Nearby places: Milano, Verona


The famous bridge

Church San Michele

In the church there are many "Sirenes", an aspect of the ancient Goddesses

The Church of the Crusade

Together with a Green Man, Her lover/ protector

Isn't She impressive?




Just like these two Green Men

Green Man with His predecessor: the Green Beast

Very ancient Mermaid


Man in nature: Green Man

Green Cat, together with two beasts


Saint crushing head of Green Man (or ancient God) while trying to get rid of beasts

Green Cat

Man in nature: Green Man

From Sirenes (above, left), men in nature to probably ancient Goddesses (below, left and right) with open vulvas e.g. covered with foliage

The crypt

The capitals are all decorated with Green Cats. What is unique are the images of a Middle Eastern lilly ("Nile Lotus") with corresponding leaves. It is proof that the carvers were informed about these plants first hand e.g. got the information of the crusaders
The Green Cat is a Green Beast, inspired by the Egyptian Cat God
Another proof of direct influence from the Middle East are the various "Lady and Her Beasts". It symbolizes the Great Mother as the Lady of nature in general, of the animals and in particular of Her Sons/Lovers. Men identified themselves with the object of hunt or other aimals. Later the Beasts were portrayed as they are: as Green Men  

The miracle is that the "Lady and Her Beasts" (here with dragons) can e.g. be found in various cultures e.g. in India, Tibet, China and Java.....



Moreover She is an exact copy of Assyrian/Canaanite Goddesses

Crucial was the Second Crusade. King Louis VII, together with his wife Eleonore of Aquitane (1122-1204) went to the Holy Land, accompanied by...Frederick Barbarossa and his king Konrad III. The Crusade was a disaster, but the inspiration they received priceless. Their way back was per boat, which allowed them to transport a lot of "souvenirs". Later Frederick was crowned king of Italy in....Pavia 

Once again the same symbolism

Sirene, Her face resembles almost exactly the "baubo" (showing their vulva) Goddesses of Palestine

Grail Vessel with birds, symbolizing the Cosmic Womb of Abundance

These pictures have been taken under extremely difficult circumstances.

Lady and Her Beasts

Green Man

The fact that both Near Eastern Goddesses and Gods (Green Men) are so manifold in the church of San Michele, apparently without much objections of the clergy, indicates that "Pagan" belief was widespread in Northern Italy of that time. And not only there. It doesn't surprise that especially Eleonore of Aquitaine was a very "independent" women, introducing all kinds of "questionable" practices e.g. the entire Troubadour Movement was inspired by her. The former was later condemned by the Church, because....the danger to worship women as goddesses.....  


pav-5592.jpg (13764 bytes)

Green Cats

Pavia, a fascinating ancient gem, planted into a "Christian" world, still to be admired. Unfortunately, many images have suffered from erosion. I suspect that there aren't many people in charge, who realize the uniqueness of these treasures


  2000-2010 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 12/22/11