Tutek, by Krysia

Here is what I got from my Friend – she made her first “movie” 🙂

The hero is OF COURSE my sweet Tutivillus 😉


Published in: on 09/12/2010 at 07:11  Leave a Comment  

Why Tutivillus 2.

Orneta … a small town in Warmia. Small – because it has a population of about 10 thousand. Located in the triangle Młynary – PieniężnoDobre Miasto. Now, at last it i slowly regaining its former beauty, thanks to the revitalisation of the market square.

The city has a long history … It was established on an old Prussian settlement – called Wormedythin or Wurmedyten. The mention of the settlement dates back to the 1308th. And in 1312 we have information about Henry, the parson. One of the famous citizens of Orneta – was Peter of Orneta – the prosecutor in service of the Teutonic Knights (known also as proctor Peter Wormditt) …

In the fourteenth century Orneta became a centre of importance, when in April 1338 Herman of Prague became the bishop of Warmia. he was a former   chapter curator in Prague, advisor to King John of Luxembourg (the Blind), moreover, a member of the Rota Court.

And at the same time, the construction of the temple in Orneta started (present-day Church of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist). Soon the shrine gained special importance. For 9 years has been the Episcopal church – as Orneta was the site of the bishops of Warmia for those 9 years. Bishops resided in Orneta castle. This is roughly the area of today’s school No. 1 Castle Street.) Today there is nothing left of the castle, except perhaps the walls in the school basement. The castle was demolished by order of the Prussian government in the nineteenth century.

Bishop Herman supposedly brought the builder from Bohemia. However it was – the church has rich gables and massive western tower.

Of course, the work lasted even after the death of the founder. In the fifteenth century the main aisle was covered with the vaulted ceilings and also the outside decoration of the church was completed. The uniqueness of the church shows also outside. It is the only such church in Warmia, which has a   frieze (the plants and the human figures and heads) on the outer walls.

Inside the church, multiplied presentation of Tutivillus draws attention.

Two such open-muzzle beasts can be seen on the vault behind the altar, the others – on the vaulted ceilings of the main aisle. (Photos here, are unfortunately of poor quality – the church is rather dark and the camera I had – did not allow the better quality pictures).

The beasts in the vaulted ceilings, maybe being at the same time – the loudspeakres…

There are few theories about these beasts. Some see Tutivillus in them, as referred elsewhere. Others want to see them as air vents, or loudspeakers. I wrote about this theory – but still have to translate the text…

At the end – few comments of a practical nature:

If anyone goes to Orneta – which I highly recommend, it is essential to go for dumplings (pierogi) served in the restaurant La Strada (the corner of St.. John and Pioneers – btw. what a terrible name for such a historical town???).

Orneta sightseeing is primarily detecting the details. Lots of pretty details such as the church gargoyles or those charming in the main market square…

But then there also is the Town Hall … In itself might not attract attention of those who seek the so-called simple and obvious beauty. But considering the fact that the small 18th century turret homes the ave-bell from 1384 (being the oldest in the whole Warmia Region) – it definitely demands a closer glimpse at this place on the map…

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And an important note – in Orneta there are no public toilets!

(Written in December 2009)

Tourists looking for this abode will not find it anywhere (the toilet in the Town Hall is closed for visitors), and the so-called Toi-Toi boohts I would NEVER recommend to use!!! Sometimes the stench from them can kill…I recommend the local authorities try using something like this – and maybe they would think twice…

Tourists would like to visit Orneta, so – at least in the season it would be  wise to think of a public toilet.

Published in: on 27/09/2010 at 21:02  Leave a Comment  

Why Tutivillus 1.

I just realized, that I did not explain why I use the name Tutivillus in the blog title.

Well… it started some time ago – when I went around the Warmia Region. I stopped in Orneta, a small town in the heart of the Warmia Region. In the setting sun the town looked like a fairy tale place in the Holy Ermland… Just near the main town square – here called the market – there is a church of St. Johns’. A building from the 14th century, with splendid gables.

Wherever I go – I first visit local churches.

It is the best way of learning about the history and culture of the visited region. Especially, that many pieces of art from this part of today’s Poland just vanished – during II WW. Deliberately I wrote “vanished” because not all can be traced in eastern or western museums. Many still spring out at numerous auctions. Meaning – they were simply stolen…

But to go back to what I am about…

When I entered St. Johns’ church – I saw typical for this region – some medieval “murals”, some baroque altars. Also typical for that region – silence and something in the atmosphere of the church, found nowhere else in Poland…

And then I looked up at the vaulted ceilings.

Oh, My! What a beautiful view! Vaulted ceilings with the so-called main rib.

And … Tutivillus. But in so many displays, that till today I can’t decide which is my favorite.

This is how I started to notice Tutivillus, and this is how I became interested in medieval legends. Tutivillus became one of my favorite marks of reference. And I still am tracing this Demon Patron of Scribes or as he is sometimes called – the Noting and Listening Demon, God’s Spy.

About Warmia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warmia
About Orneta http://www.mojalbum.com.pl/Album=7PCEYYEC

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It is often said: go to Hell, or Devil knows… Well he knows … He, or  rather – Tutivillus.

Devil eavesdropper – said to be God’s Spy. In fact he is the spy of the Lord of Hell. The only one who has the right – or even in a sense the obligation – to sit in the parish and monastic churches (just above the stalls), as well as in the cloisters of the monastery. Sitting, squatting in the corner and noting, or overhears our sins and omissions …

Eavesdropper – storing information, only to give an account of them later..

Another version says that he spies and overhears, records and collects the sins, so as to “pull them out and against” at the Last Judgement.


And the beginning was pretty mundane – well – our hero was invented in a monastery, probably in the twelfth century.

Well – the monastic regulations require that the monks meet at the common prayers of approximately every three hours. Not necessarily all  did (nor do)  that very willingly, and not necessarily all very consciously. At night, it had to be particularly burdensome. And when we think of the chill in the church, and the monks’ dresses… And when the last psalm was sung – in fact most of the monastic minds already circled around their cells, and more or less comfortable – but still … beds. Superiors so invented Tutivillus – as the lash for those not too diligent.

The devil, who was originally to be a kind of doorman – because he sat at church entrances and noted who did and who did not bow to the Lord.

No, we will not notice him because he is a clever creature, and hides from our eyes. So as not  to be inscribed on the list – be sure to pray honestly, so that the spy will have nothing to do.

There is a saying – “we don’t fight against legends – we tell them” ….

And so it was in this case – the legend, was quickly adapted, and the devil has been “tamed” … He even somehow became a part of our everyday life.  It functions in the vocabulary  and literature (read more on Timothy DeVinney’s site)

We are not even aware of how much of Tutivillus we have around us in our everyday life. And it is not this big scary devil from hell – what’s his name … Beelzebub, Lucifer or another. This is our tiny Tutivillus. I somehow always think of him – in the context of the Gummi Bears (Toadie)…

As I was told by one of the history tracers – Tutivillus was seen in Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Sweden and Denmark as well as in distant Finland, also in England and Estonia. Mainly he hides in the polychromy.

In the sixteenth-century England, slow-witted  people were called tutivill –  so it was rather an insult to be called like this… Wonder why – as Tutivillus was rather (or still is) a smart one 😉

One can be as nosy as… Tutivillus, or meticulous as Tutivillus.

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