August 11, 2008

St. Hallvard and the Pilgrim

I'll try to wrap up my Oslo posts quickly, then will get on to some Vestfold posts (so that Dave can stop gnashing his teeth!).

Everywhere in Oslo there are these glorious manhole covers (based on Oslo's coat-of-arms) which, as it turns out, depict St Hallvard - the Patron Saint of Oslo - whose story goes something like this...

In the year 1043, a young man named Hallvard Vebjørnson was about to cross the Drammenfjord in a boat, when a young woman ran up to him and begged for his help. She claimed she was being falsely accused of theft by an angry mob who was in hot pursuit of her. Hallvard took her aboard his boat and was about to cast off, when the mob caught up with them. They demanded he give her up, but (perhaps thinking with his little head) he refused saying that the woman swore she was innocent. One of the pursuers shot and killed both Hallvard and the woman (with bow and arrow). To hide their evil deed, the mob tied a millstone to Hallvard's body and threw it into the sea...even so his corpse floated - miracle of miracles - so his body was enshrined at Christ Church in Oslo. St. Hallvard is revered because he died in defense of (ahem) innocence, in the best spirit of chivalry.

For those who are interested in such things (I am) The image depicts St Hallvard holding a millstone and 3 arrows - one for him, one for her and one for the nation (I guess).

Now for good measure, an image entitled "St Hallvard and the pilgrim"

I must say, I get some rather odd looks every time I photograph my shoes!

1 comment:

ibu kate said...

I love the presence of the shoes in your pics. As long as I keep seeing them I know you're remaining grounded, stable and strong... and that you're connecting with the land of your ancestors. You are also going to have a wonderful collection of pilgrim shoe photos by the time you come home.

It sort of reminds me of the travelling garden gnome postcards you see.

The other art you are capturing on your camera is stunning and Oslo looks fantastic.