Nearby places: Santiago de Compostela, Salamanca


Mystic "Castle"

So colossal the Spanish Monasteries/Churches can be! Totally impressive. I came here because my intuition had whispered something into my ear. Actually, I didn't know anything about this complex. That would quickly change. For at the frontside of the door.....I stood there like nailed


An overwhelming view. Green Men everywhere! Above, below, left and right. Closely packed. Very balanced faces as well as men who gone out of their mind. Masks as decoration and as main players. So many representatives of the aristocracy as Green Men I hadn't seen before. A bastion of very stubborn mystic Godseekers that is how it looked like. And still, because today it is inhabited once again by a contemplative group, a spiritual master of their own included.....

First of all I started to photograph the peripherical images. In order to slowly move to the center. (characteristic of somebody who knows how to enjoy life....haha). First an "Asherah" pillar (later Byzantinian), main feature of the holy places of the early MotherGoddess. Next to it this funny face. It could be Baal, obviously "incognito". He is beautiful, anyway...

The heraldy of a prince: a Green Man below, one above who is bearing the crown

Strong and selfconscious

At this sight I could imagine Wagner music...."Joyfully we enter this honorable hall"....Indeed, a feeling of triumph. Here I have come home, my whole quest was just for this, to see this.....Then it became silent in front of so much abundance...





A Templer Cross with 6! Green Men all around

Did you grasp it already.....these were Templer. Officially Cisterciens, that's right, far as I understand it ......monks who were at the same time hosts i.e. allies i.e. comrades to the Templer...
Explanation: Two Green Men of the aristocracy, together with the Templer Cross, that is protected by four other Green Men. The former composed and turned within, the latter aggressive toward the outside world. It is the reason why such a remote area (Osiera) had been chosen in the first place: to be able to devote themselves to their religion in peace...
That doesn' mean they had to stay anonymous. Both men and women show all they are and have....It confirms their incredible trust, indeed impertinence. They liked to be seen...
Women are in no way subordinate to men. On the contrary, to show yourself with such voluptuous breasts proves their equal status or more, to say the least...These people possibly were the supporters of the religious community. Their commitment is expressed by the fact that they preferred to be portrayed as Green Men and Wise Women. Impressive!
What impresses me also ist the exotic touch. You feel you are in a different culture. It is a relief to experience this wealth in the middle of our rationalized, one-dimensional, self-destructive society....
The church has a beautiful front portal, as well. Two impressive heraldies - one with a Tree of Life (Cosmic Mother) in the center - and two Green Men below, together with various princely child figures clothed in leaves..

St.Bernard as Servant to the Cosmic Mother.....the Mother Scallop behind his head is proving it.....



  2000 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 12/31/09