In the northwest of France, near Nantes and Le Mans, there is a Roman Catholic church which added sci-fi gargoyles to its exterior during a restoration in 1993 and 1995. Called the Chapelle de Bathléem, two of its five pinnacles were restored with gargoyles of a Xenomorph, Gizmo, a Gremlin, Grendizer from Mazinger, and the King of the Dead (Ankou) for good measure. Better yet, this church is officially listed among monuments historiques. Damn right it is.
The church was built in the Middle Ages on a site where Druids held Beltane fertility ceremonies. The pinnacles of the church had fallen into disrepair, losing 28 of the chimeras adorning the corners of the chapel’s five pinnacles. They didn’t have a clear record of what was originally carved in those places, so they hired sculptor Jean-Louis Boistel to add new gargoyles based on Christian mythology as well as modern symbols from American film and Japanese animation.
We have geek-related pictures below, showing two of the five pinnacles.
The corners of the southwest pinnacle (representing the unconscious) include carvings of the following:
- Grendizer to symbolize righteousness and a modern knight
- A Gremlin to symbolize a bad monster
- Gizmo to symbolize a good monster
- “The Irony” to symbolize the arrogance of man. (Not sure how they represent that, and my ability to read French is not good.)
The corners of the northeast pinnacle (representing origins) include carvings of the following:
- A cutaway to symbolize the resurrection
- The old to symbolize the ages of man and eternity
- The Ankou (King of the Dead) to symbolize death
- A Xenomorph from Alien to symbolize The Leviathan and nothingness.
At least I think that’s what this stuff means. As previously mentioned, my French isn’t good. But hey, these pictures are awesome.