Le Mystère des Faluns ; a scenography inviting you on a trip combining science and poetry

The beautiful history of the Perrieres

All the ingredients of a fairy tale are there :

“Once upon a time, 10 million years ago, on the very grounds of the Doué-la-Fontaine of today, there were elephants, antelopes, tigers and the shallow sea that was there was populated with white sharks, whales, rays and saw fish. The tides gradually produced a submarine dune resulting in its stratification. Small sand dunes were stacked on top of each other together with the remains of all the animals living there.  This dune whose layers are visible to the naked eye make up the sedimentary environment of this rock called “falun”. Originally sarcophagi were extracted from it, and then in the 19th century it was used for building stones.

The tour goes through caves that, having been used for extraction, now allow visitors to discover the site and its history since the radical geological changes having given birth to it, with the animals that populated it and men who dug out the site.

Although it is all about science, our interpretation is resolutely poetic and a simple wander through these caves frees your imagination whilst at the same time learning about the site.

All the narrative elements of the exhibition are based on scientific observations and advice in total adequation with whatever knowledge the visitor is endowed with. 

Lucie Lom, artistic director of the  Le Mystère des Faluns.


Copyright Ville de Doué-la-Fontaine – janvier 2015

To discover the video on Youtube, click here

The troglodytic heritage

Dug into the rock, this troglodytic site bears witness to the strong identity heritage of the Loire and its tributaries. Landscapes were shaped by it and major local economic sectors, such as wines, mushroom growing and an unusual lifestyle and habitat emerged from it.

In Doué-la-Fontaine, the stone extractors who dug out the falun have left with us these extraordinary underground caves.

Listed as an exceptional environmental site, the Perrieres boasts 15 to 20m high underground galleries. The falun, a local shelly-sand stone was deposited by the sea then excavated by man during the 18th and 19th centuries. Once a mushroom growing cave, then troglodyte dwellings, the Perrieres site was rehabilitated in the 80ies to welcome tourists with the creation of an exceptional accommodation centre. Nowadays the Perrieres shines in new splendour thanks to the magical scenography created by Lucie Lom’s agency: Le Mystère des Faluns 

Le Mystère des Faluns is currently one of the most visited sites of the area.

Scenographers and artists

Presentation by Lucie Lom, scenographers of Le Mystère des Faluns scenography

Lucie Lom was created from the encounter between Philippe Leduc and Marc-Antoine Mathieu at the school of Fine Arts in Angers. 

Since 1985, both graphic designers have mutualized their experience. They have been designing posters, creating scenographies for exhibitions, transforming a museum into a campsite, a theater into a station, hanging a forest in the air with roots rising towards the clouds, mooring boats on balconies in city centers or lifting the façade of a Renaissance hotel.

Different places become the topic and setting of different stories.

Lucie Lom art workshop is at the crossroads of two disciplines: scenography and graphic design. It is about staging projects emerging from the workshop or a public request. The freedom the workshop is seeking is to work on exhibition topics and urban facilities with a cultural and social aspect but retaining a specific way of working and also having the choice to refuse a request not in keeping with these criteria.

Up to now Lucie Lom has created about 50 scenographies, some of them appearing in the largest French museums. 

“The Mystery of the Falun is a poetic scenography with an unusual interpretation of this exceptional heritage", underlines Philippe Leduc.
“As art directors we have pooled the work of about 5 skilled trades (plasticists, sculptors, video creators, musicians …)”, adds Marc-Antoine Mathieu.
“By prolonging the human history of the site, each artist has made it possible to enhance the natural architecture of the caves with their historical and scientific assets, thus creating an evocative and sensitive discovery tour of the Perrières becoming as such an important site and a reference for plain troglodytism.”

Presentation other artists

Art direction : Lucie Lom - Philippe Leduc, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Elisa Fache et Isabelle Rabillon

Occasional contributions on pre-projects : Raphaël Lerays, Jean-Claude de Caestecker et Mélanie Claude, Alexandra Mottier, Yannick Hachet, Mathilde Guillemot

Musical creation : Patrice Grupallo

Lights : Atelier Emergence - Olivier Charrier, Lucie Lom et Emmanuel Drouot

Video and lights programmation : Atelia - Loïc Rémy

Sound installation and programmation : Entreprise Moinard - Sébastien Brossard 

Wall coatings, surfacing, sculptures and signposting of the discovery tour : Az Décors - Dominique Harcourt with Henri Mouzet, Reynald Bourcier, Nicolas Buntz, Laurent Fouassier, and Claire Alary, Pierrick Colas, Christophe Cornille, Sébastien Matégot, Cyrille Poulain

Scientific advice : Laurent Aubineau, Michel Cousin, Jean-Luc Gaignard, Benoît Mellier, Gérard Moguedet, Daniel Pouit, Fabrice Redois, Thomas Rouillard, Bernard Tobie

Facilities creation :


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