YEAR IN, YEAR OUT ...
JANUS at Totentanzplatz
JANUARY - named after Janus
The first month of the ancient Roman calendar /Mensis Ianuarius / was named after Janus, the god of all beginnings and ends. Typically depicted as having two faces, Janus continues to be associated with doorways /januae / and archways /jani /. It should thus not be surprising to find a statue of Janus on the site where one of Basel's medieval city gates - St. Johanns-Schwibbogen - used to stand. Otto Bänninger's 1962 statue of Janus, reclining on the small green square known as the Totentanzplatz, continues to remind us of the past while it looks toward the future.
Otto Bänninger "Janus" 1962 Totentanzplatz, Basel
Young Janus faces the city, Totentanzplatz in the background
Old Janus faces St.Johanns-Vorstadt, medieval entry into Basel's inner city used to be just behind his back
Janus in May :)
© All photos: Dina Bonefacic Mihaljek architecture walks and talks
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