Sarah Halford

Architecture and Ceramics

L’Orbiere – Helice de Terrestre

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When we were in France we saw a very small entry in our guidebook for L’Helice de Terrestre, which looked from the description to be a fascinating place, and it was! The signposts were non existent, but the satnav got us there with little fuss. We were the only visitors, and the fellow manning the place was fairly surprised to see us I think.

The whole place is a conceptual art piece and a sculpture which you move through. The caves have been carved with geometric shapes and symbols. One has been carved into a spheroid, which reverberates very weirdly when you’re standing inside it, like being inside a piece of metal.

The helix starts on the air above the piece and the caves are meant to be a negative cast of the concrete sculptures above. It’s really fantastic, and like nothing I have ever experienced before. The caves are quite scary; at points you are in pitch black and then you see a glowing light and there’s another chamber beyond.

This is such a hidden gem, it’s really worth the visit. We stayed around two hours, and had the place completely to ourselves, although they do have facilities for groups to visit from the look of it. It’s very near a lot of other touristy places, and the drive there was through Gennes, a picturesque village over the Loire.

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This entry was posted on October 6, 2012 by in architecture.
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