Seascape after sunset

Praia da Ursa-Sintra-Portugal. A blue hour seascape seen in wide angle. Clearly seen is the zone near the sun where red and green takes precedence over blue, which fills almost the entire hemisphere. The effect is due to Rayleigh scattering

Blue hour aka

The blue hour

JMatern 060320 8433-8436 WC

Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt, Germany, during the blue hour

Colosseum in Rome, Italy - April 2007

The Colosseum during the blue hour

The blue hour comes from a French expression (l'heure bleue), which refers to twilight, the period each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is considered special because of the quality of the light at this time of day (also in photography; it is considered especially flattering for people with blond hair) and because in the summer, this is often when the smell of the flowers is at its strongest.

In Scotland this time of day and the attendant light quality is known as gloaming.

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A time of innocenceEdit

The phrase is also used to refer to Paris immediately prior to World War I, which was considered to be a time of relative innocence.

Influence in popular cultureEdit

As a result of the perceived specialness of this time, around the world there are restaurants, theatres and hotels called "L'Heure Bleue," and there is a women's perfume by Guerlain (1912) of the same name. The Norwegian rock band Madrugada (Spanish and Portuguese for early morning) were also named after this time.


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


  • a novel by T Jefferson Parker
  • a book by Carolyn Forché
  • the cover background of The Junior Encyclopedia of Canada volume 5
  • Midnighters trilogy by Scott Westerfeld
  • A novel by Kate Thompson
  • "The Blueing Hours" poetry collection by Albert DeGenova
  • L'heure Bleue, a book by Edward Gorey



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

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External linksEdit


it:Ora blufi:Sininen hetki

sv:Blå timmen tr:Mavi saat