Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Lyon - remains of a tower

What fascinates me with old cities, is the remains from all ages standing side by side. Lyon has two thousand years of history and through these millenniums people have lived and worked, and bridges, churches, palaces and houses are left behind as memories of the generations that once were there.

I found a very interesting example close to my hotel. This narrow building squeezed in between two apartment blocks is much older than the buildings surrounding it, maybe 700-800 years older.

I do not know whether it is a part of a building that once were there, maybe it was a tower. It dates, for sure, back to the Romanesque period, the style in architecture that dominated Europe from the 1oth to the 12th century, when the Gothic style took over.

What differentiates the Romanesque from the Gothic style is the rounded arches, and a massive solidity and strength. It is the counterpart of the Gothic architecture, simple and solid.

This is seen on this door. Whereas Gothic doors are surrounding by statues and ornaments as delicate as lace, this portal have one ornamental line on the top.

The different coloured stones remind you of the byzantine architecture. Two Corinthian style columns are flanking the wooden door, very different in style from its surroundings. The door is in rococo style, and over it you see a bishops head cloth - a tiara over two crossed keys.

The keys represent Saint Peter, the Apostle. He was Saint Peter, the rock, on which Jesus would build his church and who guards the entrance of the heavens.

The more I think of it, I am convinced that this once was a tower of an earlier ecclesiastical building. Over the door there is a very narrow window and a decorative border on the top of the building. Maybe the tower continued from here and further up, who knows?

Maybe you know of this building. If so, let me know, so I can continue this story.



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