Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Catholic Bamberg: House Shrines, Wayside Crosses and Easter Wells

Another wonderful aspect of the Catholic culture which permeates Bamberg are the countless shrines and crosses on houses and along the roads in the surrounding countryside, which help to sanctify everyday life. One such example we have already seen in the introductory post of the series. Here is a selection of others (again, click on all images to see - really - large versions).
St. James the Greater:

The Most Holy Trinity:

The Holy Family:

The Mother of God:

And my personal favourite, St. Joseph above a butcher's:

Now some wayside Crosses:

The next one has an inscription on its base which means: "Jesus may thy holy blood benefit us and the poor souls!" (in German it's a rhyme).

In this context, there is another tradition more specific to Franconia, the region where Bamberg lies: the Easter well. During Eastertide, wells are decorated with fresh green, coloured ribbons and Easter eggs, beautifully taking up the liturgical connection of Easter, the source of the new life in Christ, and Baptism. Here are two examples (if you do a google image search for "Osterbrunnen", you can find some quite spectacular ones from villages which try to outdo each other).

The second one is from the courtyard of the Bamberg seminary:

Previous entries of the Bamberg series:

A Piece of Heaven on Earth: Bamberg

The Church of St. Getreu

More recent articles:

For more articles, see the NLM archives: