In the iron door of the cathedral in the German city of Aachen,|
you can see a split section. There is also a picture of a wolf, next to a pine cone.
Both are made of iron.
The Legend says when the church was built, work had to be
stopped due to lack of money. After the abandoned ruins had
stood untouched for some time, it is said the devil came to see
the town's mayor and offered the necessary money for the
completion of the church.
In return, he asked that the first soul to enter the church
on it's auguration day, be his.
The mayor hesitated for a long time, but eventually agreed,
with the promise to keep the pact secret.
So the cathedral was built with the devil's money, but somehow
the secret of the pact became known too. Therefore, nobody
wanted to be first to enter the church, and a ruse was planned:
A wolf was caught in the forest, and carried to the main entrance
of the cathedral. On the day the church bells rang for the first
time, the wolf was let go, to run into the church.
The devil chased after, to claim what the pact had promised to be his.
But when he saw that he had been cheated, and had only been given
a wolf's soul, he slammed the church doors shut with such anger
that the iron split.
In dedication to the wolf and his soul -which supposedly looks similar to
a pine cone- an iron effigy was made.
The French took these ornaments with them to Paris,
but they were returned in 1815, and placed on plinths
flanking the cathedral entrance.
However, the wolf lost some of his paws.
Copyright © C. de Valois