Ecclesia (Church) and Synagoga (Synagogue), column figures, South Transept Portal, Strasbourg Cathedral

c. 1230
stone, 6' 5"H

Church and Synagogue were common allegorical figures in the Middle Ages. Draped females, they are ways of representing the transition from the Old Law to the New. Church typically wears a crown, carries a cross, and holds a chalice, representing the Redeemer's blood.


Details of Church

Synagogue is always a blindfolded figure, the blindfold representing moral or spiritual blindness or darkness, sin, and ignorance. Often a crown falls from the inclined head of Synagogue and the Tables of the Law fall from her hands.


Details of Synagogue

See also South Transept: The Dormition and Coronation of the Virgin, portal tympana, and Solomon / Western Facade, North Portal: The Life of Jesus, tympanum, and the Virtues Vanquishing the Vices, jamb statues / Western Facade, South Portal: Last Judgment, tympanum, and the Wise and Foolish Virgins, jamb statues.

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