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La Piste des Géants

La Piste des Géants

A cultural venue that is unique in France will open its doors at the end of 2018 in Toulouse to celebrate the aeronautical adventure: an intelligent combination of a journey, a world of wonder and a remembrance site dedicated to the pioneers of aviation. Rendezvous for its inauguration from 1st to 4th November featuring the urban spectacle "The Guardian of the Temple", created by the La Machine Company.

The creatures of the La Machine Company arrive in Toulouse!

La Machine presents the world premiere of “TheGuardian of the Temple", from 1stto 4thNovember2018 in the streets of Toulouse. The show, a veritable urban legend, is the first event to mark the opening of the Halle de La Machine in Montaudran.

Spectacle Le gardien du Temple Mécanique savante

World premiere: The Guardian of the Temple show

This show will take place from 1stto 4thNovember 2018 in the streets of Toulouse, which form a natural labyrinth, and it will serve as an introduction to the Halle de La Machine that will open in the Montaudran quarter, around the historic Aéropostale runway that has now been renamed the Runway of Giants. 

Dreamed up as a story, the show will take place in a number of districts across the historic city centre that will be transformed for the occasion into veritable theatre stages. A monumental machine will reinterpret the myth of Ariane alongside a giant spider.

On the first day we will witness the arrival of the machines. Over the course of the following days, played over three scenes, the machines will evolve right there on the city centre’s streets, squares and boulevards.

The Runway of Giants is a unique venue made up of 3 spaces

The cultural site of the « Runway of Giants » forms part of the ambitious Toulouse Aerospace project that Toulouse Métropole is undertaking in Montaudran, the historic aeronautics quarter.

Based around the runway that witnessed the evolution of the pioneers of civil aviation during the 1920s, « The Runway of Giants » will comprise a number of features: The forthcoming Remembrance Space, based in historic buildings that are currently being repurposed, the « Jardins de la Ligne », opened in June 2017, a great landscaped trail that recalls the countries that the pioneers of Aéropostale would have flown over and La Halle de La Machine, a contemporary building that will house the dreamlike creations of the La Machine Company.


  • La Halle La Machine

Whilst Nantes has been home to the workshops of La Machine in the heart of its island for many years now, this company has always worked in the Toulouse area at the Tournefeuille Factory, the National Centre for Street Arts. Today, the company wants to take its spectacular machines out of the workshops and share them with the people of Toulouse thanks to an urban renewal project in the very heart of the Montaudran quarter. La Halle de La Machine, designed by architect Patrick Arotcharen, a great 6,000m² contemporary hall whose roof is built in the form of aircraft wings, will open its doors to the public on 9th November 2018 in the Montaudran quarter of Toulouse and will bring to life the stable that houses the spectacular street-theatre machines, designed and created by François Delaroziere and his team at La Machine Company. Throughout the year, visitors will be able to see the around 100 machines come to life, thanks to the talent of their handlers. In Toulouse, a giant Minotaur will head out to encounter passers-by along the former runway that stretches for 2km. 


  • L'envol des pionners (Flight of the pioneers)

In order to recognise and pay tribute to the incredible Toulouse story that heralded the birth of civil aviation with the very first Latécoère flight that took off from Montaudran, followed by Aéropostale and finally Air France, Toulouse Métropole has repurposed the historic buildings on this site in partnership with a number of associations and the families of the pioneers themselves in order to create a memorial space devoted to aeronautics. L'Envol des pionniers, remembrance space open end of December, will host a permanent exhibition covering 1,000m², combining an immersion into the adventures of the early pioneers and an exploration of the site’s history. Here, visitors will be able to discover, among other things, the Bréguet XIV flight simulator that is currently under construction by the firm Altran. 


  • The Airline Gardens

Situated alongside the former Aéropostale runway, these gardens represent the ambiance of the 3 continents crossed by early aviators. It provides a way to relive the adventure of the pioneers of aeronautics, with 8 different landscapes and habitats ranging from Toulouse to Valparaiso in Chile. These gardens will also include play areas for children and interactive features to let visitors discover and learn about the various countries, combining to create a wonderful experience for the whole family to enjoy.


Why is Toulouse the European capital of aeronautics?​

In 1917, Latécoère, the very first airplane manufacturers in France began to look for premises for a factory far from the front line so that it could deliver military aircraft. Toulouse, situated far from the fighting, was selected as the base of operations. After the War, the company moved into commercial aviation with the establishment of Latécoère. Toulouse became the main base for airlines serving France, West Africa and South America; the starting point for France’s longest air route. Latécoère, succeeded in 1927 by Aéropostale, began by transporting mail, followed later by freight and finally, from 1920 onwards, the very first passengers. Mermoz and Saint Exupéry are among the famous pilots of the company.