Lions Around the World

Lions are one of the most recognized animal symbols in history.

They show up in paintings in the prehistoric caves in France and through out all the cultures in their historical range which included Africa and a broad band of countries that extended from Greece through the Middle East and all the way to India.

Lions in Europe.

The power and reputation of the lion has spread well beyond its original boundaries. They appear all over northern Europe where they existed only in the the imagination and in the most ‘lion-hearted’ of men.

The fierce lion statue guarding the Chateau Boleil made sure that that no one was picnicking on the extensive grounds (France).  Statue at Chateaux Beloeil Two gilt lions rampart holding a shield (containing even more lions) on a building in Edam, Holland.Two golden lions rampart on a crest on a building in Edam, HollandA guardian lion at Kasteel de Haar near Utrecht in HollandA Statue of a Lion Graces the Stairway at Kasteel de Haar near Utrecht, HollandLion gateposts at Downhill Demesne in Ireland, UKLion gateposts at Downhill Demesne in Ireland, UKA stone lion statue guards the entrance way to the Covadonga church and shrine (Spain). 
A stone lion statue guarding the entrance way to the Covadonga church and shrine in northern SpainCarved lion on the arm of a chair in Kidwelly Castle in Wales. Carved lion on the arm of a chair in Kidwelly Castle in WalesStatue of a lion guarding the Napoleonic War Museum in Belgium. Statue of a lion guarding the Napoleonic War Museum in Belgium

Lions in the New World.

Lions migrated to the Americas as they were colonized by Europeans.

In Colima, Mexico we met Oswaldo who took us to meet the son of Kimba. But before we went Oswaldo had to show us his scars – lions are apparently not the most appreciative patients in the world. This is the ‘Son of Kimba’, who Oswaldo delivered 15 years ago along with two other cubs.
Kimba the lion at the Colima ZooOne of a set of lions guarding the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, Canada.Lion's Gate Bridge, VancouverLas Vegas golden MGM Lion.The MGM Lion, a golden sculpture on MGM building in Las Vegas, USA

Lions in Asia.

The ‘Lotus’, the ‘Boat’ Skycraper and the ‘Merlion’ in the Singapore Harbour. The Merlion is a mythical creature: part lion, part fish.Singapore Architecture: the 'Lotus', the 'Boat' Skycraper and the MerlionTu Dong Lion at Ananda Temple in Bagan, Myanmar.Tu Dong Lion at Ananda Temple in Bagan, MyanmarCarved wood lion at a Bangkok Wat.
Carved Wood Lion at a Bangkok WatRed & gold painting of a mythical creature combining a lion with the hoofs of a deer in a Melaka Temple in Malaysia.Red & gold painting of a mythical creature combining a lion with the hoofs of a deer in a Melaka Temple in MalaysiaCarved marble lion outside a shop in Halong Bay in Vietnam.Carved marble lion outside a shop in Halong Bay in VietnamA lion sculpture at a temple in Cambodia.A lion sculpture at a temple in CambodiaIndia was one of the few places in Asia where lions actually existed at one time. I find this depiction of a lion in Jodhpur Fort more realistic and less mythical than most other Asian lions (except for the little matter of his wings).Silver lion in the Jodhpur Fort, IndiaAnother charming lion from India, this pone in bas-relief on a brass door in Jodhpur Fort.
A Lion on a Brass Door in Jodhpur Fort, India
More of Jennifer Nichole Wells One Word Photo Challenge: Lion.

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4 responses to “Lions Around the World

    • I was surprised how far the ‘idea’ of a lion had spread so far out of its historic range! There were definitely a lot of lions in Myanmar, especially at the Ananda temple. I saw many people stopping at different stations at the Grand Pagoda in Yangon and caressing different statues/gods placed there. Is there a tradition of paying respect to the day of your birth?

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Challenges: November 26 – December 2 (OWPC, WW) | Tourmaline .·

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