“If ever you feel like an animal among men, be a lion.”
― Criss Jami
Braunschweig/ Inselwall/ July 2015 / Germany.
Shortly after the death of Henry the Lion, the ruler became the subject of a folktale, the so-called Heinrichssage. The tale was later also turned into the opera Enrico Leone by Italian composer Agostino Steffani. The Heinrichssage details a fictional account of Henry’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land. A popular part of the tale deals with the Brunswick Lion. According to legend, Henry witnessed the fight between a lion and a dragon while on pilgrimage. He joins the lion in its fight and they slay the dragon. The faithful lion then accompanies Henry on his return home. After its master’s death, the lion refuses all food and dies of grief on Henry’s grave. The people of Braunschweig then erect the statue in the lion’s honour.