lipprose Werner Nolte über mittelalterliche Architektur und Geschichte
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Handles and Grommets

Those with an interest in the quirky aspects of medieval art are constantly able to find new details of which the meaning cannot be explained today, or details that indeed may be meaningless.
 
 
On the exterior and in the interior of the Church of Neuwerk in Goslaer - the construction of which began in the twelfth century - enthusiasts can get their money's worth. Here, only one interesting element in the basilica's central nave can be mentioned.
 
 
 Gslr Neuwerkk 8515 modAPres
 
 
 
 
Some of the half-columns that help carry the vault abandon the wall - and therewith their original task - to protrude the interior space, only to return to the wall again further upward.
 
 
Yet, this is not all. These "handle"-like elements are hung with rings, or they feature a sculpted mask.
 
 
The "grommets" have been interpreted as variations on the "Ouroboros", the antique symbol of the serpent biting into its own tail.
 
 
So-called "little green men" or leaf-masks can be found among the church's ornaments as well.
 
 
 
 
Translation: Erik Eising (MA)

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