This wooden statue, created by J. Thissen & Son in Roermond in 1909, was given to the Nederlands Mijnmuseum by the last director of the state mine Emma (1911-1973) in the Limburg mining region. The statue is 1.15 m high and its base measures 32x27 cm.
Saint Barbara is shown with typical attributes like the tower, the sword and the chalice (see hotspots for iconographic information).
According to the legend, Barbara’s pagan father Dioscorus kept her prisoner in a tower. When he discovered that she had converted to Christianity, he denounced her publicly and beheaded her with his sword when she refused to renounce her faith. After the murder he was struck by lightning.
Therefore, the martyr Barbara was adapted as the patron saint of people who worked with explosives. When explosives were increasingly used in mining, Saint Barbara became the patroness of miners. The workers and their families prayed to the saint for her protection.
3D model created by: Weber, Julia