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Free light show delights every night at Amiens Cathedral

The projected spectacle uses colour to celebrate the city’s history

Thirty minutes of the show is dedicated to highlighting the polychrome architecture using colour Pic: OTCAM C. Riedel/Amiens Métropole

A dazzling projection show will light up Amiens Cathedral every evening this month as a light and sound show uses the Gothic monument’s facade to show its history. 

Starting at 19:00 the free show, called Chroma, consists of two multi-coloured sequences: a 20-minute dynamic animation and a 30-minute show which allows you to contemplate the polychrome architecture.

Credit: N. Decormeille/Amiens Métropole

Combining light effects and a video mapping technique that uses image projection, visitors  can see the sculpted decoration of the façade and the rose windows of this thirteenth-century jewel in a new light. 

The show also brings to life the carved saints, apostles and other figures thanks to a colourful projection of high-definition digital images. 

Read more: Contest for France’s most beautiful cathedral - which gets your vote?

A specific colour theme 

Chroma's projection sequence uses colour schemes to bring together the immersive experience. 

An extensive palette of shades is said to be used to offer a unique perspective of the history of the cathedral and the city.

Credit: Laurent Rousselin/Amiens Métropole

Blue, for example, is used to evoke Les marchands waidiers – the local flower sellers who contributed to the financing of the monument.

The design company Spectre Lab  collaborated with specialist in the history of colours, Michel Pastoureau for the project.

The cathedral’s history 

Considered a masterpiece of Gothic art, Notre-Dame d'Amiens is the largest mediaeval cathedral in the world, with an interior volume of nearly 200,000m3, double that of Notre-Dame de Paris. It also has the highest nave, its vault reaching up 42 metres.

Credit: OTCAM P. Lebrun/Amiens Métropole

The first stones were laid in 1220 (meaning the cathedral celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2020) and contrary to tradition, the architects started by building the facade and the nave. 

Construction was fairly rapid – most of it was complete by the end of the 13th century – giving the building an architectural uniformity envied by many of its rivals.

Notre-Dame d'Amiens has been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1981, for both its architecture and furnishings. 

Read also

How 32 elite architects protect France’s historic monuments

Paris chapel named one of best hidden secrets in tourist poll

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