Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yesterday's "House Insignia of the Day" Revealed

This adorable white lamb can be found in the Hradčany district at Úvoz 12.  At The White Lamb (U bílého beránka) was originally a Renaissance town house from the second half of the 16th century, rebuilt in Baroque style in the first half of the 18th century.  The facade dates from 1912 and the insignia, the white lamb, has been preserved, although the original figure did not survive.  The current white lamb is the work of sculptor Vincenc Vingler.

Now do you know what the lamb represents?

The symbol of a lamb was a widespread, long before its adoption by Christianity, across the realm of Mediterranean civilization where for thousands of years sheep played a central role in agriculture.  In the Hebrew tradition, the sheep was a symbol of the nation of the Israelites, as members of "God's flock".  Additionally, the lamb is linked to the traditional Jewish holiday of Passover when a lamb was sacrificed.  One echo of this ancient ritual in the Czech lands is the tradition of baking a cake in the form of a lamb at Easter.

For Christian theology, the lamb is the symbol of Jesus Christ as "Agnus Dei", the Lamb of God:  the symbol of purity, innocence and obedience.