Let the lion roar! If you want to demonstrate power and independence, what better choice of emblem than the king of beasts.
So that’s what the town of Radeberg chose! Shortly before Christmas 1507, the town was awarded a grant of arms by Duke Georg the Bearded from the Albertine line of the Wettin dynasty. The grant describes a heraldic shield, or escutcheon, with a yellow or gold ground. Upon it, a demi-wheel, and above that a blue lion passant with a gaping mouth. The lion appears to be bisected by a silver sword with its point on the hub of the demi-wheel.
The demi-wheel harks back to the seal of Thimo von Radeberch, while the blue lion – reminiscent of the black lion of Meissen –might symbolise a self-reliant town. The sword, in turn, might represent the elector of Saxony, who keeps the lion – that is the town – in check and has the final word on decisions affecting Radeberg. The town has borne this coat of arms since 1513. To this day, it’s displayed above the entrance to Radeberg town hall.
Now please turn around. The painting in landscape format on the long wall between the windows represents the row of buildings at the upper end of Radeberg market square. The building on the far right is the town hall, with a rather magnificent portal gracing its façade. The Radeberg coat of arms adorns the lintel.
The picture was painted in the second half of the 18th century and shows a view of the market place after the major fire of 1741 and the subsequent reconstruction over the following decades. Actually, the appearance of both the market place and the town hall has barely changed since – and that includes the blue lion over the door.
All depictions: © Stadt- und Fachwerkmuseum Eppingen