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Visit Carrières des Lumières in 2023 for the Dutch Masters

This year’s main program at Carrières des Lumières (“Quarries of Light”) in Les Baux de Provence is “From Vermeer to Van Gogh, The Dutch Masters.”

The works of Johannes Vermeer and Vincent Van Gogh will be featured, along with a series of painters from the Dutch Golden Age. Some of their pieces are well-known, like Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Others will be new to many viewers, including Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom’s ships at sea and Abraham Blomaert’s kingdom of the gods.

Dutch Master Vroom

©public domain

This program will accompany the shorter program Mondrian, Architect of Colors. Mondrian (Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan), a Dutch painter active in the early 20th century, broke away from traditional painting and embraced the radical neoplasticism style. The program traces the path from traditional forms to the vivid colours for which Mondrian is known.

Mondrian at Carrières de Lumières 2023

©Culturespaces Carrières de Lumières

These new shows will begin on February 23 and continue until January 2024. The total program is an hour-long—about 45 minutes for the main program and 10 minutes for the shorter one—and runs continuously throughout the day.

Visitor Information

Carrières des Lumières
Route de Maillane
13520, Les Baux-de-Provence

Carrières des Lumières is the largest fixed multimedia installation in France. The 14-metre-high walls are the backdrop that 70 video projectors use to broadcast images. More information, including hours and ticketing, can be found on the Carrières des Lumières website.

Buying your tickets online in advance is highly recommended.

Open every day, including public holidays. However, the opening hours change slightly depending on the season.

The last admission is one (1) hour before the Carrières closes.

For souvenirs and books, there is a small gift shop at the entrance to the Carrières.

A casual restaurant, Café des Carrières, is open daily for light meals.

Parking is limited and can be challenging during the busiest periods.

The best time to visit Carrières des Lumières is early morning or late afternoon after 17h. Otherwise, parking can be a bit of a nightmare.

This show is suitable for anyone with mobility issues as there are few stairs and ramps where necessary.

Inside the show space interior is fresh, which is fabulous on a hot summer day, but even then, it can feel cold, so it is best to bring a sweater or coverup.

Les Baux Views de Provence

Must-See Les Baux

Perched on an outcrop are remains of the medieval fortress of Les Baux. This castle was once one of the most powerful in France. Today the old village is a pedestrian-only zone, and all vehicles must park outside the ramparts. Visitors to Les Baux enjoy magnificent views of the Alpilles, vineyards, olive groves, and the Mediterranean on a clear day.

Les Baux De Provence View

The village caters to tourists with its boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Tiny cobbled streets meander through the town at odd angles, but in the end, most of these routes lead to the castle at the top of Les Baux. A ticket is required to enter the Château les Baux and can be purchased as a package with the Carrières des Lumières multimedia show for a slight discount.

Once inside the castle walls, follow the map for a self-guided discovery tour. The climb to the highest point requires sturdy shoes and some stamina. There are demonstrations of ancient weapons, such as catapults and trebuchets, for additional entertainment.

If you’d like to taste some of the best olive oil in Provence, look no further than the Moulin Castelas, situated just below the famous fortress of Les Baux-de-Provence. Castelas is owned by Catherine and Jean-Benoît Hugues, a French couple who lived in Arizona before returning to their native country when they “fell in love with some old olive trees.” They bought the estate in 1997, then constructed a new olive mill in 2002 to make the best olive oil possible.

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Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle

Keith and Val Van Sickle made their first trip to Provence decades ago, and it was love at first sight. After that, they came back every year until 2008, when they began a part-time life there, splitting their time between Provence and California.

Over the years, they’ve travelled all over Provence, seeing sights both well-known and obscure. Their French friends have introduced them to favourite restaurants and wineries and picnic spots and taught them funny local expressions (not all for polite company).

Keith now shares this local knowledge in his new book, An Insider’s Guide to Provence. Packed with the Van Sickles’ favourite things to see and do, it’s a must-have for anyone travelling to this glorious corner of France.

Keith previously published two books about the couple's experiences in Provence. One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, and Are We French Yet?, both are available from Amazon.

You can see all of Keith’s blog posts at Life in Provence.

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