Excursion One: Puy du Fou, July 6, 2012

The CIDEF program in Angers organizes five separate excursions for its students during the month of July. The first of these excursions was the son et lumière show at Puy du Fou, a theme park located in Les Epesses, France. Puy du Fou is a location in France meaning “the hill of the beech”. The park is built around the ruins of an old renaissance castle and features various performances of historic France. We came for the final showing of the evening that includes 1,100 actors, live animals, and laser-, water-, and fireworks on a 500-acre stage. The show narrates 700 years of the area’s past, from the middle ages and finishing after World War II.

We weren’t given much of an introduction as to what this show would be like, but we knew to wear warm clothes and we knew there would be fireworks. We entered the venue and took our seats in front of this massive landscape of trees, water and an old château. We arrived just as the sun was setting and enjoyed the colorings of dusk across the sky.

Dusk at Puy du Fou


The show started with a hooded figure with a walking stick trekking across the span of the stage. The imagery and the music that was playing reminded me of Lord of the Rings.

I was blown away by how massive the show was. People and animals everywhere in front of my eyes and some of the coolest laser work I’ve ever seen. The entire show is narrated in French, so we had to rely on the visuals to get a sense of what was going on, which was usually pretty easy.

Laser projection on the castle ruins.

A line of fire drummers.
Dancing and a parade.


A bit of fireworks.

The performance was about two hours long and ran into the night. Thankfully, it didn’t get unbearably cold, but we were relieved to finally relax in the comfort of the bus.

It was a great kick-off to the rest of the month!


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