Rosslyn Chapel Decoded: New Interpretations of a Gothic Enigma


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It grabbed me from the first page and I had trouble putting it down. Read it, you won't be disappointed. Enjoy It!! With its superlative stone carvings and strong Templar and Freemasonic connections, Rosslyn Chapel—a 15th-century Gothic masterpiece that appeared in The Da Vinci Code—represents an absorbing historical puzzle. Alan Butler and John Ritchie believe that its walls once sheltered a holy relic: the skull of St Matthew. They lay out their startling evidence, complete with formerly unpublished images, and embark on an unprecedented exploration of the Chapel's history, as a Christian church and as Are you looking for place to read full E-Books without downloading?

You can also read and download new and old full E-Books. You can read these on Mac or PC desktop computer, plus many other supperted devices. A new visitor centre opened in July The chapel's stained-glass windows and organ were fully restored.

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New lighting and heating were installed. Actor Tom Hanks also made a donation. Photography and video have been forbidden in the chapel since The chapel sells commercially produced photos in its shop. In the financial year of , Rosslyn Chapel recorded , visitors, the highest number since , when at the height of popular interest induced by The Da Vinci Code , the number of visitors was close to , The chapel became the subject of speculation regarding its supposed connection with the Knights Templar or Freemasonry beginning in the s. The topic entered mainstream pop culture with Dan Brown 's The Da Vinci Code , reinforced by the subsequent film of the same name , [32] Numerous books were published after to cater to the popular interest in supposed connections between Rosslyn Chapel, Freemasonry, the Templars and the Holy Grail generated by Brown's novel.

The chapel, built years after the dissolution of the Knights Templar, supposedly has many Templar symbols, such as the "Two riders on a single horse" that appear on the Seal of the Knights Templar. Robert L. Cooper, curator of the Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum and Library, in published a 12th edition of the Illustrated Guide to Rosslyn Chapel with the intention of countering the "nonsense published about Rosslyn Chapel over the last 15 years or so".

An example is the comparison of the Rosslyn myth of the Apprentice Pillar with that of the allegorical references to Hiram Abiff in Masonic ritual, and in the process he debunks any similarities between the two. A minute comparison between the Rosslyn Myth and the Masonic allegory can be found in a detailed tabular form in The Rosslyn Hoax?

Cooper further debunks other claims of a connection between carvings within Rosslyn Chapel and Scottish Freemasonry. The suggestion that the Apprentice Pillar is a physical reference to the Entered Apprentice degree of Scottish Freemasonry logically led to the conclusion that the other two pillars in line south to north with the so-called Apprentice Pillar represented the Fellow of Craft degree middle pillar and the Master Mason's degree north pillar.

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This association of three pillars in the east part of Rosslyn Chapel with the three degrees of Scottish Freemasonry is impossible, given the fact that according to Cooper the third degree of Freemasonry was invented c. Rosslyn Chapel bears no more resemblance to Solomon's or Herod's Temple than a house brick does to a paperback book. If you superimpose the floor plans of Rosslyn Chapel and either Solomon's or Herod's Temple, you will actually find that they are not even remotely similar. Writers admit that the chapel is far smaller than either of the temples.

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They freely scale the plans up or down in an attempt to fit them together. What they actually find are no significant similarities at all. The East Quire of Glasgow is larger than Rosslyn, but the designs of these two medieval Scottish buildings are virtually identical. They both have the same number of windows and the same number of pillars in the same configuration.


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Andrew Kemp noted that 'the entire plan of this Chapel corresponds to a large extent with the choir of Glasgow Cathedral' as far back as in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries. Many alternative history writers are well aware of this but fail to mention it in their books.

A trip to Rosslyn Chapel - Scotland

As to a possible connection between the St. Clairs and the Knights Templar, the family testified against the Templars when that Order was put on trial in Edinburgh in Louise Yeoman, along with other medieval scholars, says the Knights Templar connection is false, and points out that Rosslyn Chapel was built by William Sinclair so that Mass could be said for the souls of his family. It is also claimed that other carvings in the chapel reflect Masonic imagery, such as the way that hands are placed in various figures.

One carving may show a blindfolded man being led forward with a noose around his neck — similar to the way a candidate is prepared for initiation into Freemasonry. The carving has been eroded by time and pollution and is difficult to make out clearly. The chapel was built in the 15th century, and the earliest records of Freemasonic lodges date back only to the late 16th and early 17th centuries.

This may have taken place in the s when James St Clair-Erskine, 3rd Earl of Rosslyn instructed Edinburgh architect David Bryce , a known Freemason, to undertake restoration work on areas of the church including many of the carvings. These alternative histories are relatively modern - not dating back before the early s.

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  • Church in Midlothian, Scotland. Rosslyn Chapel. Listed Building — Category A. Beauty of Edifice Unmarred. Retrieved 16 December Retrieved 5 November The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. Cooper, Robert L. The 99 Degrees of Freemasonry. Retrieved 3 March Rosslyn Chapel: The Music of the Cubes.

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