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Vacation Pics: Masonic Symbols on 13th century church

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posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 02:06 PM
I've been on a mini vacation last weekend in a small town in southern Germany called Kenzingen, close to Switzerland. They have this beautiful catholic church there, "St Laurentius", built in the 13th century. And on the walls I found symbols of the builders that I thought might be well worth of a little ATS picture thread.

The town itself was built in 1249 A.D.

There are still many corners and buildings that have a very medieval look to them, which is rare in Germany because of the war.

There's lots of symbolism on the old buildings as well:

The church is located about in the center of the town.

Next to the side entrance I found this piece of craftsmanship:

especially interesting, the top and bottom elements:
Same guys who brought us the US Dollar I suppose ; )

Skull and bones:

In the middle is some sort of grail ?

Here's a shot from the inside:

Where they have a real skeleton, I think it is St Laurentius himself : )

And more skull and bones from the inside:

Hope you like the images, and maybe someone with masonic insight can share some knowledge about what the symbols mean. Did the church know that they represent the masonic order ? I've got some more of paintings and other stone carvings from the inside, so if there's interest I may post these as well.

I also heard a little story from a local who said one day a couple hundred years back a local man wanted to have a tavern built. So he asked the masons but since he had not enough gold they asked for his son as payment and he allegedly signed the pact. So the free-masons built the tavern, but in the last night the man reconsidered and hid his son or said he died or something ( Sorry I don't remember all the details exactly ). So the free-masons allegedly cursed the tavern and since then there has only been death and bad luck, it burned down a couple times etc thought that'd make a nice camp-fire tale as well, not vouching for its authenticity, but that's how I was told it happened upon inquiring about free-masons in this town.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 02:37 PM

OMG are you saying masons built things?

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 02:41 PM
reply to post by H1ght3chHippie

knocked me off my man,bet you had a nice tour....great pics
....33 stars and a flag
edit on 2-6-2012 by SarnholeOntarable because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 02:43 PM
reply to post by benrl

Don't be silly .. it's a well known fact they only etched the signs of their secret society into buildings *after* someone else built them.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by SarnholeOntarable

Glad you like it, I'll be there again in July and am going to explore the surrounding towns, they all got ancient churches and places.

Here's a close up of the inscriptions .. it#s very hard to read it says something like "Here rests The .... Sir ... Born Anno November 1744 Died November 1804 a specially charitable .. of the "local Council" ( sic ? )

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:05 PM
Well you cannot say it's masonry because "Freemasonry" really didn't form into what we know of today until around the 1500-1600s.

However, Orders of Chivalry such as the Knights Templar (1129) reach far back enough to be connected possibly.

This is Germany though, so let's go with the German Order, the Teutonic Knights.

Thanks for the photos by the way, it's really quite interesting.

I am still somewhat unsure about the skull depictions, however I have an idea that I will share, although I may be mistakenly connecting them (?).

The skull could represent "Baphomet":

The indictment (acte d'accusation) published by the court of Rome set forth ... "that in all the provinces they had idols, that is to say, heads, some of which had three faces, others but one; sometimes, it was a human skull ... That in their assemblies, and especially in their grand chapters, they worshipped the idol as a god, as their saviour, saying that this head could save them, that it bestowed on the order all its wealth, made the trees flower, and the plants of the earth to sprout forth."

History of France Vol 1

Baphomet Wiki

Essentially it was not unheard of for the use of a head/skull as a form of idol or object representing greater ideals about their mythology. The skull most likely represents a duality concept although I admit I would like to know more details.

Information is difficult to come by, but I'll keep digging and see what I come across.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:12 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

Very interesting, thank you for the information. There were at least two places where the skull and bones symbols were engraved. One inside and one outside. The one outside has an inscription dating to 1804 so that would explain the all seeing eye as a symbol of free-masons.

I have to admit that I didn't read a lot about masonry / free-masonry yet. I wanted to interview the priest about the history of the church, but alas he wasn't present when I was there.

Here's the church's website: St Laurentius Church

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:25 PM
Around the skull we have some interesting icons depicted.

On the right side I would call the object with reeds hanging over leftwards a "Flail" because it looks almost like the Egyptian royal flail depicted in so many places. Flail wiki Look at 3rd picture on bottom right.

Crook and Flail Egypt

Ok now the Crook is actually a Shepard's Staff in most Egyptian depictions, however it is key to note that the Crook also can represent the Scepter (instrument by which rule is achieved, it's an incentive / punishment tool to control subjects). Now when it becomes a Shepard's Staff it represents good leadership, merciful, as a good Shepard would take care of his flock.

In this depiction it actually appears as a Scepter (on the left side of the skull), and to show this I will link another page which lists the Crook/Flail and the Scepter iconography so that you can compare them yourselves. It's pretty clear that the item in question is most likely a scepter, but due to the poor image quality (need very close up details) it is difficult to know for absolute sure.

Egyptian emblems
Scroll down to the "Scepter" section. Compare the one on the left with the one in the OP's photographs.

The Scepter/Rod/Staff/Mace/Flail are symbols of rulership and authority. The flail specifically supposedly represents giving food to / feeding the people, while the rod/staff/mace/scepter represent leadership itself.
Due to the difficulty in seeing the item up close, I admit it looks like a strange type of candle stick as well, but what candle has a crooked top? Doesn't make sense the wax would drip all over and the fire would burn the wax improperly ruining the candle.

Here is a link to a page about the version of Egyptian Staff / Scepter that was crooked at the top, and had a wide base.
Egyptian "WAS" Secpter
Compare and contrast.

Continuing in next post.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:36 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

The similarities to the Egyptian symbolism are very striking indeed, appears the Elite goes back a looong way.

I've uploaded a higher resolution picture of the item in question.

Not sure what to make of it. Looks like two separate objects connected by a little string in the middle with something like flames or fringes coming out at the end.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:42 PM
I really hate quoting dan brown when it is to do with the masons ... but...... damn it!!!

the table with the hour glass, skull and candle is described in his book the lost symbol. it's an alter where a mason goes to contemplate ones existence in the world.

apparently .....

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:44 PM
also, what is that below the all seeing eye? kinds looks like a sextant.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:45 PM
Also next to the skull is the obvious hourglass symbol representing time, the concept of time, or possibly "control over / mastery of time"(?).

Above this we have the Laurel Wreath, which is pretty interesting in of itself.

In ancient Greece wreaths were awarded to victors, both in athletic competitions, including the ancient Olympics made of wild olive-tree known as "kotinos" (κότινος),[1] (sc. at Olympia) and in poetic meets; in Rome they were symbols of martial victory, crowning a successful commander during his triumph.

So it is a symbol of victory and domination and prowess.

What is on the inside of the wreath is what appears to be a grail / cup. I cannot tell if the two etchings coming off the sides of the cup are meant to be water flowing over, or some sort of ribbon laid on top dangling off the sides. Since I have no knowledge of the use of ribbons on cups, but I do know about symbolism of cups with water flowing, I will go with the water possibility and explore this.

Typically the cup represents wealth, not necessarily material wealth, but spiritual, mental, as well. When the cup is depicted overflowing that represents an abundance of wealth, and overflowing so to speak.

Here is a perfect example of what I am talking about : Tarot - Ace of Cups Please look at the wiki link and the photograph of the Ace of Cups card.

The item on top of the cup is an upside down dove, btw.

Above that we have the 8 pointed star / wheel. This represents the star of Venus/Ishtar and also the "wheel of life" there are many many examples to show this from.

Dharmacakra (Buddhism)
Wheel of the Year (neopagan)
From a 5th c Greek vase.

Furthermore, the '8' of Wands in Aleister Crowley's Thoth Tarot deck features prominently an eight-pointed star with arrows at the ends. Crowley described the card as representing "energy" scattering at "high velocity" that had managed to create the depicted eight-pointed figure.

Symbol of chaos wiki

Star polygon wiki

Here is a link discussing the 8point star in more detail with more photos.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:46 PM
reply to post by Scaledown

So why is the candle broken in the middle .. looks weird. And it looks a bit more like fringes coming out of the top, rather than a flame shaped like I'd expect from a candle.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:49 PM
reply to post by H1ght3chHippie

broken candle is very very strange, if by going by that description it would mean darkeness, trying to find ones path or death i'm guessing, very dark. . . .

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:50 PM
reply to post by H1ght3chHippie

Maybe it is a broken candle and the wick is what is holding the other piece(?).

However I gotta admit they must be making it look like the Crook and Flail purposely. It's too uncanny of a coincidence and the symbolism is very relevant for the subject matter at hand.

When I see the Eye of Horus/Ra next to something like a crooked candle and a flail made of reeds....I can't help but jump to that conclusion so forgive my ignorance and haste.

Thanks for the higher resolution photo I am enjoying this a lot. Good thread idea bringing this up by the way! Love looking at historical architecture.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:54 PM
You know that there are some major problems to this I am having.

#1 The relief is quite worn down by erosion and thus many of the symbols are not so sharp and it is difficult to tell in many cases.

#2 Since we are not initiates into whatever group created this (Teutons?), figuring out what the symbols mean to them specifically can be a great challenge. As a result the best we can do is find what the symbols meant to other people/cultures that we do know about and draw our conclusions from there.

I know it's not the best thing but it's probably the most we can achieve as uninitiated bystanders simply using google and wiki as sources.
edit on 2-6-2012 by muzzleflash because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:54 PM
reply to post by muzzleflash

are you sure it's a flail? i remember reading something about masons and barley or corn and harvests??

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 03:55 PM
reply to post by H1ght3chHippie

Your avatar is of the 8 pointed star too actually.

Just a funny coincidence.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 04:07 PM
There is a name on the inscription panel but I have a very hard time making anything out.

Here are a couple lodges from the towns nearby.

Grand Lodge of Freemasons of Germany ( Since 1770 )

Aquarius Lodge

Noble Outlook

This appears to be the oldest lodge in Freiburg.

posted on Jun, 2 2012 @ 04:09 PM

Originally posted by Scaledown
reply to post by muzzleflash

are you sure it's a flail? i remember reading something about masons and barley or corn and harvests??

Here is a picture of a sheath of barley in symbolism.

So right I don't actually know for absolute sure since I didn't make the relief and I am not an owner of it nor do I have access to it's history.

But compare and contrast with things that we do know.
Which of the two seems more likely?

I'm still looking for something I saw a long time ago that should be able to help shed more insight into this particular symbol and it's relation to ancient Egypt. I'll keep digging.

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