dragons in architecture

建築に棲むドラゴン

15 February 1973, Switzerland
Gargoyle, Berne Cathedral
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.

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。この切手は、スイスの建築に棲んでいるドラゴン。ガーゴイルとよばれる彫刻です。

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 thoughts on “dragons in architecture

  1. Great Swiss stamps 😀 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 😉

    1. Thank you! Jürgen. Picture of the church is fantastic, also very interesting to see the modern renovation of its interior, as I am designing a chair for church. I like the bench with slats, a lot.

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