Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


11.12.08
  Romanesque Ornaments

I mentioned that one of the features of the Chapter Church in Quedlinburg is the decorative frieze that runs around the main nave. It does so on the outside as well. I got a good view at a piece of it from a window of the abbesses' Renaissance palace that today houses a museum.

Frieze on the main nave of Quedlinburg Cathedral

It is an architectural element that found its way from Italy into German buildings. While in Königslutter the monsters and figures are restricted to the apsis, and the other parts of the frieze (they can be seen on these photos) are merely patterned, Quedlinburg Cathedral shows a mix of monsters and ornaments all the way on the outside - the interior frieze has no monsters, though.

Frieze detail, showing some monsters and animals (partly restored)

Not all Romanesque churches have such friezes (the Weser abbey churches of Lippoldsberg and Bursfelde don't) whereas others take the ornaments a step further, like the Imperial Cathedral in Speyer with its decorative arcades running around the entire building.
 
Comments:
Those are really cool. You knew this of course, which is why you photographed them, but I'm glad you did.
 
They really are great!
 
I like the monsters especially.
 
Thank you, Jonathan. Yes,I'm always on the look out for cool monsters, though it's sometimes difficult to catch a decent shot inside those dimly lit churches. Outside ornaments and the cloisters are better hunting grounds. :)

Thanks, Alianore and Carla. They're fun, aren't they?
 
Those are cool, Gabriele. I like the monsters. Do we know why they used monsters as a decoration?
 
I've seen them before, but never knew what they are called. Thanks, Gabriele.
 
Oh, I love the rabbit with the snake's tail!!!!
 
Shelley, they did in on the margins of manuscripts, too. Weird sense of humour, maybe. Look at that discussion between Willian and Jorge in The Name of the Rose.

Thank you, Barbara and Stag. I hope that one's not a plotbunny. :)
 
What a fantastic frieze - I love the monsters!
 
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The Lost Fort is a blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK and other places, with essays on Roman and Mediaeval history illustrated with lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes. You may also find the odd essay about geology or Mediaeval literature.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.

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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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