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Aachen Cathedral: Barbarossa's Chandelier (1184)

Barbarossa's Chandelier (1184)

Barbarossa's Chandelier, hanging from the vault in the Palatine Chapel. The huge (4.2-meter diameter) bronze circlet was commissioned by Frederick Barbarossa on the occasion of Charlemagne's canonization. It was created 1165-84 in Aachen and is inscribed with a dedication to Mary from Barbarossa and his wife Beatrix. The candles are lit on special holy days. The chandelier's design represents the Heavenly Jerusalem as envisioned in Revelation, with eight towers instead of the twelve described in Revelation. The dedicatory inscription explains that the deviation from the biblical account was so that the chandelier would fit perfectly into the eight-sided imperial chapel.

Credit: Holly Hayes