Have you ever dreamed of having a little dance inside a mountain? Truth be told, I hadn´t – but then I also didn´t know that that was a possibility at all!
Hidden away in the Provencal countryside, in the midst of swoon-worthy mountain landscape Les Alpilles, there´s a place where nature and art meet and melt together in a most surprising, inspiring and uplifting way: Welcome to the fascinating Carrieres de Lumieres, mes amis!
The secrets of the Carrieres de Lumieres
Literally meaning stone-pits of light, the location in itself is a converted quarry dating back to the 19th century. It was then when the so-called “stone of the south“, the limestone that constitutes the building blocks of the quarry, was in high demand. It remained much sought-after up to 1935, when its fancier cousins steel and metal stole its thunder as premier building materials. The limestone itself, onto which stunning artistic images are projected during the much-acclaimed audiovisual shows, formed a staggering 20 million years ago, by the way!
Since 1977, the Carrieres de Lumieres have often served as cultural go-to-location during which spectacular multimedia-shows are projected onto ALL the surfaces of the massive rock-walls that surround you. Yes, even the ground is covered in images, how cool is that? You are basically getting a full body, mind and soul immersion into exquisite art, nature and music when choosing to visit this art-center near dreamy village Les-Baux-de-Provence.
As luck or coincidence had it, famous Spanish painters took center stage at my time of visit, followed by an awesome time-travel back to the Seventies flower-power-hippie days with their life-affirming musical tunes.
What a differently flavored experience that was! I tried to soak up as much of the stunning art pieces detailing the life, love and work of genius Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro and the likes as possible and let myself fall into the sounds, pictures and sensations of spaciousness all around me.
The magic of letting yourself go
There´s a certain magic that blossoms when you manage to leave yourself behind and become one with the art that´s diligently knocking on the doorstep of your soul, begging you to leave the mundane, the ever-repeating and at times numbing rituals and routines of daily life behind, inviting you to step into its glimmering promise of enchantment, rejuvenation and wonder instead.
I let myself dance to the rhythms of the all-embracing multimedia-art and left the Carrieres des Lumieres on an absolute high, feeling excited and just thrilled to be alive and to be able to witness all that beauty! If you feel inspired to do the same, here is some helpful information for you:
Handy information part:
- Location: Carrières de Lumières, Route de Maillane 13520 Les Baux de Provence.
- Bookings: Make sure to book ahead through the Carrieres website to avoid those queues!
- Rates: 13 Euros for adults, free for children under age 7, disabled visitors and journalists.
- Opening times: Open every day.
January, March, November, December: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
April, May, June, September, October: 9.30 a.m.-7 p.m.
July and August: 9.30 a.m.-7.30 p.m.
- Also: Make sure to pack a jumper/ jacket/ woolen scarf/ your favorite blankie because it´s kinda chilly in the quarry.
- Current exhibition: Van Gogh/ Starry Night as well as Dreamed Japan are taking over the show until January 5, 2020.
The remaining exciting things to experience when in Provence that I hinted at in my last post will be covered in the following one, don´t you worry! Provence truly is a treasure-chest of once-in-a-lifetime-experiences.
Have you ever been to an art-show that inspired you to your core? Would love to hear from you! Feel free to share below – Vive l´art!