dragons in architecture / 建築に棲むドラゴン

January 11, 2012


15 February 1973, Switzerland
Gargoyle, Berne Cathedral
Roman Capital, Jean-Baptiste Church, Grandson
design: H. Hartmann
engrave: A Yersin

There are Chinese origin dragons and European mythical dragons. European dragons have wings, as well as a long beak with sharp teeth – often their mouths are wide open and spitting fire.  I think the top one is a dragon head ( with a crown and fancy lace ) gargoyle.

I enjoy spotting creatures that live on architecture in European cities and towns.  A Gargoyle is a carved stone figure with a spout designed to convey water from a roof.  They are often imaginary creatures or angry faced humans – grotesque.  If you want to break into a church at night, they will scare you off for sure.

The second stamp shows a capital in the Church of Sain-Jean-Baptiste in Grandson, Saint Michael is killing a dragon with a spear.

龍には中国起源の竜と、ヨーロッパ神話のドラゴンと2種類あるのですね。ドラゴンには羽があって胴体が少し太いけれど、鋭い歯や空を飛んで火を噴くことなど、似ている特徴も多くて興味深い。この2枚の切手は、スイスの建築に棲んでいるドラゴンたち – 1枚目はガーゴイルとよばれる彫刻、2枚目はドラゴンと戦う大天使・ミカエルの柱頭です。

ガーゴイルは屋根の水を流す樋の役割をする彫刻ですが、怪物や怖い顔の人が建物から突き出ています。夜闇にまぎれて教会に泥棒に入ろうとすると、こんな怪獣たちににらまれて怖い、、、諦める。それが機能だったのでは?と想像します。

4 Responses to “dragons in architecture / 建築に棲むドラゴン”

  1. Jürgen Says:

    Great Swiss stamps :D Grandson is very close from where I live ! The churche has been renovated in some years ago.

    here a document (in French but with nice pictures :) ) concerning that renovation !

    If one day you decide to visit the Western part of Switzerland, drop me a mail ;)


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