Victor Paysant, The Living and Speaking Church

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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 and site information

Not Exact Address
Ménil-Gondouin, Basse-Normandie, France
Latitude/Longitude: 48.755917 / -0.302422

Visiting Information

It is open for public visitation all year long.


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