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Blue hour

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Title: Blue hour  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Golden hour (photography), Night, Twilight, Belt of Venus, Parts of a day
Collection: Earth Phenomena, Night, Parts of a Day, Visibility
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Blue hour

Praia da Ursa, Sintra, Portugal. A blue hour seascape seen in wide angle
The Colosseum during the blue hour
Blue hour in Paris
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin during blue hour
The illuminated mining lamp memorial in Moers during the blue hour

The blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue. This effect is caused by the relative diffusibility of short blue wavelengths of light versus the longer red wavelengths. During the blue "hour" (typically the period is about 40 minutes in length), red light passes straight into space while blue light is scattered in the atmosphere and therefore reaches the earth's surface. Because of the quality of the light, this period is treasured by artists.


  • Influence in popular culture 1
    • Art 1.1
    • Books 1.2
    • Films 1.3
    • Music 1.4
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Influence in popular culture

The blue hour is famous for its romantic connotations, particularly in the arts. A colloquial French saying characterises the blue hour as a time of confusion and mystery, since it is impossible to determine whether it is really night or day.

As a result of the perceived specialness of this time, there are various restaurants, theatres and hotels called L'Heure Bleue located worldwide. There is also a women's perfume by Guerlain (1912) of the same name.

In English culture the term was used to describe the period of inactivity and uselessness a drinker encounters when pubs and other licensed premises have closed after the lunch-time session (typically 3:30 pm), but have not yet opened for the evening session (typically 6:30 pm). The blue hour has now been largely abolished in England, Scotland and Wales in favour of all-day opening.


  • l'Heure Bleue is a concept often expressed, in his works and in his thought, by the contemporary artist Jan Fabre[1]



  • The first portion of the 1987 episodic film, 4 aventures de Reinette et Mirabelle, by Éric Rohmer
  • A 1993 film Die blaue Stunde by director Marcel Gisler
  • The TV calendar series Jul i Blåfjell (Christmas in Blåfjell) associates magic/other-wordly powers with the Blue Hour - blåtimen, Jul i Blåfjell (Norwegian WorldHeritage) (1999)
  • The Blue Hour is a 2007 film starring Alyssa Milano


The blue hour is also a common theme in popular music and the subject appears in various songs:

See also


  1. ^ "Troubleyn Jan Fabre Performing Arts". Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  2. ^ The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada. Volume 5 (S-Z). Hurtig Publishers. 1990.  
  3. ^ Blue Hour. HarperCollins. 2003.  
  4. ^  
  5. ^ "FRANÇOISE HARDY - Lyrics Pages". Retrieved 2014-04-25. 

External links

  • Blue hour mobile application (iOS, Iphone/iPad)
  • Everything about Blue Hour and Night Photography (news, articles, tips and calculator)
  • Twilight Calculator, Golden Hour/Blue Hour table
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