Italy
GREEN MEN OF LUCCA
Nearby places: S.Guiliano, Pisa

 


Pagan images right at the gate to the inner city

LUCCA
"A SURPRISE PACKAGE"

The Goat, symbol of Vegetation Gods, later typically demonized as a "Devil" which couldn't stop Lucca to proudly portrey him

Two Green Men

 

The Shell, worldwide symbol of the Cosmic Womb

The Duomo

 

 

One of the portals decorated with two Green Men, apparently two citizens who like to be identified with the "Pagan" God
 

Initially, I was quite disappointed, for there weren't too many Green Men. Fortunately, I found these ones (right, below). The sun was extremely hot, so photographing impaired. The images are very powerful, thus Green Men - just like in Pavia I thought, must originally have been present here  

 

 

 

I had already walked several times along the southern nave of the church, almost instinctively knowing that there should be a treasure hidden there. Only after the fourth time.....I saw VERY tiny figures, very high put on bricks, almost as if they had just put there, consisting of heads with small Green Men below them. Totally intriguing!

Could he be a Cathar? Even if not so, this picture I won't forget. This man is "my hero"....

 

 

 

 

 

It took a long time before I realized what they could be. Comparing them with a couple of other churches in Europe (e.g. Chartres, with which it indeed had a link!), it is most likely, that these faces are of "heretical" people. Probably of Cathars, of whom there were many at that time. To display them as "unbelievers" Green Men were added. The idea of a pillory, like it was custom in those times  

Salomo di Lucca was an inquisitor who "operated" mainly in Florance. In Lucca death penalties were forbidden! Was this another way to denounce opponents?

Renewal through "riding" the Primordial Beast (Great Mother)

Two Green Man participate in this primordial scene

 

 

Lucca, you are unique. You are on the list of my favourites

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  2000-2010 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 12/18/11