Hidden treasures

The 'Green Man' of Arezzo

Mysteries & Legends
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The 'Green Man' of Arezzo

If reading this made you think of aliens, sorry you are off the track. We are not talking about the "little green men" who are sometimes spotted at night in the most unlikely places. But we will nonetheless give you the creeps, because we are referring to mysterious depictions that appear in many medieval churches scattered throughout Europe. Half-hidden under the capitals, the vaults or the bases of the columns we find strange representations of a face, surrounded by leaves that often sprout from the nostrils, mouth or eyes, and sometimes replace the hair. These are all examples of Green Man which symbolizes the eternal struggle between good and evil with the latter inescapably clinging like a weed to the human being.

What do Tuscany and Arezzo have to do with all this you are wondering? In a small village called Groppina, located in the province of Arezzo, is a spectacular church dedicated to St. Peter. Inside there are a series of columns, capitals and pillars that depict mysterious subjects connected not only to religion but also to symbols and figures of pre-Christian, Etruscan and Oriental art.

And it is precisely here that a Green Man can be found! There are several of these disturbing figures scattered around the church, but on a capital there are even four, one on each side: in fact, sprouting among the acanthus leaves are the heads of a devil (or a satyr), a ram, a feline that might also resemble a dragon and finally a human figure. And that’s mystery solved! No aliens, just a mysterious past that we will never be able to fully decipher!

Did you like hunting down these mysterious presences? If the answer is yes then you should definitely take part in our guided tour of the mysteries of Florence: delve into the true spirit of Florence and learn about its secrets and mysteries!

 

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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