Entrance detail - a Greenman
Looking up in front of an entrance I noticed one of these faces again I've been wondering about before. Luckily, one of my visitors - Thomas - explained them to me. Here is his explanation:
"It is a figure known as the Greenman ("Blattmaske" in German). Foliate head sculpture motifs are ancient but were particularly popular in medieval European cathedral construction though the figures are often located in obscure locations.
What the Greenman symbolizes is, of course, subject to a variety of interpretations: the author William Anderson suggests it symbolizes human beings' connection to nature; others say it indicates that nature has consciousness. Many consider it a Pagan "god/goddess" (there are Greenwomen, too, though not as frequent) related to Bacchus."
Thanks a lot for this information, Thomas! I hope it's alright that I quote you here.
If you're curious to see more greenmen, check out my photoblog archive and you'll find more. :)