The photograph shows a carving of an astronaut on the facade of a cathedral in Salamanca, Spain. A carving of an astronaut was added to the New Cathedral in Salamanca, Spain during restoration work in 1992. The same photograph has also been posted to a number of online forums and blogs on which they have generated a considerable amount of debate. While some commentators have suggested that the astronaut has been added using image manipulation software, other observers have come up with more outlandish explanations, including time travel, alien visitations in ancient times and amazingly precise predictions of the future by the artists who decorated the original buildings. More down-to-earth observers have drawn the most obvious conclusion, which is that the astronaut carving was added to the building in much more recent times. And, in fact, this more sensible explanation for the “mystery” is entirely correct. The astronaut, along with other contemporary symbols was added in 1992 during restoration work on the “new” cathedral. The person responsible for the restoration, Jeronimo Garcia, reportedly chose an astronaut as a fitting symbol of the twentieth century. According to an article about the restoration, it is a tradition of cathedral builders and restorers to include a contemporary symbol on the building as a means of “signing” their work. A Wikipedia article about the cathedral concurs:
Its main entrance consists of 3 arcs, each leading to the 3 naves (sections) of the church. All three are richly carved. Among the ornate carvings on the façade is the incongruous likeness of an astronaut floating in space; it was added by an artist during restoration work in 1992 as a symbol of the 20th century. Thus, there is actually no mystery about the Cathedral “spaceman” whatsoever. The message is also inaccurate in another detail. It claims that the astronaut carving is on a cathedral that was built in the year 1102. However, the carving actually graces the wall of the “new” cathedral. Construction of the New Cathedral of Salamanca began in 1513. The Old Cathedral, located nearby, is the building that dates back to about 1100 AD.~♥¤♥~ — con Heinz-Juergen Grothaus, Kalani Ahuna, Lydia Wild Brook, Cairo Kerrie, Meredith Raymonde, Kate Jade-AppleGate, Victor Rivera, Indranil Ray, Szabina Maria Deli, Sunset Lights, Victoria Halik, Lightworker Prsdl, Brian Dinning, Susan Kentwell, Ennio Montariello, Maryann Vicari, Agape Satori, Michel Largeron, Cherokee Sunnyshine Miller, Roberto Mura, Dean Corso, Wendy VenusWings, Roman Espinal, Pam Sing, Be V Stratton-Proemper.


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