»» Gallusstrasse 22
Today I like to explain you my favorite oriel! It’s the «Greiferker» on the Gallusstrasse 22. It was built in 1675 by Jacob Christoph Stauder (1641 – 1709). The then owner, his name was Caspar Mennhard (1621–1684) was a very rich man! It is a richly carved oriel window made of oak and linden wood.
A Griffen (German: Greif) is a Mesopotamian mythical creature that has a lion’s body, an eagle’s head and wings, and sometimes the tail of a snake. Because the name of the oriel dates back to 1678 – 3 years later after the oriel was built, there is no griffen shown. But in the year 1943 the painter Willi Koch, painted the picture next to it on the wall. There you can finally see a griffen with gold – because a griffen is a guardian of the gold. As to the gold which the griffins dig up, there are rocks which are spotted with drops of gold as with sparks, which this creature can quarry because of the strength of its beak.
The iconography of this Oriel window is quite religious and dedicated to the old testament. In some kind the pictures are like the copper engravings in the Bible from Matthäus Merian (1593-1650). Between these beautiful carvings you can see lions and female figures as well a lot of acanthus leaves. On top you can see winged love gods in child shape play the trumpet.
On the left side is a Relief that invokes the first book of Moses. The fight between Jacob and God. Jacob fought the whole night with an unknown person. At dawn, he revealed himself as God and blessed Jacob. The man said,«Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel.»
(1. Mose 32,24-28 EU. The same you’ll find on this Oriel.
On the left side in the front you see Elija sitting by the brook Kerit. (1 Kön 17,1-6 EU). Two raves bring him bread and meat.
On the right side in the front you see the instruction of Jonah (Jona 4,5-6 EU). Jonah sits under the foliage.
Jonah then left through the east gate of the city and made a shelter to protect himself from the sun. He sat under the shelter, waiting to see what would happen to Nineveh.
And on the right site it is Tobias traveling (Tobit 5, 17, 6, 2-6 EU).
«Tobias gains wisdom, valuable experiences, and a bride along the way, thanks to Raphael. Ever since he accompanied Tobias on his journey, archangel Raphael has been a patron saint of travelers.»
Greif Erker St.Gallen