Montpellier’s go-to light festival Cœur de Ville en Lumières

By November 29, 2019FESTIVAL, TO SEE
TO SEE | FESTIVAL
Montpellier

Christmas is coming closer and what better way to celebrate the start of the holiday season than with a light festival? Montpellier yearly organises Le Cœur de Ville en Lumières during which the most spectacular projected animations will literally illuminate the heart of the city on the most well-known monuments in Montpellier. Keep your eyes and ears open and immerse yourself in this otherworldly spectacle!

Planning

Last year I went to see Cœur de Ville en Lumières a bit unprepared. Not this year. No less than 11 monuments participate in the 2019 edition, and I wanted to see them all in one evening. This required some planning. So I first downloaded the map from the official festival website, which you can find here.

Cœur de Ville en Lumières

Strategic starting point

As I don’t live in Montpellier, I came by car. Many roads and car parks are closed during the festival, so I was a bit worried about finding a place to park. However, although I arrived rather late (around 20h00), I had no problem finding a spot in the car park behind the Promenade du Peyrou. This happened to be a very strategic starting point, with the first participating monument Peyrou at a few steps from the car park. I could already see the lights and hear the music from afar.

Cœur de Ville en Lumières

Magical worlds

During the three evenings of Cœur de Ville en Lumières, the city of Montpellier will welcome over 200,000 visitors, so you won’t be alone. Expect a lot of people, and that you might not be able to see all participating monuments in one evening. Although the light festival is very well organised. From 18h30 to 22h30 you’ll be drawn into 11 magical worlds glowing on each of the monuments. Each light show takes about 6 minutes, followed by a 7- to 10-minute break. Students from the various art schools in Montpellier and surrounding towns created the striking animations. Light projections, 2D and 3D imaginary worlds perfectly melt together with some wonderful tunes and transform the historic buildings into true pieces of art.

Cœur de Ville en Lumières

Highlights

I have to say that the beauty of the animations left me completely awestruck. It was absolutely amazing to see how they brought the buildings to life. Of course, I did take some pictures, but this is something you really have to experience for yourself. In the end, I managed to see all 11 participating monuments. However, I think this is a bit much for one evening, as I hardly took a break. The printed map I brought with me wasn’t really necessary- just follow the crowd. My personal highlights of the evening were the Arc de Triomphe, Église Saint-Roch and Musée Fabre. All definite must-sees!

Cœur de Ville en Lumières

Info

Montpellier yearly organises the light festival Cœur de Ville en Lumières, during three evenings at the end of November from 18h30 to 22h30. The Tourism Office will be open during this time. The participating monuments are: Musée Fabre, Église Saint-Roch, Préfecture, Arc de Triomphe, Peyrou, Entrée du Peyrou, Hôtel Saint-Côme, Cathédrale Saint-Pierre, Cour de l’Agora, Théâtre de l’Agora and Place Notre Dame. And there was a surprise one at the Montpellier National Opera at the Place de la Comédie.

Parking

It’s best to park just outside the city centre and use public transport, as two of the main car parks will be closed during the festival: L'Arc de Triomphe and La Préfecture. I could easily park my car behind the Promenade du Peyrou, at Parking des Arceaux on Place Max Rouquette. Also, keep in mind that the city centre will be closed for circulation and that some roads and squares will be blocked off from 17h00 to 23h00.

Office de Tourisme
30 Allée Jean de Lattre de Tassigny
34000 Montpellier
33 (0)4 67 60 60 60

website

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