The Living and Speaking ChurchVictor Paysant (1841-1921)




D15, Ménil-Gondouin, Basse-Normandie, 61210, France



Visiting Information

It is open for public visitation all year long.

About the Artist/Site

In 1873 Abbott Paysant began decorating his church on both the exterior and interior. Between that time and his death in 1921, he covered its floor and walls with saintly writings and with painted or engraved citations and images; he also instituted the restoration of a number of statues. His church therefore became known as the “Église Vivante et Parlante.” After his death, however, the statues were buried and the walls were covered with an opaque wash.

It was not until 2004 that a magnificent restoration project took place. Unique in its genre, this expressive building, communicating a faith that went beyond the norm, is an iconic example of singular art. It is currently being overseen by a Friends group, the Association Les Amis de l’église vivante et parlante. Among its exceptional components are the painted façade with bell tower, the pulpit, and the large portrait of the Abbott.

It is open for public visitation all year long.

~Sophie Lepetit and Laurent Danchin

Translated by Jo Farb Hernández



Map & Site Information

Ménil-Gondouin, Basse-Normandie, 61210 fr
Latitude/Longitude: 48.7557047 / -0.3009505

Nearby Environments

Le Jardin Extraordinaire (The Extraordinary Garden)

Saint-Quentin-les-Chardonnets, Lower Normandy

Hedge and Garden

Saint-Berthevin, Pays de la Loire

La maison des champs (The country house)

Cossé-le-Vivien, Pays de la Loire

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