Like entering in a dream, this spectacle makes visitors immerse themselves into a unique experience of art, sound and light. The old quarries of the magical Val d'Enfer (Valley of Hell) in the south of France, have been hosting audiovisual shows for over 30 years.
The huge walls of white limestone and the darkness of the wide chambers carved in the rock, are the perfect venue for a display that makes the viewer feel like walking inside the images around him. A massive installation of projectors and speakers creates a phenomenal scenography for exhibitions and performances with impressive results:
In Carrières de Lumières (quarries of light or enlightenment) you can enjoy classical paintings from an unusual perspective.
Image by Philip Haslett
This is the promotional image of the current exhibition, Journeys around the Mediterranean, featuring Monet, Renoir and Chagall among others. Image by Culturespaces
Projection of Rêve, a fantastic trip that takes you to imaginary worlds, from futuristic metropolis and tenebrous abysses to the cosmic immensity. It was created by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Massimiliano Siccardi and Ginevra Napoleoni.
Image from the 2012 production presenting the colorful painting of Gauguin and Van Gogh.
Image by Carrières de Lumières
Virtual paintings from the 2006 projection dedicated to Paul Cézanne.
Image by Frans de Wit
The Romans started the extraction of blocks of stone by the 2nd century BC. The nearby city of Arles was built using some materials coming from here. Image by Carrières de Lumières
Not all the area is used for the projection of this festival of light and shadows. You can also visit some rooms with the elegant naked walls of the quarry, that have the look of an old Egyptian temple. Image by Hans Plantinga
According to the legend, Dante, captivated by the setting of Val D'Enfer, was inspired to describe his Hell in the Divine Comedy. Image by Frans de Wit
The first one to discover the potential of this space, after the closing of the quarry in the thirties, was the fascinating artist Jean Cocteau. He filmed here his last movie in 1959, Testament of Orpheus.
In 1977 the quarry was permanently opened to the public with the name of Cathédrale d'Images.
Image by Dominique Cappronnier
Carrières de Lumières is located in the picturesque village of Baux-de-Provence, between Arles and Avignon.
Image by Carrières de Lumières
We don't have better words to describe the experience than this review from a user in TripAdvisor: Stunning presentation of art, sound, and history. Carrières de Lumières transports tourists to another world, forcing us to stop rushing to the next attraction or meal and immerse our entire bodies in art. Image by Culturespaces
As we walked through these enormous caves, it was impossible not to have all of our senses sparking at full power.
Image by G. Iannuzzi - G. Napoleoni - M. Siccardi
We could not escape being enveloped in the luscious water lilies of Monet, or the lascivious boldness of Manet's Olympia, each work or art accompanied by an equally triumphant work of music. Image by Philip Haslett
This is the official video about the current exhibition to help you improving your French :]
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