Carried away in a quarry

5 May, 2015

Pop psychology says that one of the keys to happiness is to collect experiences and delightful memories rather material goods, Carrières de Lumières ticks that happy box.

Theatre and drama, both natural and manmade await in this unique encounter. The setting is a fantastical valley of limestone boulders created by thousands of years of erosion. This; the Val d’Enfer (Valley of Hell) seems to have been named for nature’s fiery night show that plays out every sunset as the descending rays illuminate the strange and evocative rock shapes.
In the very mouth of this valley and into it’s subterranean depths lies a quarry where a light show created by visionary humans strikes an emotional chord with its audience. Seven thousand square metres of quarry walls and floors are covered with images projected in the grandest scale and highest resolution imaginable. This year’s show immerses its viewers in the Renaissance magnificence of Raphael, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelango. It felt as if we had been dipped into a vat of classical art. Familiar scenes of grumpy angels and the detail of the Sistine Chapel cover every available surface from wall to floor and across the awestruck viewers. Thirty-five minutes supported by beautifully synchronised classical music which perfectly delivers the intention of the show’s creator; “music enhances our vision and allows a more profound emotion”.

Practical tips
The show loops continuously so you might enter in the middle of the presentation. You may stay as long as you like which meant that we wafted around in wonderment for two and a half shows or just until our toes froze. Wear warm socks and rubber soled footwear.

Carrières de Lumières is adjacent to the fascinating Provençale village of Les Baux de Provence which is worth a visit for the day but even better overnight.

For an atmospheric stay in Les Baux de Provence

For a sublime dinner with a view of the hellish sunset, visit La Reine Jeanne.

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