I tugged on this door-handle assuming the massive door to be the threshold to chambers of strange wonders. What bold minds would have worked therein?
I found inside a traditional church service in full swing.
I had difficulty reconciling this lithe and ferocious beast, issuing a clear warning to potential visitors, with the message of comfort and succour that traditional churches wish to offer. Why would this be the greeting proffered?
It turns out there’s reason. The door was created in 1958 from a design by Jürgen Weber. The creature is a wolf and makes reference to the biblical text John 10:12 – the good shepherd and his sheep. This door-handle wolf is trying to prevent the congregation from entering the church. Apparently there was supposed to be a mass of sheep as well but people shied away from their depiction. The art work presents Christ, the good shepherd, as the door.
Thanks to the BB’s sister for her sleuthing.
The church is Stiftskirche in central Stuttgart.