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ROSS 1rosy2Rosslyn Chapel: Nestled in the village of Roslin, Scotland, the Rosslyn Chapel, or Collegiate Chapel of St Matthew, was founded by William Sinclair – descended from a noble ancestry of Norman knights. Used originally to celebrate the Divine Office and Holy Mass, its sealed crypts are rumoured to have held, at different times, the mummified head of Jesus; the Holy Grail; the treasures of the Knights Templar; and the Scottish crown jewels.

However, its most famous piece of architecture is the Apprentice Pillar. As legend would have it, the master stonemason who helped build the chapel did not believe that his apprentice could complete the pillar by himself. When he returned from his travels to find that his apprentice had carved the pillar unaided, in a fit of envious rage the master mason killed his student with a mallet-blow to the head. As a punishment, the master’s face was carved into the opposite pillar, the better to look upon his novice’s work forevermore. It is also suggested that the Apprentice Pillar represents the roots of the great tree of Nordic mythology, Yggdrasil.

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