lipprose Werner Nolte über mittelalterliche Architektur und Geschichte
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Knotted Columns

   
are rare and can be found mostly in Italy.
 
 
They are usually designed to represent two columns knotted together.
 
 
Many mystic notions surround these Romanesque sculptural works. Knots were regarded as symbols for 'holding' and 'connecting'. Knotted columns, more specifically, were associated with defensive magic and Freemasonry. 
 
 
  Grópina 016 klein  Tos1(1)
San Pietro, Gropina, Tuscany
 
 
 
At the beautiful parish church of San Pietro in Gropina, southern Tuscany, a knotted column is exactly placed at the apex of the exterior dwarf gallery of the choir. The church's interior features a second knotted column as decoration of the altar.  
 
 
  S Quirico OrciaSüdtosk small 043Tos1(1)
San Quirico, Orcia, Tuscany
 
 
 
Knotted columns are usually found at the entrances of buildings, for example on the portal of San Quirico in Orcia (also southern Tuscany).   In Germany they can be found at Würzburg Cathedral.  
 
 
All this raises one question: what would the ancient Greeks think of these art works by their medieval colleagues?       
 
 
 
Translation Erik Eising (M.A.)