Close-Up View of Dome from La Merced Church

Iglesia de La Merced Dome

I wander what those dog figures are guarding. What do you think?

© 2010 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • Don’t know, but what’s that Zanate doing there? ;O)

  • They are not dogs, he he; they are lions. They may be related to the kingdom of Aragón; or to Saint Mark. Cheers!!

  • I meant the kingdom of León; not Aragón.

  • Sonia

    I dunno, Luis. They really look like dogs to me!

    Look at how their ears are all in different positions. And where are their manes? Don’t tell me the kingdom of Leon would have FEMALE lions guarding their catedrales!

  • Sonia

    Which branch of the catholic church built La Merced? If it’s Franciscan, then perhaps the dogs are related to some sort of story having to do with Saint Francis of Assisi and dogs?

  • The dogs are symbols of the Dominican Order; and La Merced was built by the “Mercedarios”, not by the “Dominicos”. These are Lions. According to the experts, in the Medieval bestiary God is represented by a Lion; that is why lions are often represented kind of human. There is a painting of San Jeronimo in which “his” lion´s face is almost human. Now, think of the artist in the XVII Century, where on earth could the artist have access to the image of a real lion. They just imagined the lions and idealized them. This happens also in China. Chinese artists had references of lions from the Persians; and Chinese lions do not look quite as lions anyway. If we get closer pictures, you will be able to notice the manes (as imagined by XVII century artists in Guatemala)

  • Stephanie

    I love how it’s like a Gothic cathedral — things on top that you can’t see from below and that are meant only for God to see.

  • Erick

    Esos son chuchos!

  • Sonia

    Luis, wow, I am in the presence of an expert! I bow to your obvious knowledge about this matter. And for those who are doubters like me, just do search for “La Merced” pictures on this very site and you will find another close-up of the dome where you can clearly see that they are lions.

  • I always like the designs of churches.

  • I never even noticed those dog-lions before this photo!

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