Jean-Linard’s “open-air cathedral” and home, an unusual listed property
near to La-Borne and the vineyards in the Centre-Loire region
Henrichemont, CHER center-val-de-loire 18250 FR


In the north of the French department of Cher with its gently undulating landscape as well as its wealth of architectural and artistic heritage, where vines have been grown for more than 2,000 years. This property is right next to La-Borne, a village of potters isolated in the forest amidst the vineyards, not far from Sancerre and Menetou-Salon. Equidistant from the Atlantic Ocean and the Alps, Paris is some 180 km away (160 of which are on the A77 motorway) and a nearby station has 105-minute links to Paris-Bercy.


Jean-Linard’s cathedral stands in an old flint quarry. Even as a young teenager in the 1960’s, he was interested in clay and made regular visits to the craftsmen and artists in the village of La-Borne where potters and ceramists have worked since the 15th century. With ceramist Anne-Kjaersgaard, he finally became a potter. They both constructed their 3-bedroom house with a kiln in keeping with a plan drawn up by Bernard-Leach, whose school was highly influential at that time. Another influence was that of a group of Japanese ceramists including Hamada, Kawai and Tomimoto founders of the Mingei Movement led by Yanagi. In 1962, they created their own school of pottery, where Jean-Linard taught students; Anne- Kjaersgaard would later go on to teach in the United States. His first creations were a virgin with child, birds and a typewriter.
In 1975, Jean-Linard devised a project to build a chapel, which very quickly became a church and then a cathedral in the 1980’s. He began with the choir and a tower built of bricks from the demolition of a neighbouring kiln. He was to devote a large part of the last twenty-six years of his life to it.
Potter, sculptor, painter and builder, this artist initially used clay for creating cats and birds, the tail of which symbolised peace and fraternity. Gradually an entire range of other animals appeared; all were made using the “raku” technique. This enamelling process, developed by the Japanese in the 16th century, is the one used for glazing 3-coloured Chinese pottery. Jean-Linard also used iron, mosaic as well as cement and some of his creations during his last ten years were to be monumental. For instance, his so-called “guardians of the temple” are characters made of iron and mosaic that stand almost two metres high. He redesigned his house by creating new rooms and redoing roofs which he enhanced with coloured tiles, sculptures, chimney stacks and cat flower pots, all undeniably exuding charm. Many of the first names of the members of his family are engraved there, mixed with those of evangelist saints. He was married four times and had a total of eight children. His last wife, Anne-Marie, still lives in the place where the artist was buried in 2010, continuing his spirit and contributing to the preservation of the site.

The dwelling

Jean-Linard used to say “A house is like a man, you change as you get older and a house has to do the same”. His home is therefore the transcription of the paths taken throughout a lifetime. Respectful of the environment, it was progressively extended using second-hand materials gleaned locally. The artist added other houses and miscellaneous workshops as well as exhibition rooms intended to promote his work.

Our opinion

The “cathedral” is built in an old flint quarry and it is the spirit of the wind that plays its tune. Just like the Sagrada-Familia or the Palais-Idéal-du-Facteur-Cheval, this place transports visitors into another universe, guided by the unusual creativity of the artist who mixed colours, materials and shapes in his quest for peace and liberty. This work is, by definition, unique hence the need to safeguard the melting pot where it was designed and Jean-Linard’s family is keen to see it preserved. This property, comprising the house and the cathedral, has been listed as a French Historic Monument since 2012. The numerous tax and other advantages resulting from this listing will enable new owners to continue maintaining and even to enhance this unusual work of art.

Exclusive sale

430 000 €
Fees at the Vendor’s expense

See the fee rates

Reference 358236

Land registry surface area 2 ha 85 a 25 ca
Main building surface area 225 m2
Outbuilding surface area 498 m2
Number of bedrooms 4

French Energy Performance Diagnosis

Regional representative

Nelly Parisot +33 1 42 84 80 85



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NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.

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