Mosaic Column from the Temple of Ninhursag

Mosaic Column from the Temple of Ninhursag

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12 Mosaics to Marvel At

Mosaics are pictures and patterns made from arrangements of smaller pieces of material such as colored glass, stone, beads or shells - known as tesserae. They've been used in decor since Mesopotamia in the 3rd millenium and became widespread around the Middle East and Europe. Take a look at these incredible examples of mosaics from art history:

Mosaic Bowl, by Unknown, 1st century B.C.

Luxury mosaic glass bowls were a status symbol for wealthy Roman families, as they were expensive, complex and labor-intensive to make. This bowl was created by making rods of blue, yellow and white glass and then stretching them out and slicing them up. These slices would then have been arranged in a circle, melted together and sagged over a mold to form the shape.

Mosaic with hunting scene, by Unknown, Early IVth century AD

The floors of Roman buildings were often decorated with intricate mosaics that captured scenes of history and everyday life, meaning they provide an invaluable record of the activities and culture at the time. This large polychrome Italian mosaic depicts a detailed scene of wild animals being captured for the circus games. It measures in at 1500x900cm and is part of the remains found in Rome of the residence of the emperor Licinius Gallieno.

Mosaic of Eros, by Unknown

As producing sophisticated mosaic pictures was difficult work, often the designs would be made up of a centerpiece known as an emblemata, made remotely in a workshop and transported when completed. Simpler pattern work was then added around it and the emblemata could also be removed for reuse elsewhere. This emblemata from some 1st century A.D. ruins in Spain depicts the cycle of life in its corners, different pictures of animals and hunting and scenes from various mythical stories. Click to zoom in and see them in detail.

The Medusa Mosaic, by Unknown

It was common for Roman mosaics to follow the Hellenistic style and depict scenes from Greek mythology. This floor mosaic depicts the head of Medusa, the snake-haired mythical creature who would turn people who met her gaze to stone. It was discovered in 1845 in the Catalonian town of Tarragona, in what was the residential zone of the Roman city. It would have been part of a "domus", an upper class home.

Centaur mosaic from the Villa Hadriana, by Unknown

Over time, craftsmanship improved and mosaics became even more realistic, and more detailed portrayals became more common. This sprawling floor mosaic is another example from a luxurious Roman villa, this time owned by the emperor Hadrian on a site near Tivoli, Italy. It will have formed part of the decoration of the dining room in the complex's main palace and depicts a dramatic fight between two centaurs and some wild cats.

Mosaic Column, 2500 BC

The earliest example of mosaic in our list, this column was excavated from the small site of Tell al-'Ubaid, close to the remains of the ancient Mesopotamian city of Ur. It dates back to 2500 B.C., which makes it clear why mosaics are often called 'eternal pictures.' It had fallen from the front of a temple dedicated to the Sumerian goddess Ninhursag and is covered with tesserae of mother-of-pearl, pink limestone, and black shale.

Mosaic Panel, by Unknown, 15th century AD

This panel is from Central Asia from the time of the Timurid Empire, which lasted from around 1370 to 1507. The Timurid dynasty originated from a Mongol tribe who were the remnants of Genghis Khan's army who went on to adopt Islam and Persian literary and high culture. On this panel you can see a verse of the Qur'an written in white Kufic script, surrounded by blue cobalt, turquoise, emerald green, white and amber tesserae.

Mihrab (prayer niche), by Unknown, Late 15th century - 16th century

According to Muslim faith, art that depicts the human form is disrespectful so the mosaic art form is widely found in religious buildings in the Islamic world due to its geometric and abstract nature. This is a mihrab, a niche in the wall in a mosque that faces Mecca. In the 15th-18th centuries, mihrabs in Iran were decorated with mosaics, often with inscriptions from the Qu'ran integrated into the pattern. This example is from a late 15th or early 16th-century mosque in eastern Iran or central Asia.

Gaudi Bench, by Moema Branquinho, 2014

In the early 1900s, the Catalan modernist architect Antoni Gaudí was a pioneer in the trencadís technique, where tile shards and broken chinaware are cemented together to be artistically recycled as a mosaic. He often used discarded pieces of ceramic tile collected from a Spanish factory, or discarded by other manufacturers. This bench from Rio de Janeiro is inspired by his methods.

Hanging Head Dragonfly Shade on Mosaic and Turtleback Base, by Louis Comfort Tiffany, 1906

Mosaics aren't just for vast floor and wall coverings, and can also extend to more modest and small-scale artistic efforts. This Tiffany lamp comprises of a mosaic base with a graduated color pattern of delicate glass shards. Tiffany Studios mass-produced these bases and dragonfly shades, but varied the color scheme of each object to make each one individual.

Stirry Stirry Sky, by Rohan Wealleans, 2009

This artwork by New Zealand painter Rohan Wealleans is a new take on the ancient medium: the tesserae used in this mosaic are actually small pieces of hardened paint. In his work, Wealleans builds up thick layers of colors, which he carves and manipulates, leaving many off-cuts of paint. He recycled this material from his studio floor - and you can also see a dissected slab of a ball of pure paint that he built up over a year.

Octopus, by Invader, 2011-2012

This is an example of a modern-day mosaic by French urban artist Invader. His work uses square ceramic tiles to create the effect of the crude pixellation from 8-bit video games of the 1970s and 80s. His video gamecharacter creations can be seen in more than 65 cities in 33 countries.

Soaring 160 feet high, with a diameter of 131 feet, the grand feature of the Hagia Sophia was its large central dome. The dome and the church were designed by architects Anthemios of Tralles and Isidoros of Miletos, but unlike the dome of the Pantheon, which has never faltered, an earthquake in 558 CE caused the Hagia Sophia's dome to collapse. It was rebuilt to a height of 182 feet, and the walls were reinforced in 562 CE. The dome's weight is supported by a series of smaller domes, arcades, and four large arches.

To fortify (and beautify) the interior of the church, columns from the long-abandoned and destroyed Temple of Artemis in Ephesus were used for the Hagia Sophia. Additional building materials may also have come from ancient sites in Baalbeck and Pergamom.

Symbol of the Acacia

The Acacia is a highly symbolic plant with both quasi-religious aspects and more modern day connections to occult and psychoactive aspects used in ritual practice.

Mackey, in his Encyclopedia of Freemasonry, says:

An interesting and important symbol in Freemasonry. Botanically, it is the acacia vera of Tournefort, and the mimosa nilotica of Linnaeus, called babul tree in India. The acacia arabica grew abundantly in the vicinity of Jerusalem, where it is still to be found, and is familiar in its modern use at the tree from which the gum arabic of commerce is derived.

The acacia is called in the Bible Shittim, which is really the plural of Shittah, which last form occurs once only, in Isaiah 41:19, which reads “I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive. I will set junipers in the wasteland, the fir and the cypress together…” . It was esteemed a sacred wood among the Hebrews, and of it Moses was ordered to make the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, the table for the shewbread, and the rest of the sacred furniture (Exodus 25-27).

The sprig of acacia, then, in its most ordinary signification, presents itself to the Master Mason as a symbol of the immortality of the soul, being intended to remind him, by its ever-green and unchanging nature, of that better and spiritual part within us, which, as an emanation from the Great Architect of the Universe, can never die.

Neoclassical Architecture Characteristics

  • Massive scale
  • Symmetrical floorplans
  • Simplicity of form
  • Built to achieve classical perfection (from Greeks and Romans)
  • Uncluttered appearance (minimum decorations)
  • Roofs are flat and often domed
  • Supported with tall columns (Doric or Ionic)
  • Gardens around buildings follow geometric patterns
  • Built in 1800s

The temple represents the purest, ideal form for Neoclassical architecture:

Temple is the ideal for Neoclassical architecture

A series of columns (Doric or Ionic) are a consistent repeated element in Neoclassical architecture

Roofs are flat and horizontal and often containing a centered dome.

Neoclassical roofs were flat with centered dome

Building's facade is usually flat and long with a series of free-standing columns:

Facade simplicity and free standing columns

Exterior is built to represent classical perfection and simplicity of form.

Classical perfection of form in Monticello building

Decorations are kept to a minimum:

Simpicity of Basilica in Baltimore

There are often gardens around buildings that followed geometric patterns:

Geometric gardens around buildings

Interiors contain the same principles of massive scale, symmetry, simplicity, and tall columns:

Interior of Pantheon in Paris

Byzantine Architecture: Its Characteristics and Stunning Examples

Byzantine architecture emerged as the distinct style of construction developed around the new Roman capital of Byzantium (later renamed Constantinople or present Istanbul). Historyplex takes you through the various characteristics of this building style.

Byzantine architecture emerged as the distinct style of construction developed around the new Roman capital of Byzantium (later renamed Constantinople or present Istanbul). Historyplex takes you through the various characteristics of this building style.

Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Situated near the Hagia Sophia, it exhibits immense influence of Byzantine architecture.

The Byzantine Empire refers to the wide time period spanning the 4th century up to the mid-15th century. It was also alternately known as the Eastern Roman Empire. Byzantium was the earlier capital of the Roman Empire. The 4th century Roman Emperor Constantine built a new administrative capital to the east, on the Bosphorus river, called Constantinople.

Byzantine architecture mostly developed during the rule of Justinian I, in the 6th century. The empire under Justinian I was spread around the Mediterranean sea, covering a large periphery. The expanse of the empire reduced, later limiting to the areas covering present-day Greece and Turkey.

Characteristics of Byzantine Architecture

It is said that Justinian carried forward Constantinople’s perspective in bringing up religious structures. There are also similarities found in the early Christian architecture and the Byzantine styles. Basilicas formed the most common structural similarities, along with the use of apse, mosaic, and clerestory. Architects in the Byzantine Empire have borrowed heavily from Roman temples, combining the best of all designs.

Apse: Semi-circular termination of the main building, or the hemispherical end of the nave.
Nave: Central part of a church from the entrance to the chancel or altar.
Clerestory: Walls rising high, above the height of the roof, with windows to allow light to penetrate.

The construction functioned primarily on two types of plans: basilican or axial, and the circular or central plan. However, different styles of building evolved in the later period, especially after the invention and use of pendentives in the dome structures.

Domed Roof

Byzantine structures can be identified by their peculiar domes. Theses huge hemispherical roofs used to be based over a square-shaped foundation. The construction of one heavy design over another required immense detailing and perfection. To achieve this, two techniques were resorted to:

1. Use of the squinch. This is like an arch in every corner of a square base, that transforms it into an octagon,

2. Use of the pendentive.


This is known to be a revolutionary breakthrough in the Byzantine architectural style. It is almost like a triangular segment of a spherical surface. These segments fill up all the upper corners of a room. Therefore, they form a strong circular support at the base of a dome. Pendentives were utilized to form a circular dome over a square room, or an elliptical dome over a rectangular room.

Greek Cross

This peculiar design evolves from the mix of the symmetrical central plan and the conventional basilica or axial plan. Churches shaped like the cruciform were constructed with this unique foundation. It was built over a square-central mass, with four arms spread out at equal lengths.


This 11th century style or plan included five elements, four in the corners and the fifth one placed above it. This was the highlight of the Greek-cross architecture. The Holy Apostles in Thessaloniki, Athens, is an example.

Other Highlights

– Lofty and towering interior spaces, with rich and luxurious decoration.

– The columns were made of marble, and displayed beautiful inlay work.

– Vaults of the structure were never left empty, mostly filled with various mosaics.

– The ceilings were sometimes coffered using gold.

– Byzantine structures, mostly the churches, had stone pavements.

Early Byzantine Architecture

The early period of this architectural style refers to the old structures built during the rule of Justinian I. Many of these ancient edifices still stand proudly in Ravenna and Istanbul.

The Hagia Sophia (or the Ayasofya in Turkey) built in Constantinople, is the epitome of Byzantine architecture. Another heritage structure, the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna, reflects the typical longitudinal structure, common to a basilica.

Church of St Sophia, Bulgaria

It was built in the 6th century, and is believed to be the fifth structure built on that place. St. Sophia Church, today, has a cross design.

San Vitale Ravenna, Italy

Here is an example of the central plan of construction (Byzantine architecture). Thus, the central space below the dome in the interiors was enlarged. Apses added onto the sides give it the magnanimous look from inside.

A radical change in the architectural style of this empire came about during the reign of Justinian I. His architects invented a different system that brought about the transfer of the earlier square plan of building to a circular plan. So, the structures built henceforth usually featured domes supported by pendentives. Some works during this transitional or developmental phase include the Hagios Demetrios in Thessaloniki, Athens, Saint Catherine’s Monastery on Mount Sinai, in Egypt, and Jvari Monastery in present-day Georgia.

Famous Byzantine Architecture

Here are some famous architectural marvels from the Byzantine era. The Holy Apostles of Constantinople in Istanbul, the Cattolica di Stilo in southern Italy built in the 9th century, the Sangarius Bridge, and the Karamagara Bridge are a few of them.

Hagia Sophia, Sophia, Bulgaria

This church in Istanbul can be considered as the feat of Byzantine architecture. Hagia Sophia (or Holy Wisdom) was designed by two scientists and mathematicians, Anthemios of Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus. Its construction dates back to around 530 AD. A concave disc-like dome was built over a squarish base, using pendentives to support the dome. This structure is known to be built using both the basilican and centralized plan.

Hagia Irene in Istanbul, Turkey

The construction of the Hagia Irene (or Holy Peace) began in the 6th century, but it was altered during the 8th century to incorporate an extra dome over the nave, which made the building more longitudinal.

Hagia Sophia in Trabzon, Turkey

Situated in the northeastern part of Turkey, it belongs to the Paleologan Period (named after the noble Byzantine Greek family), which became the last ruling dynasty of the Byzantine Empire. The buildings of this period did not emphasize on the vertical thrust, except this Hagia Sophia of Trabzon.

Holy Apostles in Thessaloniki, Athens

Cloisonné type of wall decoration is seen in this building, where one-colored stones are placed in a series along with bricks of another color. It shows variants of the quincunx plan. This structure includes three apses in the east direction, and the narthexes (entrance areas or church vestibule) to the west.

Virgin Mary Holding the Christ Child

This Mosaic is from the Hagia Sophia (9th century). It depicts Virgin Mary holding the Christ Child Justinian on the left holding a model of the Hagia Sophia and Constantine is on the right holding a model of the city of Constantinople. The Irene Ducas is another example of a 12th-century mosaic in the Hagia Sophia.

Ancient Byzantine Mosaic

An ancient mosaic from the Byzantine Era. Mosaics were a very essential part of the decoration done on the walls.

Influences of Byzantine Architecture

The Romanesque and Gothic styles of architecture are influenced by the Byzantine construction pattern. Romanesque architecture also considers the structural walls or piers (wall sections) to be the main load-bearing segments. Cathedrals in France and Italy show small influences in their structural plans or decoration styles.

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem

Islamic architecture on the eastern side of the Mediterranean has peculiar attributes originating from the Byzantine style. Dome of the Rock, built around 691 AD in Jerusalem is a striking example. The Umayyad Mosque of Damascus built in the early 8th century is similar to the Christian basilicas, but with further modifications.

Neo-byzantine Architecture

The temple of Saint Sava in Belgrade is a 12th century marvel, and the biggest neo-byzantine structural attempt. A centrally planned Greek-cross design, it has a large dome resting on four pendentives, and semi-domes built over apses.

Westminster Cathedral in London

Westminster Cathedral in London is an example of Byzantine culture being revisited through buildings. In the 1800s, industrial buildings showcased the Bristol Byzantine style in Bristol, which was a combination of Byzantine and Moorish architecture. It was developed to a greater extent by Russian architects.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria

The designs of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia, St Volodymyr’s Cathedral in Kiev, St. Mark’s Church in Belgrade, St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt, and the New Athos Monastery in New Athos near Sukhumi are all influenced by Byzantine art.

Dome of the Rock, Interior

The plan of the interior is peculiar, and, so far as I know, unique. There are two concentric rings of columns and piers supporting the roof, leaving corridors, or aisles, between the outer thirteen feet wide, the inner thirty. The columns are marble, but not of uniform size, and were evidently rifled from other buildings, as is almost invariably the case in the old mosques of Syria. It is lighted by fifty-six pointed windows, filled with stained glass of extraordinary brilliancy and beauty. Directly under the dome is the shrine of the mosque and of the entire Haram. It is a bare rock, the natural crown of Moriah, about sixty feet across, and rising some six feet above the floor. It gives its name to the building-Kubbet es-Sukhrah, "The Dome of the Rock." . . . The sacred rock itself is specially deserving of notice. On its south-east side a flight of steps leads down to an excavated chamber, or cave, about six feet high. Here the guardian took me to several small altars and niches, which, he said, were dedicated respectively to Abraham, David, Solomon, Elias, and Gabriel. (Source: Jerusalem, Bethany, and Bethlehem, pp. 47-48.)

Interior of the Dome of the Rock

Internally it is one hundred and fifty-two feet in diameter. The great rock, the "Sakhra," which is in the centre, is encircled by four massive piers and twelve columns three columns being placed between each pair of piers. They are united by arches and support the beautifully proportioned dome, which is sixty-six feet in diameter at its base. An octagonal screen, composed of eight piers and sixteen columns, divides the remaining space into two encircling aisles the outer aisle being thirteen and the inner one thirty feet wide . . . . The aisle screen is perhaps the most interesting part of the building . . . . The bases of the columns are cased with slabs of marble . . . . The shafts of the columns do not rest immediately on their bases, but on sheets of lead from three-quarters of an inch to one and a half inches thick. The capitals are of the Corinthian order . . . . The bases and columns of the inner circle are similar to those of the octagonal screen . . . . The columns and piers are connected by a fine wrought-iron screen, which is said to be of French workmanship of the latter part of the twelfth century, and believed to be a relic of the Crusaders . . . . The dome of the building is of wood, covered externally with lead, and internally with stucco, richly gilt and painted its height is about ninety-six feet. (Source: Picturesque Palestine, vol. 1, pp. 54, 55, 58, 60.)

We present to our readers a rare view furnished also by our American consul at Jerusalem. We see as perfect a photograph as can be secured of the rock itself over which the dome of Omar rises. The inside of the mosque is so dark that it requires the light a long time to place the image of the object before the camera upon the plate. The impression from which this picture is printed required three or four hours. Such a picture we could not have possibly secured, for when we were in the holy city the mosque of Omar was filled with visitors nearly all the time. . . . It is believed by some scholars that the subterranean passages branching out from the cave beneath the rock were the outlets for the blood of the sacrifices here offered. There is no proof that this was the cave leading to the canal that connected the Fountain of the Virgin below the rock Ophel with the Pool of Siloam. The cave which the visitor may enter is a natural one, and evidently has not been enlarged. In the center of it is a marble slab that covers the mouth of the well. (Source: Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee, p. 234.)

The Cave Under the Great Rock on Mount Moriah

The "Sakhra" Rock, which occupies the centre of the building, is overhung by a canopy and surrounded by a rude wooden railing. It rises four feet nine and a half inches above the marble pavement of the mosque at its highest point, and one foot at its lowest from north to south it measures fifty-six feet, and from east to west forty-two feet. Beneath the rock there is a small cave . . . the entrance to which is at the south-east corner of the rock a flight of steps passes under an archway and leads down to the chamber. The average height of the cave is six feet. In the roof is a circular opening which pierces the rock the floor is paved with marble, and the sides are covered with plaster and whitewash. The floor, when stamped upon, gives out a hollow sound, indicating the presence of a lower chamber, possibly a well, the "Well of Spirits." The sides, too, when tapped give forth a hollow sound, which the Moslem guardian brings forward as a proof that the Sakhra is, in accordance with the legend, suspended in the air. (Source: Picturesque Palestine, vol. 1, pp. 61-62.)

Thera Prehistoric Museum

The Prehistoric Museum of Thera houses a large collection of artifacts from Akrotiri.

Highlights of the museum include several large wall frescoes such as the "Wall Paintings of Monkeys" and the "Wall Paintings of the House of the Ladies" (ca. 17 c. BCE), many cycladic statuettes, a multitude pottery, and every day artifacts that were buried in Akrotiri by the eruption of the Thera volcano.

The Swimming Pools

Neptune Pool

Construction for the first of two Hearst Castle pools, the Neptune Pool, spanned 1924-1936. Three swimming pools were built on this site, each successively larger. Initial plans for the site called for a “Temple Garden” with an ornamental pool and temple structure. On March 31, 1924, W.R. Hearst wrote in a letter to Julia Morgan, “I am sending back the plan of the temple garden with the suggestion that we make the pool longer than it is, as long as a swimming pool. Mrs. Hearst and the children are extremely anxious to have a swimming pool!” On June 17, 1924, Morgan wrote that the first swimming pool was nearing completion: “Mr. Neptune and the two ladies can be placed but the finished basins will take some time yet.”

The second version of the pool, a substantial enlargement, was created in 1926-1927. This version had a series of concrete steps at the southern side called the Cascade, down which water flowed. The sculptures of Neptune and two nereids, now installed in the pediment of the temple, then stood at the top of the Cascade. The dressing rooms were begun in 1928 and furnished according to Hearst’s instruction.

The present version of the pool was under construction from 1934-1936. It is unlikely that the enlargement was done to make it closer to Olympic size, as has sometimes been conjectured Olympic pools are 165 feet long. It is more likely that the colonnades and Cassou statues, which were planned from the late 1920′s, required an enlarged treatment. Morgan anticipated further modifications of the pool for Cassou’s Neptune statuary group to be placed in the small upper pool. On July 27, 1936, Morgan wrote in a letter to Charles Cassou, “enclosed is a plan and some photographs of the ‘Neptune Pool’ in its present (uncompleted) state. The recess of the main pool and the small pool above to receive your ‘Neptune’ group I have not touched since my visit with you last year – so please do not think of them except as something yet to be done to form a proper background and setting for your ‘Venus’ as well as your ‘Neptune’ statuary.” The “Neptune” sculpture group by Cassou intended for the small upper pool was never installed.

The final version of the pool as it stands at the Castle today is 104 feet long, 58 feet wide and 95 feet wide at the alcove. It is 3.5 feet deep at the west end, 10 feet at the drains, and holds 345,000 gallons of water. Other notable aspects of the Neptune Pool include the oil-burning heating system, the Vermont marble that lines the basin, gutters, and alcove, and four Italian relief sculptures on the sides of the colonnades.

Roman Pool

The Roman Pool at Hearst Castle is a tiled indoor pool decorated with eight statues of Roman gods, goddesses and heroes. The pool appears to be styled after an ancient Roman bath such as the Baths of Caracalla in Rome c. 211-17 CE. The mosaic tiled patterns were inspired by mosaics found in the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. They are also representative of traditional marine monster themes that can be found in ancient Roman baths. The statues are rough copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. One such copy represents the “Apoxyomenos.” Statuary was used on a considerable scale in the Baths of Caracalla.

The pool and surrounding room, which were built from 1927-1934, can be compared to an ancient Roman bath. The pool, like the baths, is located indoors. Its water was heated as in a tepidarium. However, in Hearst’s complex there were no hot or cold baths as there were in the ancient complex. The Roman Pool complex was designed to contain an exercise room, sweat baths, a handball court and dressing rooms.

The Roman Pool is decorated from ceiling to floor with 1″ square mosaic tiles. These glass tiles, called smalti, are either colored (mainly blue or orange) or are clear with fused gold inside. The intense colors and shimmering gold of the tiles combine to create a breathtaking effect. The designs created by the tiles were developed by muralist Camille Solon. The inspiration for some of these designs came from the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia.

Hearst was affected by the beauty of the mosaics in the mausoleum and incorporated similar styles into his Roman Pool. The walls of the mausoleum are marble but the vaulted arches are composed of blue and gold smalti. The roofs and dome are covered with mosaics of night blue, powdered with stars. The Roman Pool is similar to the mausoleum with its blue and gold color scheme and stylized star patterns. It differs because marble was only used in the statues, not on the walls, and there are no religious murals.

Decorating the Roman Pool are eight marble statues. These statues were carved starting in 1930 by Carlo Freter working in Pietrasanta, Italy. They are rough copies of ancient Greek and Roman statues. The statue of “Apoxyomenos” is found near the east side of the building. “Apoxyomenos,” also known as “The Scraper,” is a statue of an athlete scraping dirt and moisture off the underside of his right arm. The original bronze statue was created by the Greek sculptor Lysippos c. 320 B.C.E. Because Lysippos’ work does not survive, Freter worked from an ancient Roman copy of “The Scraper” found in the Vatican museum in Rome. Freter faithfully copied the Roman copy but also completes the statue with the addition of the missing strigil (scraper) and the missing fingers of the outstretched hand.

“Hearst Castle”, “Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument”, “La Cuesta Encantada”, and “The Enchanted Hill”
are registered trademarks of Hearst Castle®/California State Parks.


The Immovable Ladder—a plain wooden ladder which leans against a window ledge in the church's upper facade—was left there in the 18th century when an agreement was made among the shareholders that no one may move, rearrange, or otherwise alter any property without the consent of all six.

Sources and Further Reading

Galor, Katharina. "The Church of the Holy Sepulchre." Ed. Galor, Katharina. Finding Jerusalem: Archaeology between Science and Ideology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2017. 132–45. Print.

McQueen, Alison. "Empress Eugénie and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre." Source: Notes in the History of Art 21.1 (2001): 33–37. Print.

Ousterhout, Robert. "Rebuilding the Temple: Constantine Monomachus and the Holy Sepulchre." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 48.1 (1989): 66–78. Print.

Seligman, Jon, and Gideon Avni. "Jerusalem, Church of the Holy Sepulchre." Hadashot Arkheologiyot: Excavations and Surveys in Israel 111 (2000): 69–70. Print.

Watch the video: Miscellaneous Myths: Enki and Ninmah


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