Index of OBE, Part 2
The Cathedral Ruin
(by Alfred Ballabene)
Just as if I had become conscious from a state of black out, from one moment to the other, I became conscious finding myself in an unknown city, in the midst of a silent street without traffic. Nothing was different from real life, except that the city was less crowded and only some few people could be seen here and there. The town seemed typical for those towns of Central Europe, prospering at the time of about 1900.
After a walk of about ten minutes, as it seemed to me, I caught the sight of a short side street, ending in broad, comfortable stone stairs, leading to a lower part of the city. Down there I saw a flat terrain, 100 to 200 feet lower as the upper part of the city. This part of the city looked somehow faint. No single soul was to be seen, no sound heard.
I went down the flight of stairs, to have a more detailed look at this part of the city. At first instances nothing seemed different. But after the first visual impression a depressing silence started to dominate, associated with a feeling of some hidden danger. Nevertheless I continued my walk until I saw a very high wall of the backside of a building at the right side of the street.
I went straight to that eye-mark. The impressive wall was made of stones, already darkened by the dust of centuries. Looking upwards I recognized the wall as the backside of a cathedral, obviously built side to side to an other building at the place where now was the street. There were two inconspicuous small doors, carelessly constructed similar to the wooden doors of a stable. They seemed to be a hidden entrance to the cathedral. This aspect made me curious.
Opening one of the wooden doors I entered. Now I was in an empty little hall, with two open doors at left and right at the opposite wall, with stairs leading upwards. Between the two doors was a big gate with an ornamented archway and stairs leading downwards. Perhaps this was the entrance to a crypta or to catacombes.
The way downwards was not at all attractive. Therefore I turned to the left side, went up the stairs and entered a huge hall of a gothic cathedral. The cathedral was a ruin. A great part of the roof had caved in and the interior therefore was lightened. The hall was dominated by a heap of stones and many broken statues. At both sides were mighty columns, still intact and decorated with sculptures of saints. This certainly was a very beautiful cathedral in former times.
After some steps forward and a first informing look I climbed at the top of the heap. Observing some reminders of statues, I became aware, that a very powerful and hostile being had sensed me. I felt how it approached from the part underneath, hurrying upwards in great anger. Then I caught a glimpse of two giant legs formed as those of a cock and further of a part of an armour made of iron scales. I felt, that I never would have a chance in case of confrontation and hurried away. Just in time I found a gate in the broken wall and escaped.
Painting of Hippolyte Sebron
"Innenraum einer verfallenen Abtei", 1848