E.O.W. Round 156: Temple at Uppsala
Topic suggested by JanJager:
Temple at Uppsala
Taken from Wikipedia:
The Temple at Uppsala was a religious center in Norse paganism once located at what is now Gamla Uppsala. Sweden attested in Adam of Bremen's 11th century work Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum and in Heimskringla, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century. Theories have been proposed about the implications of the descriptions of the temple and the findings (or lack thereof) of the archaeological excavations in the area.
In Gesta Hammaburgensis ecclesiae pontificum, Adam of Bremen provides a description of the temple. Adam records that a "very famous temple called Ubsola" exists in a town close to Sigtuna. Adam details that the temple is "adorned with gold" and that the people there worship statues of three specific gods that sit on a triple throne. Adam describes that near the temple stands a massive tree with far-spreading branches, which is evergreen both in summer and winter. At the tree is also a spring where sacrifices are also held. According to Adam, a custom exists where a man, alive, is thrown into the spring, and if he fails to return to the surface, "the wish of the people will be fulfilled."
The existence of the temple disputed, and there's no historically factual details of what it looked like. There are just two written records - none of the writers ever saw the temple and there are few archaeological records. You can choose to follow the wikipedia briefing or just have at it loosely.
In the end I went with something a little different than the straight-on old-school Norse approach and went with a sort of techno-blend (don't get me wrong, great universe to explore, I just felt like doing something a touch different). I tried to hit all the basics though : giant evergreen, golden chain(s), some ledge to throw people off of into the spring water. Added a few raven-banners here, the Thor statue in the Mjolnir inspired floating ship, fancy-bits to the bottom rear reminiscent of the shields offa the Drakkars. Anyway, enough chatter
Good fun & I sorely need the practice. Good luck to all !
I went with my imagination and thought the temple would likely be a massive structure in an out of the way holy place, so I went for a feeling of seclusion, but still tried to keep the scale large. I liked the idea of the temple almost being a cap to the mountain it was on. I also wanted to incorporate the spring and tree, I think it adds to the feel that the temple is in something of an oasis in the mountains.
The subject matter is really dark and eerie, so i wanted to try and paint the setting at day time but still give the uneasy feeling that people portrayed in the writings. Subtle dead bodies in the trees people casually sitting at the waters edge, a decayed arm floats to the top...
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