When you visit Provence, it is an absolute must to come to Les Baux Des Provence (a 20 minutes drive from St Remy) to visit the Carrieres De Lumieres here and also the Chateau which sits on the former old town of Baux. Sometimes good things come out of bad experiences, and CG found out about this place by chance when speaking with a French couple while we were queuing up in the heat for our Avis rented car in Avignon.
Front entrance to Carrieres De Lumieres.
Upon parking our car, we found an imposing limestone quarry right in front of us. With a height of 25 meters tall, this was converted in 1977 into a site to showcase incredible multimedia shows called the Carrière de Lumières. Each year, a different audio visual show takes place such as Van Gogh, Picasso or specific to a country.
The best of the 3 Renaissance masters – Michaelangelo, Leonardo Da Vinci and Raphael was showing when we visited. This multimedia show paid homage to the masterpieces of these extraordinary artists, all I can say is even my pictures and the videos don’t do justice to the actual experience I felt standing there with Y and CG. I was practically in awe when we stepped into the quarry to see this visual technicolor show.
What amazed us first was the magnitude of the show in terms of the expanse of it throughout the quarry. It was so dramatic and the creators behind this show were able to display such depth and detail in the 3-dimensional display of the art whether it was showing the churches’ walls or Mona Lisa’s portrait – larger than life on the Carrieres Walls.
The choice of the classical music from the great composers like Bach and Verdi to more contemporary musicians was also perfect in creating the right mood and atmostphere, such that I could feel both a high and low when admiring the sights.
I leave you here with these 2 videos my shaky beary paws took. Apologies if you find it rather dark, as it was really dark in the quarry.
We did think of going to the Chateau after this, but given my tummy was rumbling and it seemed so difficult to walk up the Chateau, as cars could not go up all the way, we decided to just take a ride around and enjoy the scenic views around instead. I am pretty happy with some of the shots I took here.
Drove up the hill which gave us a great view of the surroundings
We also managed to find a perfect spot for seeing the Chateau old town from afar. We just followed the road signs and continued to drive up the mountain after passing by Carrieres Du Lumieres and ended up at this spot.
Visiting this area is a must if you want to explore Provence, the old town of Baux coupled with the modernity of the visual shows at Carriere Du Lumieres is something not to be missed.
View of the Chateau.
Admiring the rocks.
Tips on visiting here:
- If you are driving from St Remy to here, drive carefully as there are lots of windy roads and corners, so the 20 mins so called drive can be quite challenging for some or maybe thrilling for others who want to put their inner Formula 1 driver to the test.
- Bring along a light jacket as the temperature in the Carrieres Du Lumieres drops to around 15°C.
- Plan your time well, as we did not have sufficient time to visit the village having arrived there close to 4 pm. You can buy a combined ticket which allows you to visit both the Chateau and Carrieres Du Lumieres. It is easy to spend at least an hour enjoying the multimedia show alone. See ticket prices here.
- Wear comfortable shoes with good grip, as it’s not an easy walk to the Chateau, from what we could see.
Amazing view of one of the mountain peaks in Les Baux.