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Boule aux Rats

There are many “rat ball” sculptures located around France. Saint-Germain-l’Auxer-rois in Paris, Le Mans Cathedral, and the church of Saint-Jacques de Meulan in Yvelines département Île-de-France are a few of the more prominent sculptures. The Carpentras Cathedral also features a very impressive “Boule aux Rats.”

No one really knows what these strange sculptures were designed to represent. They contain a sphere with rats either nibbling into it, emerging from the ball, or both. Many researchers believe the sculptures were created as a motif to symbolize the world being consumed by misery. They became prominent fixtures during the Middle Ages when cities lacked sanitation and were often infested with rats. 

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