Mysterious surprises that can be seen on the great monuments of architecture
Sometimes, admiring the old churches and cathedrals, on the facade you can see strange bas-reliefs that do not fit into the architectural style of the building. Say, the stone head of a bull over the gates of a gothic cathedral. Sometimes there are also quite absurd figures - like an astronaut on a building of the XVIII century. BigPikcha reveals the meaning of these architectural "easter eggs".
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence, Italy)
The walls of this famous cathedral are decorated with a large number of inconspicuous details that it is not clear how the wind brought here. For example, on the western side of the building there is the head of a stone bull. No one knows exactly how she ended up here, but there is an interesting version.
Legend has it that in the 15th century, during the construction of the cathedral, one of the masons began an affair with the wife of a wealthy merchant. The deceived husband discovered betrayal and filed a complaint with the church court. In response, the mason carved the head of the bull and installed it on the wall of the cathedral so that the horned face looked directly at the merchant's shop as a reminder who his wife really loved.
Washington Cathedral (USA)
The main cathedral of the Anglican Church in the United States - the sixth largest in the world. It was built for 83 years - from 1907 to 1990. The building is richly decorated with carvings, frescoes and mosaics, and the figures of angels and gargoyles more than four hundred. And another Darth Vader head on the northwest tower.
This strange detail emerged from the results of a children's competition for the best sketch of a gargoyle or chimera for a new cathedral. One of the winners was a sketch of the head of the villain from the Star Wars universe, made by a boy from Nebraska. Probably, Darth Vader was considered quite a chimera.
Church of St. Jakub (Brno, Czech Republic)
The church of St. Jacob was built several times in one place. The first was a Romanesque temple. After its destruction, a Gothic church was erected, which eventually acquired baroque features,including rich stucco. But the two-headed man with bare heels, hovering above the window, is a bust, even for baroque.
According to legend, in the old days another church stood next to the church. And between them there was always a struggle: whose spire would be higher. As a result, the Church of St. Jacob won, and as a mockery of the "competitors" outside, they attached a sassy sculpture that looked at the losers.
But the impish boy is not the strangest element of the decor of this church. In 2001, while working in the dungeons found a terrible crypt. As it turned out, a “bone storage”, in which the remains of more than 50,000 people were found, was built during a plague epidemic. So many people were dying that they simply had no place to bury them. Therefore, the old graves were excavated and the skeletons were carried to the church's dungeon.
New Cathedral (Salamanca, Spain)
This cathedral was built from the 16th to the 18th century instead of the old one, which became small for a rapidly growing city. Therefore, he bears the features of both the late Gothic and Baroque. That's just not clear cosmonaut - is it gothic or baroque?
In addition to space explorer, on the walls of the cathedral you can find a mythical creature, eating ice cream, dragon and other fictional creatures. These are all modern additions that were made during the restoration in 1992.The astronaut, for example, recalls the medieval aspirations for traveling into space and the search for "alien" interference in the affairs of earthmen.
Jacobins Church (Toulouse, France)
The Jacobins Church is a Gothic building of the XIII century, which, like the entire old part of the city, is built of red brick. Inside the hall stands a cancer with the remains of St. Thomas Aquinas. Near it, just behind the altar, a double column rises on a rectangular basis. And from it stretch stone bony hands and puffy crossed legs, apparently crushed by a column of man. Their meaning and origin are unknown, and some inexperienced guides do not even know that they are here.