Gilis à Barras – Saint-Front-sur-Lémance, France - Atlas Obscura

Gilis à Barras

Saint-Front-sur-Lémance, France

A bizarre sculpture garden in the south of France. 


In the late 1960’s, artist and mason Jean Prosper Gilis began creating his own sculpture yard and within five years it was complete. Stocked with cement figures that take the form of animals and humans, this bizarre cement zoo makes it seem as though Medusa had presented Gilis with her abilities to turn life to stone.

With his expertise in bricklaying, Gilis managed to create a world of its own right in his backyard. This little paradise sits snugly on a hillside plot of land where cement people, elephants, dogs, bears, zebras, and kangaroos are frozen stiff in their cast.

Gilis died one year after the completion of this sculpture utopia but his legacy will forever remain in his bizarre backyard.

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