Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bring On The Sun(flowers)

What happens when you fill a historic city square with 8,000 live sunflowers? When it is located in a European Capitol of Culture and has been designed as part of an art trail, it is called Sun City. Yes, that is right; for the next week the Grand Place here in Mons is filled with a maze of 8,000 sunflowers or tournesols, as they are called in French. This is just another one of the many free events that are taking place as part of the Mons 2015 celebration. Sun City is the latest cultural event that is celebrating the regions arts scene this year. And like so many of the previous events, this one pays homage to Vincent Van Gogh, one of the more famous residents of Mons. We had already visited an earlier Van Gogh exhibit at the modern art museum so now it was time to wander through a recreation of the sunflower fields that he made so famous.

This field of sunflowers is laid out in an intricate maze allowing visitor to wander through the towering twists and turns right in the center of the city. Before visitors enter the maze they pick up a free pair of headphones which provides a soothing soundtrack for their visit. The next stop is a climb to the top of the Grand Place or in this case, a multi-storied set of risers where visitor can take in a panoramic view of the Grand Place and the sunflower maze below. This was the first time I had viewed the city from this perspective and it was quite impressive. Next we made our way back down the stairs and entered the maze. Along the way we were greeted with row upon row of towering sunflowers in various states of bloom. There were also a few larger than life topiaries tucked into hidden nooks within the maze. Of course this included a giant Vincent Van Gogh head as well as an oversized chair, a giant boot (that looked a lot like the famous LL Bean boot in Freeport, Maine) and a ship. All in all, it was a pretty cool experience.

But pictures always say it better than words so here are a few to give you an idea of what Sun City is really like:

Looking down and across the maze

Hotel de Ville
Up close

Van Gogh; oversized images of his head  made
of various mediums have been
everywhere this year

Peeking through the sunflowers

An ariel view of the Mons Grand Place at night. Photo courtesy of We Love Mons 2015
If you go:

Sun City
Grand Place Mons
Open from 17 to 25 July, from 12.00-20.00 (extended hours on weekends)
Free admission

1 comment:

  1. Nice post over the events my city, best regard from Mons