lipprose Werner Nolte über mittelalterliche Architektur und Geschichte
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Cows on the Tower

 
 
Medieval buildings are often rich with whimsical elements, conceived by architects and sculptors.   Particularly peculiar was the idea in 1200 to decorate the towers of the Gothic Laon Cathedral with 16 sculptures of cows.
 
    IMG 5465  

This idea found its imitators in Bamberg, during the first half of the 13th century. The so-called "Cathedral Cows" on Bamberg Cathedral's Gothic western towers - also copies of the Laon towers - are smaller and intended to represent mules.

 

In both cases, the intention was probably to create a monument for these beasts of burden, which had worked so hard to assist with the erection of the church.

 

 

  Translation: Erik Eising (M.A.)