The Cottage story

The history of Leï Mendi is punctuated by happy moments since its construction in the post-war period from 1946 to 1951 by underground miners from the Gardanne mines.

The chalet Leï Mendi is since 2006 the property of the city of Gardanne, bought to the Houillères de Provence. This building is inscribed in the history of this working-class city.

The miners came to oxygenate themselves in the magnificent environment of Ailefroide, in a chalet built by their hands.


One fine day of 46, the engineer Plichon formed a good team, he gathered the apprentices and the miners then informed them of the construction of a chalet in the mountains, Leï Mendi. They are mounted in trucks, loaded with cement, materials, wood to power the vehicle. 14 hours drive!

For four years, from the end of May to the beginning of September, the men built the chalet by hand, there were no machines.


In 1951, the plaque of the chalet was laid, despite some miners absent, called to war in Morocco.


At the time, to pay for a holiday was difficult, the cottage allowed families to live good moments friendly.

The city of Gardanne wished to preserve all its dimension of social tourism accessible to all.