Rosslyn Chapel is a wonderful example of Gothic architecture in Scotland, but yes, a Gothic construction that began to be built in the mid-15th century.
The temple was built William Sinclair, the 1st Earl of Caithness in the year 1446, and for more than four decades the work was carried out, and still it never came to finished as the count had dreamed, since it was a really ambitious project. And not only did he not see it finished, but when he died, the Sinclair clan, very powerful in Scotland at the time, decided not to continue with the work. Although yes, both the earl and a few of his descendants were buried here.
Rosslyn Chapel Interior
Although there came a time at the end of the 16th century that the chapel was abandoned. For something as simple as that it was born as a Catholic temple, and with the arrival of the Reformation, it ceased to be used. However, today the building still belongs to the heirs of the mythical Sinclair clan.
We have said that William Sinclair's project was much broader than what remains today. That's because this Scottish nobleman sought inspiration from theGreat Temple of Solomon in Jerusalemfor his chapel. A temple in the Holy Land closely linked to the Order of the Knights Templar, with which the count was always associated.
Of thisLikewise, the current Rosslyn Chapel has the chapel itself, a crypt that was used as a workshop during the work and later as a sacristy, a baptistery and three naves.
But more than its architectural description, what makes it a very unique building is its sculptural ornamentation. A decoration that raises many enigmas that has helped maintain the Sinclair's legendary relationship with the Templar Order, and also with Freemasonry.
The fact is that there are sculptures that are difficult to interpret. For example, one that represents the Dance of Death, in which different skeletons perform work as if they were alive. Another very curious representation and complicated solution is the so-called Green Man, who appears almost a hundred times throughout the Rosslyn Chapel, and according to some researchers it would be an image alluding to pagan beliefs about fertility and life. What would be related to the representation of the Tree of Life so typical of Nordic cultures.
Something that seems to collide with the representation of other biblical scenes, of the Virtues and the Deadly Sins that are also present.
There are many more enigmas, such as a shape carved at various points that simulates being an ear of corn, something that had not yet arrived from America, and that perhaps suggests that trips had already been made there.
Or equally striking are the well-known pillars of the master and the apprentice, of which legend says that the apprentice ended up dead for doing the job betterthan the teacher. In fact, everything in Rosslyn Chapel is surrounded by enigmas, legends and mysteries, so it is not surprising that it appears in the best seller The Da Vinci Code, which has exponentially increased the popularity of this Scottish monument.