Monday, 26 June 2017

The Fateful Goddesses of Althüttendorf

In the centre of the village of Althüttendorf in Uckermark sits three giant metal statues seated on thrones of stone. They represent the Norns, the goddesses of Norse mythology who spin the invisible threads of human destiny.

Created by metalwork artist Eckhard Herrmann, the sculptures were inaugurated in June 2013 at their position beside the small village church on land previously occupied by the Gastätte 'Haus Grimnitzsee'. You can read more about the project here (in German).

The Norns are like the Fates of Greek mythology, and are named Urd (or in Old English, Wyrd - hence you might have heard of the Wyrd Sisters), Verdani, and Skuld. Respectively they are goddesses of the past, the present, and the future. Well, it's a bit more complicated then that, and you can find lots more about them online. In German they are referred to as die Schicksalgöttinen.

The most impressive of the three I think is Skuld:

You can tell this is Skuld, goddess of the future (Zukunft), because she is veiled and holds a scroll in her hand. She also faces away from the way the other Norns are looking.

This next statue I think is of Verdani, goddess of the present (Gegenwart), who looks the more youthful of the three.

And so this must be Urd, goddess of the past (Vergangenheit). Apart from being the oldest looking, I note she is wearing a cloak brooch with the rune 'uruz'.

All very interesting and rather well done, but a strange thing to find in the middle of a modern German village!

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