Thursday, September 03, 2009

Rosslyn Chapel “The Historic enigma”, Part 1

Rosslyn Chapel and the Perumthachans!

First time I heard about Rosslyn Chapel was from Dan Brown’s controversial novel “The Davinci Code”. In quest of the ‘Holy Grail’ Robert Landon at last reaches here in this Chapel. We (I and my wife) were lucky enough to see this “Historic enigma” (as per the tourist catalog) during our visit to Edinburgh.

Rosslyn Chapel is around 6 miles from Edinburgh. Photography is not allowed inside the Chapel as it is still used for weekly services. When Da Vinci code film crew came and asked for permission to shoot inside the chapel,the request was denied and the crew had to satisfy with a set.

The entrance, renovation happening

Anyway the priest, who happens to be the guide also, admitted that after the release of the book the number of tourists visiting the Chapel have increased manifold.

Chapel from the top

Apprentice’s Pillar
Once you enter the Chapel, you will see two magnificent pillars on either sides of the altar, one carved by the Master architect and the other by his “Apprentice”. The priest explained the interesting story behind the famous Apprentice Pillar.

The master architect after carving the first pillar ran out of ideas on how to carve the second pillar. He then set off for a world tour, almost for three years in order to get inspired, for new ideas to carve the second pillar but when he returned he saw a marvelous pillar erected, carved by his apprentice. Apprentice pillar has far more intriguing carvings and symbols than his master’s then tragedy happened. The master architect in fist of anger and jealousy killed the Apprentice who made the pillar; later Master was trialed and killed.

Now this story has a strange resemblance to another one from Kerala. Unlike the Master –Apprentice one it’s a Father-son story. Perumthachan, the father was a great architect who was responsible for many landmarks. Now his son also an architect became more popular. People started telling that the son was greater then the dad. The legend is that the jealous father murdered the son.
Priest cum the guide, also showed us the bust of the Master architect carved diagonally opposite to the Apprentice pillar. The priest said it’s the biggest punishment the master could get, to see the pillar made by his apprentice and repent, he is being doing that, I thought for the last several hundred years

With memories of perumthachans and the hapless Apprentice in our mind, we left Rosslyn Chapel.

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