The Silos Beatus

The Silos Beatus The new, celestial Jerusalem
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The new, celestial Jerusalem

The celestial Jerusalem arising at the end of time is the land of the chose ones and the righteous. It is inhabited by God and the host of saints and is the counterpart of the paradise on earth that existed in the beginning. The image of Paradise is that of nature in the springtime with blossoming trees, running rivers, singing birds and frolicking animals. Celestial Jerusalem symbolises fulfilment and is perfectly static: everything it contains consists of mineral, gold and gemstones. The illustration depicts it as seen by St John, not from the outside but from within. The walled, holy city, i.e. the Church, must have been styled upon a quadrangular fortress. The city is illuminated by the Lamb which substitutes light. Each of the four sides features three open doors with an apostle standing in each. The city is built of lavish materials upon solid foundations, with the solidity symbolised by the gemstone over the head of each apostle.

 

Ángela Franco Mata
Head of Department of Medieval Antiquities
Museo Arqueológico Nacional

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