Take your loved one by the hand and stroll together to this oriel because this one shows a very special love story! The «Schwanenerker» (Swan) tells a story about the young and beautiful Arethusa and Alpheus, son of the Ocean god.
Marx Friedrich Högger was the owner of this house and this oriel (1690). The Oriel shows a swan with spread wide wings in the middle and two snakes in the mouth which biting each other in the tail. On the side are two chain-clad galley slaves with big beards (more about tritons) They look like the picture from Bernard Picart «Glaucus turned into a sea god», 1733. If you step back, you recognize carved fruit baskets, aquatic beings from ancient mythology and angels/putti. To protect from pigeons, the swan is covered with a fine-meshed net.
In Greek mythology, Arethusa was a beautiful nymph and companion to the moon goddess, Artemis. She was the goddess of hunting and knowledge. Arethusa looked so beautiful that all men who set eyes upon her ended up desiring her: it was not long before Alpheus, son of the Ocean god, fell in love with her. One day she is bathing in a river when she feels a rumbling beneath her. A voice says it is Alpheus, the river god, and the voice says that Alpheus loves her. But Arethusa wants nothing to do with him and runs away in fear. She fled away from the stream but was chased by Alpheus. After a long chase, she prayed to her goddess Artemis to ask for protection. The goddess hears the prayer and turns Arethusa into a spring of water. When Alpheus saw this he broke literally in tears and became a small River in Sicily.
The other representations are dedicate to the sea and its diverse inhabitants. For example, Poseidon on his ocean cart, riding putti or nereids with fruit baskets on their heads. Also one of the scenes from Greek mythology is Herakles overcomes Skylla, the wild sea dragon with the dog face. You can also see «Arion», «Andromeda», «Alpheios», «Sirenen» and «Jason».
Where to find this oriel?
If you want more information, you can ask the tourist information or order this book online (only german).