Carrières de Lumières: Underground Art




The beautiful village of Les Baux-de-Provence is a sparkling jewel yet small. One must visit and explore, inhale and touch with inquisitive hand, eyes and an open mind. With such exploration, her riches are exposed.

During my friend’s visit, Rita, we headed to Provence for a few days. Besides strolling about Saint Remy we each had a #1 must see and Carrières de Lumières was hers. My #1 will be revealed on a future post but this exhibit quickly had me under its spell. 

Step into the cave and be transported deep into the 16th century. Let yourself go and be awakened to the visions of BOSCH, BRUEGHEL and ARCIMBOLDO. This is total immersion from the ceiling of the cave down to the very ground you walk on. Walk about freely, stop and look closely or sit yourself down on one of the stone benches available on the caves outer walls. 

20171026_130057.jpg There isn’t a cultural event, landmark, museum or other National Treasure, where I have not encountered groups of school children on a field trip. They are accompanied by a their teachers, are well mannered, respectful and it is such a delight to witness their awakening and appreciation. 

20171026_131035.jpg Perhaps this photo can give you a small idea of just how vast the cave is. Unfortunately, you are seeing only one small area. The projections seem to dance across the ceiling, walls and even the floor of the cave. 100 projectors syncronised precisely with the sound system provide a seemless experience. I had little idea of what I would encounter but trusted that Rita knew we would both love it. As ususal, she was right and I was stunned. The show itself is not long in duration. Yet after wandering around through several showings, I found myself mesmerized and frozen on one of the benches. If I have the good fortune to return to a future show, I hope I shall be better prepared camera wise. What you will see here is from my little smartphone camera as my trusty old point and shoot had run out of batteries. Furthermore, I am unaccustomed to trying to capture stills of a moving target in near absolute darkness. I do hope it gives you of an idea of what a magnificent exhibit it is and perhaps schedule some time to view one of the coming shows. Alas, this particular show ended on 7 January, 2018. The next show began in March and the featured artist, PICASSO.








If you should plan to visit Provence, this is one of the many delights that await you.  



15 thoughts on “Carrières de Lumières: Underground Art

  1. Do you ever wonder how in the world such things come to be? Were the city fathers sitting around wondering what to do with this huge cave and one of them said, “I know! Let’s project the greatest art onto the walls!”??

    1. I believe in this case, a group of artists had been searching for the “perfect” location and someone suggested the cave. The rest, they say, is history. 🙂

    1. My pleasure and thanks for taking the time to comment. I do hope you check out the previous post which was in nearby Saint Remy and there are a few more posts to come from the area…

  2. I would love to visit this small sparkling jewel one day…it reminds me a little of the Cesar Manrique caves in Lanzarote. 🙂

    1. I do hope you make the journey. When you do, don’t be in a rush as the previous post was nearby and the one I am working on now, in Saint Remy… 🙂

  3. Léa, your words and photos are perfect here ~ and most special I think is the way you think when experiencing a new place: “must visit and explore, inhale and touch with inquisitive hand, eyes and an open mind.” That is my type of thinking 🙂

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