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LuX: the making-of

LuX: the making-of

Important: this article reveals the secrets of making this year’s summer shows.


"A 14th century builder’s dream"

Place du Château

This year, for the first time, we did not use the cathedral as our canvas for the screening of the video but placed it in the sky instead. We have designed an original device made of a 400 m2 light mesh, stretched above the Place du Château, and onto which we will screen the history of the spire and of the men that built it.

Between the 14th and 15th century, the Place du Château was a vast construction site set up to erect, on top of the cathedral, the highest and most beautiful spire in all of Europe.

Genius or madness, this construction project was one of the most extraordinary and one of the most ambitious at the time. The builders carved stones, forged metal, designed lifting devices and scaffolds until they could reach that unbelievable dream: erect the cathedral higher, and higher, until it touched the sky with its spire.

Ulrich and Hültz, the master craftsmen, both designed the spire. But it is Hültz, along with thousands of builders that achieved his goal, presented here on narrative scenes, halfway between dream and reality.

The spire, from its first sketch to the technical drawings.

The architect’s dream, men’s will to outdo themselves, their delusions of grandeur.

The builders of the Place du Château.

The builders of the sky and the erection of the stones towards the sky.

A heritage forever set in stone and in the sky.

In the different scenes, you’ll recognize:

  • The 4-metres-high plan, designed during the 14th century, currently in display at the Œuvre Notre-Dame Museum.
  • Colored wash drawings – a painting technique of deluted ink with monochrome pigments. A technique particularly used during the 14th century by master craftsmen.
  • The pioneering concept of an 8 faces pyramid that ends the era of the traditional unique stairs. This new kind of structure stretches the technical limits of the era.
  • The passing of seasons that, time after time, divide the construction project into two groups. During the winter, blacksmiths and stonemasons set their workshops in the Fronhof and, during the summer, they work up high on the scaffolds, cranes and footbridges, which go up as the building grows.
  • The lapidary signs. These human prints are a form of language of the biggest trade of the construction project: the stonemasons. Each had its own mark that was probably given by their master, the architect, at the end of four to five years of apprenticeship. Some 1600 stonemasons left their marks in the cathedral’s walls.


Barrage Vauban

This show celebrates the genius of the human spirit during the 18th century.

Discoveries and art, architecture and inventions of the Enlightened will turn the Vauban Dam into a time machine.

The defense structure hosts a fresco that will gradually move as the different scenes unfold marked by the timeless encounter between Bach, Vivaldi and electronic music.

Walk through the century of Enlightenment.


The city became french again at the end of the 17th century. The French influence became more and more evident thanks to the newcomers who settled in, bringing with them the "bon goût" of the Court of Versailles. A prince of the Rohan family became the city's archbishop in 1704. The 18th century was a period of prosperity and influence for the city.

A new urban design emphasizes the particularity of the French taste, especially with the development of walks such as the Orangerie or the Botanical Garden.

The University of Strasbourg was back to its former glory and welcomes more than 4,000 students, including foreign students from Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Great Britain and Russia. Some teachings, such as medicine, are very well known.

It was also the time of inventions such as the appearance of the steam engine or the discovery of the Chappe semaphore in Saverne.

Great festivals animated the city of Strasbourg: the visit of Louis XV, the festivals on the river Ill, an exceptional concert by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart at rue du Miroir...

In terms of architecture, many mansions in Strasbourg were built in the 18th century, that rae known today as: the Palais Rohan, the Lycée Fustel de Coulanges, the Grand Séminaire rue des Frères, the Hôtel Livio rue du Dôme, the Hôtel de Ville, the Hôtel du gouverneur militaire and the Hôtel de la Préfecture rue Brûlée, the Hôtel Andlau rue de la Nuée Bleue, the Maison de l'Homme de Fer, the Aubette.

In the different scenes, you’ll recognize:

  • Large gardens, including the Parc de l'Orangerie, attributed to Le Nôtre.
  • Decorative materials that were popular at the time: marble, gilding, panelling, earthenware.
  • Diderot and d'Alembert's encyclopedia.
  • The appearance of many inventions.


Palais Universitaire

Symbol of the new University of Strasbourg during the annexation by the German Empire, the Palais Universitaire is a symbol of power but also of knowledge, a true temple of education in the neo-Renaissance style.

But this new city is not just about the imperial axis. It is full of emblematic buildings and is marked by extremely varied and sometimes very organic styles.

The aesthetic and scientific interests for botany truly put plants on the spotlight for the creators and decision-makers of the time.The aesthetic and scientific interests for botany truly put plants on the spotlight for the creators and decision-makers of the time.

Indeed, the emperor decided to mark his power by the installation of monumental trees: the Ginkgos biloba. Symbol of longevity and power, these specimens were planted around 1880, after having been offered by the emperor Mutsuhito of Japan to Kaiser William I of Prussia.

The Ginkgo biloba is also the fetish tree of the city of Weimar in which Goethe lived and for which he wrote an eponymous poem.

Goethe also saw a very strong link between the forests of his native country and the various architectures very present in the Neustadt.

In the different scenes, you’ll recognize:

  • Platonic solids in a graphic universe influenced by the work of Wenzel Jamnitzer, goldsmith and German mannerist engraver of the 16th century.
  • Each solid represents an element: the octahedron, or the air, the hexahedron, or the earth, the tetrahedron, or the fire, the icosahedron, or the water and the dodecahedron, or the universe.
  • An interstellar journey through comets, meteorites, stars and nebulae.
  • Ancient Egypt, notably due to the presence of the faculty of archaeology in situ and a building idealizing the land of the Pharaohs, designed by architect Franz Scheyder.
  • The Neustadt's main routes.