Resting on solid stone foundations, the Heorot building is a legendary place cited in the Beowulf , an epic poem from Anglo-Saxon literature from the end of the first millennium. This gigantic wooden hall is a mythical and protective place, like the Garden of Eden in the biblical stories. Huge, finely hewn wooden beams rise on either side of its single door. Ajar, it is guarded by two men wearing Celtic helmet, crest, spear and cape. A large gold ring, on the frontispiece, catches the eye, formed of a mysterious scaled dragon biting its tail.
Around him, everything spins in unison: Celtic volutes – spirals and foliage – intertwine on the large wooden walls, letting the heads of griffins or other legendary animal bodies emerge here and there. Canadian illustrator John Franklin Howe worked hard to make this imaginary place visible. Trained in his art in Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin), he forged there, in the shadow of the splendid Romanesque and Gothic cathedral, an overflowing affection for the medieval world, on the frontier of History and its legendary stories, notably Celtic and Nordic.
He thus creates a dreamlike world dear to fans of “fantasy”, often great readers of, for example, Lord of the Rings , epic story by JRR Tolkien (1892-1973), another enthusiast of these ancient worlds. Howe and Tolkien thus build Gothic cathedrals of today where the persevering light of holiness shines despite everything in the middle of the dark world of gargoyles and demons, always threatening.