Information about Rotterdam Bible tiles from the Baroque castle of Wachau in Saxony
Wachau is a parish in East Saxony about 25 kilometres from the Saxon capital, Dresden and 4 kilometres north of Radeburg which is near the old Salt or Glass Road, a medieval trade route, which once led from Schluckenau in Bohemia to Leipzig and Halle. The area in the Saugraben is mid way along the A4 autobahn and Wachau lies in a valley between the Timmelsberg (259 m), Orlberg (217 m) and Steinberg on the border of the nature conservancy area Westlausitz.
The moated castle of Wachau was built on oak piles on the site of two earlier structures. The construction of the Baroque plan between 1730 and 1754 was probably directed by the court architect Knöffel. The client was Magdalena Sophie von Schönfeldt who gave her son a gift of the castle and park. Gotthelf Kühne bought the estate in 1885 and was the first non-aristocratic owner. The property was confiscated in 1945, and taken over by the local authority. After numerous changes of use e.g. school, day nursery, Kindergarten, registry office, entertainment centre for the local authority and home to 11 refugee families, Dr. Rainar Götz from Dresden became the owner of the castle in 2002.
In the so called ‘Dutch kitchen’ the walls are covered with blue and white Rotterdam bible and landscape tiles. These tiles dating from the middle of the 18th century demonstrate the close connection between Saxony and the centre of Dutch tile production. Along the trade route of the river Elbe travelled raw materials like cobalt, manganese and tin oxides from the Erzgebirge for the tileries in the Low Countries, and in return the barges brought tiles to Saxony as well as other goods.
Information about a selection of fifteen Rotterdam Bible tiles from the Baroque castle of Wachau in Saxony
ADAM AND EVE IN PARADISE – the Fall – Genesis 3: 6
In Genesis 2 : 9 God planted trees in the Garden of Eden including the ‘Tree of Life’ and the ‘Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil’. God commanded Adam and Eve “ You are free to eat from any tree in the garden: but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2: 16 –17
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her and he ate it.
THE EXPULSION FROM PARADISE - Genesis 3:24
Genesis 3:1-24 is the story of the Fall. It is the Biblical foundation for the Christian doctrines of Original Sin and Redemption.
After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the tree of life.
NOAH’S SACRIFICE AFTER THE FLOOD - Genesis 8:20
In Genesis 6:5 to 8:20 we read of the story of the Flood. According to Genesis Noah was the tenth patriarch after Adam. References to Noah and the Flood are also found in the New Testament, the Talmud, the Apocrypha and the Koran.
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and taking some of the clean animals and the clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.
THE SENDING AWAY OF HAGAR AND ISHMAEL– Genesis 21:14
Because Abraham and Sarah were childless, Abraham on Sarah’s request had a child Ishmael with Sarah’s maid servant Hagar. When Sarah gave birth to her own son Isaac, she turned against Hagar and her son and demanded that Abraham get rid of them. This Abraham did.
In the Koran, Hagar is the chief wife of Abraham/Ibrahim who takes Hagar and Ishmael to Mecca where he discovers the Kaaba. This is where the graves of Hagar and Ishmael are said to lie. Both Abraham and Ishmael are prphets of Islam.
Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.
DELILAH CUTS OFF SAMSON’S HAIR – Judges 16: 18 – 19
Samson had fallen in love with a Philistine woman, Delilah. She was bribed to find out the source of Samson’s strength.
When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines. They came with the silver in their hands. Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him.
ELIJAH IS FED BY THE RAVENS – 1 Kings 17 : 6
Having predicted a drought as punishment for King Ahab and his wife Jezebel who were encouraging the worship of Baal, Elijah found refuge in the Kerith Ravine.
The ravens brought him bread and meat in the evening and he drank from the brook.
THE ANGEL APPEARS TO THE SHEPHERDS – St. Luke 2 : 8 – 12
And there were shepherds living out in the fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks by night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find the baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
THE ADORATION OF THE SHEPHERDS – St. Luke 2: 15 – 16
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in a manger.
THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT – St. Matthew 2: 13 –14
When the three Magi had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. ”Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”
So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt.
THE SLAUGHTER OF THE INNOCENTS – St. Matthew 2: 16
When Herod realised that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious and gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.
THE BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN
- St. Matthew 3: 16 – 17 -
As soon as Jesus was baptised, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
- St. Mark 1:10 –11 -
As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
- St. Luke 3:21-22 -
When all the people were being baptised Jesus was baptised too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descend on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
JESUS IN THE HOME OF MARTHA AND MARY – St. Luke 10:38 –42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had asister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feetlistening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She cam eto him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
JESUS WALKS ON THE WATER – St. Matthew 14:28 - 31
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
PILATE’S WIFE INTERCEDES FOR JESUS – St. Matthew 27:19
While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: „Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.“
CHRIST IS SCOURGED
- St. John 19:1 -
Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
- St. Matthew 27:26 -
Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
- St. Mark 15:15 -
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
Thank to Dr. Rainer Götz, Hans van Lemmen und Prof. Jörg Schöner.
Photography: Prof. Jörg Schöner, Dresden
Pluis, Jan: BIJBELTEGELS
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