Continuing on my journey down memory lane, back to the summer I spent studying French in Strasbourg, France. There are so many anecdotes and photos to share that I’m breaking them up…plus it keeps you readers coming back for more! So, without further adieu….
This may not seem like anything special to you, but this facade is the home of so many memories! This was the lovely (and sometimes exasperating building) in which I was housed for a month. It had no air conditioning, no elevator (and of course I was on the fourth floor), small showers, maze-like corridors, etc, but whatever its faults it redeemed itself by having an amazing view. Plus, I was lucky enough to have a corner room, which meant that I had a balcony! From this very balcony I took a barrage of photos of the city skyline (including many of the photos from the last post), the canal, and anything else I found interesting. When I grew tired of walking around the city or being surrounded by my school chums (many of whom were quite annoying) I would sit on the edge of that balcony and gaze down at the passersby, or while away the hours singing along with my favorite artists.
This is from one of the many plazas in Strasbourg, although this one is the most “American”. Very close to this most beautiful building sat a McDonald’s, Claire’s, and a Starbucks! Located in yet another plaza. I love carousels, though I have absolutely no idea why. Maybe it has something to do with their vintage charm…or perhaps I’m still waiting for the carousel animals to come to life and carry me off a la Mary Poppins. I’m not entirely sure, but I believe that this is part of the original wall that used to surround the city. The small plaque that you see was marking it as a historical object, and I snapped this charming photo during a scavenger hunt of the city’s history. The two photos above are of the sculptures on either side of the entrance to the cathedral. My neck was sore for staring up at them, not wanting to miss a single detail. If I remember correctly, these sculptures are meant to depict the righteous crushing the wicked (and spearing them to boot! Do you like your wicked well done or medium rare?). The righteous are supposedly angelic beings, and are depicted as women wearing flowing robes and Grecian dresses, and they are all crowned and carrying spears. What creeped me out horribly was the expression on their faces, and on the faces of the wicked. If you look closely you can make out their malevolent and malicious smirks, and the tortured faces of the wicked (if you’re looking for something to turn you off of religion, this will do it). I believe that a sculpture of Mary holding baby Jesus sits above the main entrance. ( I do have a picture of that…but almost all depictions of Mary and Jesus look alike, and this one was no different.)Here is another story told through sculpture, and while still on the facade of the cathedral, does not sit next to the entrance. This is actually quite an interesting story, and one that many tourist never notice. In the bible (somewhere in Mathew) there is a story about the devil disguising himself as a handsome young man in order to seduce the virgins of the village. Of course, if one were to look closely, you can see the serpents and toads crawling up the young man’s back because the devil can never completely hide his character. Next to the man are the virgins who, of course, are sporting foolish and besotted expressions. Who wouldn’t fall for a guy that looks like a douche, but is holding an apple?! Yes, apparently fruit is the downfall of all women…(insert a horrible amount of sarcasm). There is a legend surrounding the cathedral and the square.
The Devil was riding on the wind surrounding the cathedral when he saw his likeness on the facade. He thought it to be very charming, and, conceited fool that he is, thought that there might be more statues of his likeness inside the building…a building possibly devoted to him. (How he missed the one of Jesus, I’ll never know.) The Devil entered the building, immediately trapping himself inside the holy place. To this day he makes the wind howl from top to bottom and around the cathedral searching for a way out.
*I share my photos in order to give you a look into a world that you might have not seen. Inspect them, share them, use them, but please never claim them as your own.