4 weeks ago
The lion and the sun
At the top of the belfry, 75 meters high, stands a lion, symbol of power, holding a sun, emblem of Louis XIV.
When the Sun King visited Arras in 1667, he was greeted coldly by the inhabitants, who feared that he would restrict their communal liberties, acquired since the end of the 12th century.
Nevertheless, it is said that the Arrageois (the people of Arras) added a sun to the lion who adorned the belfry, in order to show their goodwill to the French monarchy.
Coat of arms of Arras
The shield, symbol of protection, is adorned in Arras with 3 fleurs-de-lys and a label of three pendants surmounted by three towers.
But it is the Lion of Flanders which is on the shield; on his shoulder is the symbol of Artois.
The lion is depicted rampant, vertical, erect on a hind leg with open mouth, tongue sticking out, mane bristling.
In the eighteenth century at the uniting of the arms of the village and the city is added the helmet, in the nineteenth century the taste of the coat of arms is to the exterior ornaments. On the fronts, on the chimneys is added the two rampant lions holding the shield in the center adorned with leaves in scrolls and arabesques.
In 1930, the shield is hung on a pellet [roundel?] embellished with fruit.
On 27 May 2018 I was the duty person welcoming visitors to the church. It was a quiet afternoon and I whiled away my time by looking at an old scrap book which I found in the apse. In it I read an article which stated inter alia that these two corbels bore the Arms of New College, Oxford, described as being the Arms of the then Lord Dalmeny's College....