After the Congress in Maastricht had finished up, Jo Ann and I hopped the train for Heidelberg, Germany. (My great-grandfather was born there, and I'd had a genealogist trace the family as far back as possible there, and we were going to see what we could find that related to these ancestors. But more on that later.) We had to change trains in the Frankfurt main train station, and I had a little time to look around and see what heraldry was available there. Not surprisingly, there were a few really great coats of arms there.
First and foremost was this deeply carved eagle (on a stone above it were the dates 1883 - 87; I'm assuming these are the dates of the construction of the station). I'm pretty sure it's the arms of the city of Frankfurt, though the arms I've seen for the city do not have the scepter and orb. See, for example, this depiction from the Heraldry of the World website.
Over a couple of other of the massive doorways in the station were these two coats of arms.
Based on the mural crowns surmounting each coat, these are clearly civic arms of some sort. But just try looking up "a lion rampant" or "a bend" (possibly gules, if the hatching is correct), and you get more entries than I have the time or patience to sort through. (The lion is not Heidelberg, whose arms have the lion crowned and atop a trimount, neither of which appear in the coat here.) Possibilities include Brauschweig (Brunswick) for the lion and Strasbourg for the bend (again, assuming it is red), but I feel certain there are other, possibly even more likely, candidates.
I also find myself very impressed by the the carving of the laurel/oak wreaths surrounding the bases of the shields. (As I am with all of the carving, really. It was all very impressive.)
(Oh, yeah, and the little spiky things you can see on the ledge below the shield with the bend and atop the crown above the shield with the eagle? Just a little something to keep the pigeons from alighting there and doing what pigeons all over the world do: crapping on the art.
December travel - part 1
2 days ago