Church, convent or monastery. True witnesses of past centuries, these temples of religion seem indestructible. A heritage forgotten by all, except nature. These buildings testify to the decline of religions in our society and a lack of financial means.
What has happened to faith in our societies? Churches in ruins, society in decline?
Today, hundreds of religious buildings are at the mercy of the weather, whereas they were once filled with worship and song. As religion has lost its importance on the continents during the last decades, the reconversion of many of these secular structures seems the only way out of decadence and oblivion.
In the manner of the religious at the time of the crusades, we go to these places with a tragic destiny, in spite of the journey that awaits us. Sometimes gigantic obstacles stand in the way of our coming. However, our faith (and our motivation) leads us to the Holy Land. The outcome is often temporal and mystical. Under the vault of the church or installed in the pillars, the birds sing and dance. Like a colored canvas, the colors are vivid because of the presence of nature.
One can see dilapidated pipe organs, cloisters overgrown with vegetation, long-empty pews and the sunlight penetrating the dust and rubble strewn naves.
The communion of saints is no more and gives way to an union of a different kind : a communion with nature that contrasts with the tragic fate of these divine buildings.
The secrets of what goes on "behind" the altar are then revealed to us and the beliefs dissipate like dust in the wind passing through the gaping holes of the once majestic stained-glass windows.
The architectural differences between the buildings allow us to look at the country of origin and the influences of the times. Indeed, as stated by Maurice Barrès in his work “La Grande Pitié des Églises de France”, how can we deny the educational value of our religious architecture? The church is not a trinket. It is a soul that contributes to the creation of souls". With today's perspective, this idea is even stronger. Indeed, it is difficult to affirm that the buildings of today are still filled with souls.
A common characteristic of all these buildings is that they have been very well-built, always with a concern for durability and aesthetics. A characteristic that tends to disappear in a society that goes faster and faster and where abundance is the keyword.
This series is our testimony to the sanctuaries of yesteryear now vanishing away.