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Nehalennia

by Micha F. Lindemans

A local goddess who was venerated in the area around Domburg (Walcheren, Netherlands) in the second and third century CE. She was regarded as a protector of travelers or seafarers; several inscriptions on votive stones and altars show gratitude for a safe passage across the North Sea.

Her name, which is neither Germanic nor Celtic, suggests that she may have been introduced from elsewhere.

On votive stones (more than 160 have been found) she is depicted as a young woman seated on a throne in an apse flanked by two columns, usually with a dog at her side. In her lap she holds a basket with apples or with loaves of bread. She also appears standing with her foot on the bow of a ship.

A replica of her temple has been constructed at Colijnsplaat in 2005, the location of the lost town of Ganuenta where the original temple was once situated.


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