Fanciful carvings

Zurich’s old buildings often carry elaborate carvings.

As I walk the quiet streets of the neighborhoods on the Zürichberg hillside we call home, I try to look up from time to time.  Many of these multi-family apartment buildings used to be, I believe, grand homes of wealthy businessmen perhaps a century ago, and each has its own distinctive style.  Many have elaborate ironwork on the balcony railings, or classical figures carved in relief. The lion is especially common, because two appear on Zürich’s coat of arms, and the Lion is the namesake of the local hockey team.  But I found this particular building, with an elaborate combination of an eagle and a snake, above a mustachioed man, to be especially captivating.  I wonder what it means?

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Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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