Monday, February 9, 2015

New Show in Les Baux Opens March 6

The Carrières de Lumières (Quarries of Light) is a magical space in a vast cave-like quarry at the base of the village of Les Baux. There in the cool darkness, close to 100 video projectors generate the choreographed movement of 3,000 images over an area of more than 75,000 square feet, onto walls as high as 45 feet, onto the ceilings and even the floor. The sound-and-light show changes roughly once a year and has become one of the most popular sites in Provence.

The 2014 show, called Klimt and Vienna: A Century of Gold and Coloursled visitors on a journey through 100 years of Viennese painting, featuring Gustav Klimt, his contemporaries and the artists he inspired. It closed Sunday Jan 4th and attracted 480,000 visitors in 10 months. It was fantastic.

The new show, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael: Giants of the Renaissancewill be unveiled on March 6, 2015. You'll have until January 3rd, 2016 to see it.

It celebrates the greatest masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance made between the late-15th and early-16th centuries in Florence, Milan and Rome. It lasts 35 minutes on a continuous loop and includes 3000 images.

Accompanied by music, the show was produced by Culturespaces and directed by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto and Massimiliano Siccardi.

Roaming freely around the quarry, you'll discover works such as The Annunciation, Virgin and Child with St. AnneMona Lisa and The Last Supper by da Vinci (1442-1519); The Young Woman with Unicorn, The School of Athens and the Triumph of Galatea by Raphael (1483-1520); and the ceiling vault of the Sistine Chapel and The Last Judgment by Michelangelo (1475-1564). 

Certain details of the frescoes that normally decorate the walls and vaults of churches, villas and Italian palaces are specially highlighted, offering the visitor a unique opportunity to see them as never before

A bit of backstory: The Cathedrale des Images closed in 2011 and re-opened as the Carrières de Lumières in early 2012, with 7000 square meters of exhibit space, new management (the folks at Culturespaces) and new state-of-the-art technology. More than €2 million was spent to refurbish the site. The first show after the re-opening (Gauguin, Van Gogh: Painters of Color) drew great reviews and 239,000 people. The 2013 show, Monet, Renoir...Chagall. was an even bigger smash, attracting 360,000 visitors. Since the opening of the Carrières de Lumières in 2012, more than 1 million people have visited. 

The Carrières de Lumières is located in the Val d’Enfer, a stone's throw from Les Baux. The quarries first produced white limestone, used in the construction of the village of Les Baux and its chateau. In 1821, the aluminum ore bauxite was discovered here by geologist Pierre Berthier, who named it after the village. In 1935, economic competition from modern materials led to the quarries' closure. Dramatic and otherworldly looking, the area has inspired artists of all sorts; the Val d'Enfer provided the setting for Dante’s Divine Comedy and Gounod created his opera Mireille here. Later, Cocteau came to film The Testament of Orpheus in these very quarries. The Carrières du Val d’Enfer has been awarded Natural Monument status in France. 

For opening hours, prices, directions and more, click here.

Route de Maillane  
13520 Les Baux de Provence 
Tel. : +33 4 90 54 47 37


  1. The Klimt and Vienna exhibit was one of my favorite exhibits of 2014. Looking forward to this one. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Sounds incredible. This space is wildly special.

  3. Les Carrières de Lumières was one of the most special stops on our women's tours of Provence last year. I can't wait to see this year's show!

  4. I really enjoyed the Klimt and Vienna exhibit. But I am uber excited to see the next show. I especially love to visit the Carrières when the weather is hot. Thank you for the heads up.



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