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Mermaids (fr: Sirène; it: Serena)





Paradoxplace Pages about Medieval Christian Church Architecture, Art and History









A temptress high up on the tower of St Peter, Lenton (Linconshire) - the "church of Angels"





All Saints, Upper Sheringham, Norfolk.



photo © Günter Endres


The works !  Bicaudal beauty with comb and mirror and asymmetric hair (not seen that before!), her powers neutered by a nose job.

She is to be found at Cartmel Priory Church in Lancashire. 




Mermen guard the corners of the font of the Church of Saint George, Anstey (Hertfordshire)




A weathered little mermaid from the tympanum of the richly decorated South Door of the church of Saint Nicholas, Barfreston (Kent).



Link to lots more photos from the Flickr Sirena bicaudata group




This 560 year old mermaid holds a mirror in her right hand, and would earlier have been holding a comb in her left (like her French sister lower down in the page).


St Laurence, Ludlow (Shropshire) - Misericord 1430 - 1450




This mermaid in a roof boss in Sherborne Abbey has hung on to her mirror, comb and nipples (the advantages of being well well out of reach).



Sherborne Abbey, Dorset







St-Pierre Bessuéjouls (near Espalion)


link to more photos of the little pilgrims' chapel         download as free desktop




St-Pierre de la Bouïsse, St-Côme-d'Olt (Lot (Olt) Valley)




St-Pierre Aulnay



Photo © Holly Hayes, Sacred Destinations


A mermaid helps with the fishing - priory church of Notre Dame de Cunault, in western Loire country between Angers and Saumur.



Link to another photo of the  mermaid capital at Cunault - the photo is one of a large collection put together by Julianna Lees' on her Picasa Web photo pages - she also has a site devoted to green men



photo © Tina Negus


This handsome merman also lives around Saumur - in Candes Saint Martin







Basilique St-Julien-de-Brioude




A mermaid keystone in a cloister arch at Notre Dame Cathedral, Le-Puy-en-Velay - looks a bit like apprentice work from a 1800's rebuild,

but the two little capital fellas nearby are more like the real Romanesque thing!




Postcard Photo


A Siren Capital rescued by Viollet-le-Duc during 1800s restorations and now in the rarely open museum at Vézelay







Merman and flying angel - south-west nave door, Basilica of Ste-Madeleine, Vézelay




A Mermaid gate crashes the cycle of Zodiac Signs and Monthly Activities at the great pilgrimage basilica of Ste-Madeleine, Vézelay




Notre Dame de Villefranche-de-Rouergue - one of a rare set of in-situ (and unmonstered) misericords in France.




Bicaudal spandrel intruder with headed tails, from the facade of Notre Dame la Grande in Poitiers, France






Puerta de las Platerias - Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (Spain)



In the archivolts in the Puerta de las Platerias there is a a sad little fish carrying mermaid who seems to have been arrowed by the dashing Sagittarius on the opposite side of the archivolts.








Postcard Photo


A centaur-mermaid with another Spanish Sagittarius in the upper level of the old cloisters of Santo Domingo de Silos






Photo © Robert Veel - Academy Travel


An eagle holding a two bodied one headed something, a mermaid (topped by a greenish man) and lots of spectators - S Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia.  Fascinating to know who the spectator heads were modelled on - the only other sculptured representation like this we have seen is in Monte Sant'Angelo in Puglia.


A paradox expedition to the Romanesque Po Valley churches grows more likely by the photo !



Photo © Julianna Lees


A sister mermaid and landman on a door capital in S Pietro in Ciel d'Oro, Pavia



Photo © Robert Veel - Academy Travel


A mermaids' capital in Santa Croce, Parma - in the centre the Luxuria serpents are moving in



Photo © Holly Hayes, Sacred Destinations


Byzantine floor mosaic (c500), Cattedrale di Pesaro (le Marche)


photo from Flickr by Fioresoleil, who is a stunning photographer


A similarly spiky tailed lady can be found in the church of San Giovanni Evangelista, Ravenna.





A pair of mermaids doing a bit of head butting in San Quirico Val d'Orcia




Large floor mosaic (c1150), Cattedrale di Santa Maria Annunciata, Otranto (Puglia)




A bicaudal merman doing something personally hurtful in the magnificent Cattedrale di San Valentino, Bitonto (Puglia)


whilst mono and bi caudal sea people abound in the surrounds of  the Cathedral's West Door






Whilst bicaudalism is all the go in Italy, this is the only one we have ever seen with a modestly crossed tail - she's over 800 years old, still a virgin, and you'll find her in Trani Cathedral.



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