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Le musée est : Fermé

Regular star-shaped octahedrons

Audioguide EN

On the uprights of the two balusters of the balustrade above the stairwell, we notice two regular star-shaped octahedrons. Two others adorn the banister on the upper floor. Popular belief once attributed a protective role to this type of figure.

So it’s no coincidence, or purely decorative, that three regular star octahedrons were placed as sentinels at the top of the attic staircase. A highly strategic location, vital even to the family’s survival, the attic had to be protected against fire, lightning, disease, evil spells, bad luck, prowlers, rodents and vermin of all kinds.

A masterpiece of carpenters’ skills, the star octahedron is a kind of star made up of 24 equilateral triangles sawn from a cube. A mysterious and fascinating object, it points its vertices in the four directions of the upper and lower worlds. Its faces repeat the figure of the Holy Trinity 24 times, opposing it to evil forces coming from all possible directions.

This spatial value is complemented by a temporal dimension. The number 24, already present in Romanesque symbolism, represents the hours of the day. But it can also represent the year, the lunar year seen in its duality represented by the waxing and waning phases of the star. It also represents the numbers of the Old Men of the Apocalypse. The starry octahedron is a powerful and perfectly ambiguous symbol.