Down a few, rutted steps in the Dom Saint Maria in Augsburg you will find
its Crypt, which dates from the 10th century. This underground section of
the Dom is a remnant of an
earlier cathedral. It is a dark, low, vaulted space with numerous
short, narrow columns supporting the space above. At one end is a small
altar in an alcove. The altar had two candles on it, and an
inset window of some diaphanous, stone-like material, emitted light
from what we assumed was an artificial source behind the wall. (The
crypt is slightly sunken and the day was overcast, so we think our
presumption about the light source is correct.) One the floor, about two feet in front
of the altar is a brass plate in the floor commemorating Saint Simpert dated
We took several photos of the altar and realized that it was too dark to do so
without a flash, but purposefully choose not to interrupt the solitude of the crypt.
We want to share a curious image that appears behind the altar, one that we
did not notice during our visit.
first image below has been reduced and cropped, but not enhanced in any way.
We use it to show you the general look of the altar to visitors.
Because we generally do not use full size images on our website due to the
time it takes to load them when you view one of our pages, we reduce and crop them to conserve page space and bandwidth. When we
began to look at the pictures - we noticed something that we had not seen
during our visit.
We sometimes use a commercial image processing package to enhance images
when our photos do not turn out quite as we had expected.
Shown below is the use of the "Enhance Photo" tool available in Paint Shop
Pro. As you can see, it lightened the scene, but the image appears to include
several artifacts. Upon closer look, the white walls appeared to
contain images that we had not noticed when visiting the Crypt.
The image below is a 50% reduction of the "enhanced" original. In it,
we have circled what appears to be two faces attached to rather bulbous
bodies. The image on the right appears to be the face of a man gazing
up or across the alcove. We "see" (from left to right within the blue
circle) a forehead, eye socket, hair, and an irregularly shaped ear. The image on the left has a cow or bull-like facial appearance (some say
If you take a look at this same figure in the original at the top of the
page, you might "see" that the figure on the left could be a semi-bald
man, perhaps a monk. However, that was not the end of it.
We reduced the image further (no other processing was used) and now it
appeared that the face we thought we had seen in the image on the
right-side was possibly a part of a larger head and face looking to the
right or away from the altar . Further, the image on the left now
resembled a man looking down at the altar. If you continue to look,
you may see other details, or perhaps we are just too imaginative.
However, we thought you might be interested. (All images copyright
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