Celebrating 300 years

The seat of political power in Manitoba is the last place one might expect to find the bust of Medusa, recurring odes to '666' and the number 13, alongside Egyptian sphinxes etched with hieroglyphics

But a closer look at the province's legislature reveals a whole host of hidden clues left behind by an architect who thought his magnum opus in Winnipeg would be a jewel rooted in the beliefs of Freemasonry in the heart of one of the most powerful cities in Canada.

If ever there was a building designed for fans of Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code,' this is it.

Between April and October, visitors can take a tour of the legislature led by Winnipeg's Robert Langdon, Frank Albo, who has studied the legislature and its secrets hidden by British architect Frank Worthington Simon for a decade.

'He thought this building in the centre of Canada was going to be the continental showpiece. This was supposed to be a much bigger city than it ever became,' said Albo. 'He placed ideas and symbols in this building, hoping that the public would figure it out. Turns out it took 100 years later for that to happen.'

Without knowing the history behind the symbolism, many elements of the legislature can look out of place. To truly understand the beauty of the legislature, Albo said you have to understand Simon and his beliefs. Simon was a member of the Freemasons, a secret society that believed architecture 'had the capacity to reform the soul,' Albo said.

'He was a strange kind of British genius who believed that occultism, Freemasonry, Hermetic philosophy and many other ideas that we might dismiss today are essential to moral advancement, especially to the government and in beautifully built buildings.'

Read more about this fascinating building here

Published in International

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