Cave Lighting projects in France
This year, the Cave Lighting team has completed two projects in France. Further details on the projects in the Caves “Cornadore” and “Aven Marzal” can be read in the following.
The Aven-Cave of MARZAL was first explored in 1892 by the master of speleology, Edouard-Alfred Martel. He described it in his book « The abysses » as one of the most beautiful he knew regarding the variety and the colors of its concretions.
Forgotten for several years, it was rediscovered on March 27, 1949 by the Valentinois caver Pierre Ageron after 15 years of research, and he fitted it out for the public as early as 1951.
The aven is characterized by a vertical access through its ceiling, with a staircase of over 360 steps, whose construction is unique, and goes down to a depth of 125 m. There, the visitor can admire the « Diamond chamber », covered with sparkling concretions, ranging from white to a gradient of ochre.
On the way up, the visitor will stop in the largest chamber, « the Tomb Chamber » where a lighting effect is presented accompanied by a song by Nicole Rieux whose soft and clear voice perfectly matches the surroundings.
Alexandre Ferrara, managing director of the cave called upon the know-how of the Cave Lighting Company to renovate the lighting system of the show, which was getting old, was no longer adapted and barely worked anymore.
The goal was to keep the existing musical part and give it a « new life ».
No colored lighting show or fireworks for this place, the beauty of the chamber did not need it. Alexandre’s wish, also ours, was to make everything as simple as possible while enhancing the color gradients of this chamber.
Therefore, our specialists played with lights of different temperatures of whites and ambers.
The simple but esthetic result seems to give complete satisfaction to the managing director but also, and more importantly, to visitors.
The caves of Mont Cornadore, discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, are located in the Mounts Dore in the commune of Saint Nectaire in the Auvergne, France. They are former thermal baths carved by man in over 300 million years old conglomerates and granites.
They are supplied with water by two hot springs: a ferrous one and a salty one.
These mineral hot springs (22°C yearly average) provide waters with a high carbon dioxide, calcium, magnesium, sodium and iron content. The calcium carbonate deposits form stalactites and stalagmites. One of them was dated to be 2000 years old. The organization of the various chambers and the presence of hot springs let us suppose that the caves of the Cornadore are the remnants of the Gallo-Roman baths and thermal baths of St Nectaire.
Open to the public in 1965, their lighting system, which was renovated several times, no longer met current safety standards.
Mr. Pierre Simon, the owner and a board member of the ANECAT, called upon the Cave Lighting Company to completely redo the electrical installation using the new LED technologies.
Aside from the safety issue, he also trusted our teams of technicians and designers to enhance this natural heritage.
The enhancement of the basins, the small lake, the ladders on which objects petrify, the ceilings of conglomerates as well as the stalagmitic flows, give the cave an entirely different look.