Meer dan een eeuw actief voor Hoorns erfgoed

Hoorn's Religious Heritage walk: religious statues and wall panels

3. Munnickenveld

kaart We go back over the bridge again then go Right to cross over the narrow green footbridge and the white footbridge

(Claas Stapelhof ) Here on the north side of the Munnickenveld (Monk's field) we see the old courtyard of the Claas Stapelhof almshouses, the gateway was once the entrance to the former Latin School in the Kruisstraat. Above the gate is a horn. The emblem of the town Hoorn, below it the text: Christo Duce et auspice Christo Caelo Musa Beat (Christ as guide, with the blessing of Christ the muses bring celestial happiness).The latter part of the text is taken from Horatius (Carmina IV.8.29) as studied at the Latin School , the whole text reflects the Christian and the Latin elements of the teaching at that time.

Above the doors of the houses on the left is a carved stone representation of Judith and her handmaid about to decapitate the drunken Holofemes.

foto rechts
Judith and Holofemes (apocryphal legend told in the Book of Judith)

Judith was a Jewish heroine and is iconic for the Jews' fight against their persecution. She is commonly depicted triumphantly holding aloft the head of Holofemes.

In the Old Testament story in the Book of Judith the Jewish town of Betulia was under siege by the Assyrian army commanded by Holofemes. The inhabitants were about to surrender when Judith, a rich and attractive widow thought up a plan. She exchanged her widow's weeds for splendid bridal garments and together with her handmaid secretly penetrated the Assyrian camp .She tricked the soldiers into letting her through to Holofemes .She told him she had a cunning plan for defeat of the Jews, the Commander was so dazzled by her beauty that he invited her to the banquet that evening, when he intended to seduce her. However she encouraged him to drink heavily and when they were alone after the banquet he fell into a drunken stupor. Judith wept and prayed and then beheaded him, using his own sword. Judith and her maid escaped back into Betulya carrying the severed head in a bag.

Judith is depicted in medieval times as a pre-figuration of the Virgin Mary, conquering evil and with links to the allegorical figure Humility. Judith's story is sometimes part of a series of legends about (biblical) women who defeat men through a ruse.

In renaissance art the gory legend was a popular subject. In the contra-reformation period it was depicted as the defeat of sin.