In the center of Luneburg is a statue of a lion, very modern. Luna or lune means moon in several languages. Lunar for us.
1. History from another angle
History's essence can be recreated in imagined attitude, pending documentation of its actual accuracy, is that so?
Luneburg's Lion Statue is an example.
This shows Henry the Lion, who spearheaded (with Albert the Bear of Brandenburg) the Pope's Crusade against the Wends, a Slavic group that long earlier had migrated to northern and eastern Europe, but who resisted Germanization, and the forced conversions to "Christianity" (when did the Founder say to kill all who disagreed with his sermons and example, one may ask). The Northern Crusades were brutal, and often against fellow Christians who had been converted already, but by Orthodox, not the Pope, after the Great Schism. See Crusades at http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Crusades.aspx.
And see the History of the Wends,one of the targets of the Northern Crusades. They had learned to hold their own in battle, and attack, and even become pirates (thank you, Harald Bluetooth, Dane), as they were beset over time on all sides: http://denmarkroadways.blogspot.com/2011/07/korsor-and-wends-highways-bypass.html
Is this Henry the Lion at the top, Heinrich der Lowe, 1129-1195, Henry of Saxony (Luneberg is in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania) see http://www.angelfire.com/mi4/polcrt/SaxonyAlBran.html.
After 1142, he was known as Henry III, Duke of Saxony; and after 1156, as Henry XII, Duke of Bavaria. His Duchies remained under his control until 1180. He had a handsome face.
|Fair use, Henry the Lion thumbnail, click for Wikimedia|
Who is that at the top of this side of the base of the Lion statue? War demon?
3. The Thirty Years' War
Spanish Bull - Philip IV
Luneburg featured prominently in the course of the later Thirty Years' War, 1618-1648, see http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0822644.html.
Luneburg DE, Spanish Bull Commemorating 30 Years' War
The Spanish joined the Austrians against the Protestants in the Luneburg-Hanover area, as the roughest of broad brush summaries, see http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/world/A0822644.html
See Philip at http://www.pipeline.com/~cwa/TYWHome.htm. There was Philip IV known as Philip the Fair, 1268-1314, King of France; he ordered the dismantling of the Knights' Templar, not at issue here as we understand it. Then there was Philip IV of Spain, 1605-1665, era of the Thirty Years' War.
Thirty Years' War: This was a series of declared wars, undeclared wars, religious and secular issues, well-summarized at the Pipeline site. Teams:
- House of Austria, comprised of Ferdinands II and II, of the House of Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperors; and Philip IV, who was their Spanish cousin.
- Danish, Dutch, French and Swedish
4. The crooked steeple of Luneburg - look past it to the rebuilding.
Luneburg has its crooked steeple, but also its own sense of revival. Here off the square, with the Henry the Lion moon statue; and the church visible, see a Greek revival cafe, complete with Doric columns. These are jarring at first, all jammed in. Then think that medieval buildings also were crowded together, at all angles, wherever space was found on the pathways. Form and function, reimagined.
5. Form and Function
The ultimate moon. Even the necessaries in Germany are forward-looking. Beam me up, Scotty.
In Luneburg, enjoy the decorative, bending demarcations between floors, the the clear weight of the old timbers at higher levels.