Spreuer Bridge - The Paintings

Paintings under the roof of Spreuer Bridge

Under the roof of Spreuer Bridge, 67 paintings dating from 1626 to 1635 represent a “Dance of Death”. Death, represented as a skeleton or as the “Great Reaper” urges everybody to dance with him, i.e. to die. Death makes no difference between old and young, churchmen and laymen, rich and poor. This kind of paintings were often placed on cemetary walls. They expressed people’s feeling in the face of death especially during times of epidemic pestilence and were widespread all over late medieval Europe, but only very few examples have survived to date. The fascination for this theme has not completely gone, however, as the dedicated German website www.totentanz.de shows. Lucerne’s Dance of Death was designed by chief painter Kaspar Meglinger.

Spreuer Bridge - The Paintings

Spreuer Bridge - The Paintings

18 Comments CherryPie on Dec 12th 2013

18 Responses to “Spreuer Bridge – The Paintings”

  1. ....peter:) says:

    This is a wonderful presentation of the Danse Macabre on the footbridge in Lucerne Cherie… i am amazed that these paintings are still in such good condition….peter:)

  2. Ayush says:

    i have some pictures of this bridge but yours came out much better, the details stand out very well

  3. Ginnie says:

    I have never seen or heard of such a covered bridge, Cherry. I would definitely put that on my list of things to see! Hmmmm.

  4. ubermouth says:

    Morbid, but incredible all the same.
    As usual,beautiful photography there, Cherie. :)

  5. wiggia says:

    ….peter, the bridge was largely destroyed in 1993 by fire, the renovation as all things Swiss is superb.

    • CherryPie says:

      These are photos of another similar but smaller bridge than the one that got destroyed. I have another post on it coming up later. I really should have posted that one before this one on the paintings.

      But as you say the restoration work on the destroyed bridge is superb. For some reason I didn’t take any photographs of the paintings on that bridge.

      • wiggia says:

        Apologies Cherry, I jumped the gun without taking in the name of the bridge, the Kapallbrucke is the one I was thinking of, and I crossed both !, old age taking its effect.

  6. james higham says:

    Wonderful – special and localized.

  7. Amfortas says:

    The Bridges of Madison County are far less spectacular.!

    How are the paintings preserved? The bridge qualifies as a Toll Bridge; weather must have taken its toll at least.

    I count myself ‘lucky’ to live in Oz but the ancient architecture is one of the major things missing from our environment. What a wealth of beauty there is in Europe.

    • CherryPie says:

      I am not sure how they maintain the paintings. I am sure they must do something with them due to Lucerne being inclined to rain.

      I am a big fan of ancient architecture. I also love nature :-)

  8. J_on_tour says:

    I would never have imagined such magnificent paintings on a structure like that.