Over the centuries, the Rosslyn Chapel has been loved for both its mesmerizing decorative artwork and the mystery that encapsulates this 15th-century Scottish structure. This visually stunning chapel is situated just outside of Edinburgh and has flummoxed movie-makers, historians, and tourists for centuries. Why? The structure comprises intricately carved stone-work that is laced with strange symbolism. Furthermore, behind every story, there are either ancient cults appearing out of nowhere or some sort of alien activity. While writing the “The Da Vinci Code”, even Dan Brown was mesmerized by the mystery surrounding the chapel and decided to base the book’s climax around the Rosslyn Chapel. Without further ado, let us take a closer look at the Rosslyn Chapel and find out what is actually going on there.
History of Rosslyn Chapel
Rosslyn Chapel, also named the Collegiate Church of St. Matthew, was founded in the mid-15th century, on a small hill near Rosslyn Castle. The chapel is located just 45 minutes away from Edinburgh. Moreover, the structure was founded by William Sinclair of the Sinclair family. The Sinclairs were a noble family that descended from Norman knights, who in turn, had to move to Scotland in the 11th century after falling out with William the Conqueror.
The purpose of the chapel was to host the Holy Mass for all the deceased including members of the Sinclair family. According to historians, the people back then, believed that continually praying for the soul would help them enter heaven. Therefore, the Sinclairs did too build the church to improve their chances of going to heaven after death. Although Roman Catholic worship stopped after the Scottish Reformation, the Sinclair family continued to follow Roman Catholic rituals until the 18th century.
Rosslyn Chapel Mysteries
Despite being small in structure, the chapel is full of stunning sculptures and architecture including Pagan fertility gods, upside-down devils, supposed Masonic imagery, biblical beliefs, the death mask of Robert Bruce, and references to Norse mythology. Each one of these figures is quite unusual for a Gothic church to have. You can also find literally hundreds of individual scenes and figures, including the Pagan figure of the Green Man. among other fascinating imagery found here, you have the American maize (corn) depicted over one of the windows, which is surprising because the corn was not even discovered at the time when this church was built.
This lead to the belief that the Sinclairs were in contact with North America, many years before Columbus discovered it. Another popular mystery relating to the Rosslyn Chapel revolves around Sinclair’s connections to the Knights Templar. Many believe that the elusive treasure of the Templars is actually buried inside the church’s vaults. Yet it has not been proven. Historians believe that Sinclairs did support the Templars – a fact that is evident through the obvious Templar and Masonic imagery depicted in the church. Over the centuries, the Sinclair family has kept mum about the treasure’s location, which keeps alive the speculations and the mystery of the treasure’s whereabouts.
In Popular Culture
After the chapel got recognition in the movie adaptation of the “Da Vinci Code”, thousands of tourists flocked the place to explore the mysteries. While they were mostly disappointed, they were awestruck by the intricate architecture of the chapel. Together, with the surrounding hills and the old castle’s ruins, the overall experience of the chapel still captivates the audience after all these years.