Val-des-Monts - Caverne Laflèche
"Stalactite musicale" by Béla Simó and Angèle Lux
The geology and history of the Laflèche Cave in Val-des-Monts
The Laflèche Cave is the longest underground cavity discovered to date in the Canadian Shield. According to some geologists, its formation may date back more than 100,000 years. By infiltrating into cracks, water dissolved the limestone walls; an underground river would have enlarged the cave, leaving sediment behind. It was first discovered by accident in 1865 by Joseph-Charles Dubois during a bear hunt.
In 1923, the cave became a major tourist attraction for the region. Operated by a company called Attraction de Hull Ltée, it passed into the hands of one of the company shareholders, Zéphyr Laflèche, in 1937. The businessman set up a hotel, picnic areas, and a parking lot. In 1958, the cave was closed to visitors, reopening in 1995. While sitting idle, the site unfortunately became the target of vandals. The precious stalactites and stalagmites, which adorned the ceiling and the floor of the cave, were destroyed.
Stalactite musicale, 2017, by Béla Simó and Angèle Lux
This sculpture is a tribute to this unique geological formation shaped over time by water. The Laflèche Cave is represented by three aluminum arches, whose exterior are slightly textured at the bottom to represent the rock of the cave, while the interiors are brushed, illustrating the smoothness of the openings and corridors, caused as a result of running water. A hollow stalactite, which visitors are invited to ring, reminds us of these geological formations that were created over hundreds of years.
A native of Transylvania, Romania, Béla Simó studied sculpture in Austria with the internationally renowned artist Josef Elter. He immigrated to Canada in 1987 and lived for several years in Whitehorse, Yukon. He has twice been presented with the Yukon Advanced Artist Award. He now resides in Val-des-Monts, Québec and draws inspiration from Canadian nature.
Angèle Lux is a poet and visual artist from Val-des-Monts who works in a variety media including acrylic, mixed media, and digital printing. Her works are regularly exhibited in the Outaouais region and are also in the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, Romania, as well as at the Brazilian Museum of Sculpture in São Paulo.