excavation activities abruptly. Even after the war’s end, the exploitation of this quarry, along with many others, was never resumed. The whole area has been forgotten for many years.
Although there is a no-entry sign, most recently the magical atmosphere of this place conquered many tourists and urban explorers. In 2021 Glitch, an artist collective, left its mark on the marble walls. The contrast between the white walls and the colored murals adds an extra charm to the location.
How to arrive at the abandoned marble quarry
You can reach Henraux abandoned marble quarry from Serravezza, through Strada Pronvinciale di Arni. The quarry has direct access to the road and a parking is nearby. You will easily recognize the parking, the ancient rusty structure of the overhead crane stands like the giant skeleton of an animal. The entrance is an impressive high tunnel, on top of which you can still see the remains of the ancient banner.
A few tips to prepare for your visit
A marble quarry is a working site, accordingly remember it could hide some dangers.
Be extra careful when visiting and remember that:
- the optical effect of the white marble walls may hide some cliffs, some of which are several meters high.
- when visiting don’t forget to dress accordingly. Especially, wear comfortable shoes (I changed mine for the photos in case you are wondering :)). As rocks and stones cover the ground, it’s really easy to twist your ankle or stumble.
- from late fall to early spring, the marble surfaces can be very slippery, you will also find ice at some points.
Enjoy the melancholic beauty of Henraux
Reminding of the splendor of ancient times, Henraux is an important witness to the past mineralogical activities of the region.
The silence of the mountains, the lakes created by the rain, and the sun’s reflection on the white walls, the atmosphere is simply fascinating. Not to mention the feeling of entering the mountain’s heart.
Have I convinced you?
In summary, if you like Urbex places and murals, Henraux abandoned marble quarry is 100% worth a stop! Consider exploring will take you 1 to 2 hours. Coupled with Isola Santa exploration that will make an awesome day trip in Garfagnana, a blog post is coming soon! 😉
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