A painting – Mystery solved

Hm … Actually, I should be happy. P. Has just solved the mystery. And he did it simply, nearly instantly – I could say.

And all because I noticed in my Polish blog statistics a significant traffic around the Mysteries (The Painting). And the entries were from arboad, so I decided to help my Dear foreign Readers and I translated the article. I’ve enclosed a picture of the said mystery, once again looked through Duncker’s paintings, I “hung” the article on a blog, and attached a link on FB and then – I went off to sleep.

In the morning, before starting my tour, I looked at FB, and got a shock. There were several comments that P. posted under my link to the article:

… I do not know … if you’d be delighted or not, but from my point of view the image shows a place in Prussia, but in the so-called South Prussia – namely Kalisz. The river is Prosna, and the church – the collegiate church. There are other details that confirm this observation. I’m curious of your opinion.

How could I have any opinion if I have NEVER been to Kalisz! I even had to check on the map to properly locate the town! I was so focused – we all were – on East Prussia that no other place in the entire world came to our minds.

 … In the center of the image there is slightly hazy high building. This, in my humble opinion, is the St. Nicolas church. Without a tower, so the picture is from the period between 1706, when it was burned, and the year 1877, when the rebuilding started. I tend to be dating the painting at the turn of the century XVIII / XIX, rather already in the Napoleonic era …

Well, now I think I should go to Kalisz. To see the town had haunted me for such a long time.

In this image … this palace is pretty well shown :-))))

And it is … it actually is. When I realized that I felt even more shocked.  It was seeking a solution far away – having it almost in front of own nose 😉

And why I wrote that actually I should be happy?

It is because the case of the proverbial “Sobieski’s Horse”* is resolved, and what is going to bother my head now?

Here, for the last time – a picture of Lady M.’s mystery.


 And by the way, P. has always had accurate observations (not to mention his retorts) 😀

* I shall write about the Sobieski’s Horse  some other time 😉

Good night 😉

Published in: on 29/04/2012 at 23:29  Leave a Comment  

A painting…

Several years ago Lady M. sent me a photograph of a picture.

There is no signature attached, no indication of the name of the place on the picture… Nothing. Just the suppositions.

The palace looks much like the palace of Finckenstein… Or the non existing anymore palace of Friedrichstein in Kreis Wehlau (now in Russia).

As far as I remember – Lady M. bought the painting in a little antique shop in former Leningrad few years after WW 2. The man who sold it to her, was supposedly a war veteran and he insisted that this was one of many palaces in East Prussia. So, knowing I am a Prussian, lady M. sent this to me, hoping I would be able to find out where the depicted palace could be found. One thing we both did not take into consideration – that there are very few palaces left after the Red Army marched through here on their way to Berlin in 1945.

So after the several years’ research I am still at the beginning of my story…

Hoping to find the palace – I went through quite a collection of paintings by Alexander Duncker. He painted Prussian palaces and castles. I finally found a picture (two in fact) od the palace of Friedrichstein.

One – as seen from the garden and the second – as seen from the front driveway.

But is it really this palace?  Was the depicted palace  – really in East Prussia? Will this mystery ever be solved?

*     /     *

Both the palaces (Finckenstein and Friedrichstein) are a bit similar, as they were designed by the same architect – John von Collas. They were built to bear the status of the royal palaces for the Prussian royalty en route. And therefore could not be modest in any way.

The Friedrichstein palace belonged to the Doenhoff family. If looked up in the Wikipedia – it can be read that the family had a Polish and the German branch. Both very interesting – and very inspiring to read about. To start – would be good to find Ernst Magnus Doenhoff and one of his brothers: Kasper Doenhoff.  And then go to the times of the Polish-Swedish wars…

The last known Doenhoff was Marion – who had luck enough to have fled on horseback before the Red Army entered Quitainen (where she lived till 1945). She wrote several books on East Prussia, and even though they are of poor quality as literature – they are a good source of information about the life then and there.

The other palace  mentined before – Finckenstein – had once belonged to the Finck von Finckenstein family, and then (through marriage) to the Zu Dohna-Schlobitten family. It was among the most beautiful Prussian palaces.

It was here – that Napolen Bonaparte had his famous romance with a Polish countess, Maria Walewska. And from here he ruled his empire in 1807 (between April 1st and June 6th). Here the Treaty of Finckenstein was signed between France and Persia…

When the movie “Conquest” was made, featuring Greta Garbo as mme Maria Walewska – it was made in the palace of Finckenstein. And as it was made in 1937 – the palace was still beautiful… During WW 2 Hitler visited the palace, and there is a story being told in the village, that one of his dogs was burried in the palace park. Another story is being rather whispered – about the famous Amber Room being sunk in the palace park pond…

Today, the palace is a sad ruin, awaiting its end in rubble. Only the echoes of the great past history can sometimes be heard’ or maybe those are the ghosts of the past trying to find their way in ruins…

Published in: on 27/04/2012 at 23:11  Leave a Comment  

The holes…

As a tour guide and tour leader – I travel a lot. I travel not only with tourists, but also to prepare the tours, or running a query or just for pleasure.

The areas of my interests include both Pomerania and Warmia-Mazury, but I also travel all over Poland.

And of course, a place where every seeker of the past always stops, is the church – especially if it is old medieval.

Whenever inventorying the church compounds – I also take pictures of the church walls, because they can reveal a lot of information.

Whenever I looked at the church walls, my attention was drawn by small – which look as if they were made by a spoon. They are either round or in a shape reminding of a trowel. They are usually gathered around the main (west) portal, as well as on the south wall, more or less to where inside the sanctuary starts (but this is not the rule, because the holes can often be found on the east wall as well).

In general, holes are located at a height convenient for a man, but sometimes I had to bend down to photograph them. However, on some church wall they are higher, and sometimes even on the north wall. Sometimes also above the northern porch, among the later bricks. The question is whether they were re-used? I did not find such holes on the wall of the monastic churches – which is natural, considering the monastery buildings (usually on the south side of the church).The situation of the holes around the western portal and the south wall is connected with the fact that this is the bright side (with light), and as far as the portal itself…

Christ says in the Gospel according to St.. John:

„I am the gate. If anyone enters through me, he will be saved. He will come in and go out and find pasture. … „

But back to the holes and bricks ….

I started to collect the hypothesis on this subject, as well as information on whether and where else outside of my area such holes can be found. I learned about such ones in Sweden, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg, or on Rugia. They can be also found throughout Poland.

One of the hypotheses is the expiatory nature of the holes. Namely – the sinner after confession – celebrated penance drilling the wall of the church with his finger. I checked… After such an experience for a few days I had my fingers wrapped with plaster. This theory has fallen as illogical.

Almost as popular as the previous one – is a theory of quackery. Indeed, consecrated dust was added sometimes to fodder for cows, or sometimes it was used by local healers. However, the marginal use of such dust, and then numerous pilgrimages – raises the idea that if actually anything like that took place, might have happened in the shrines to which people went on pilgrimages.

There also is a version that into such a hollow the ill blew their illness. But – there is some doubt that the church – especially medieval would allow such practices. And besides – what if there are fewer holes in some places, or there is a lack of them? Does it mean that such community was healthier? Most reliable is a theory of fire bow, or as sometimes called: fire bow drill.

I found in the internet a short video of how a fire bow drill was used  (it is  more or less similar to the medieval one) .

Some of the holes in church walls are deeper other shallower, some more blackened with smoke than the others.

On the photo below we can see strange traces on the walls of St. Johns’ Church in Torun.

Is it possible that the fire bow drill left such traces?

What finally did the holes mean and why they were made?

When Christianity was just starting here (on today’s Polish lands) – not only churches were built in places of ancient religious practices. Also adopted and “tamed” were many old habits and beliefs.Especially important was the solar cult (worshipping of the sun). A

ll peoples, from the ancient Egyptians through the Slavs, Germans, Scandinavians as well as the Prussians – have worshiped and still worship the sun and fire. Often without being aware of it, we are very strongly embedded in the beliefs of our ancestors. And in superstitions…

As the sun comes from the fire – the fire gods were once important figures in the pantheon of deities.

For the Prussians – the god having power over fire was Perkunas (the equivalent of the Norse Thor).

Lithuanians and Samogitians burned an eternal fire for Perkunas, which was guarded day and night by Guarding Virgins.  Had this fire ever went out – it had to be immediately kindled…

I deliberately mention Perkunas, because among many holidays – also Easter was devoted to him.

And here it is close to the holes in the bricks. In pre-Christian times today’s Easter period was celebrated as a transition from darkness into light. From darkness to life. A fire gave life. Ideally, when it was kindled. The fire was kindled with fire bow drills. Once this was being done on a sacrificial altar, or against the base of the monument of a deity. Then on the plinths of the temples or even on their walls. And hence these traces in the walls. One end of the drill was based on the slat; the second was on the wall…

From fire obtained in such a way – a Paschal candle was lit, being the symbol of the Risen One.

After the liturgy, the faithful took the fire to the house and instantly rekindled the hearth. In some parishes, the custom has been preserved till today.

When were the fire bow drills given up and were they replaced with a stone flint? Or maybe at the same time both were used? It is not know exactly, as this aspect of rituals is somehow bypassed by researchers.

I mentioned the flint stone because besides the round holes on the church walls – there can also be found characteristic spindle-shaped holes as well as ones like traces of the trowel.

Here are the holes in the wall of the church of St. James in Olsztyn

And here again there are many hypotheses concerning the origin of these strange traces One says about a sword hitting the walls of the temple for luck – and it was to be a form of consecration  before the battle of arms / expedition / war.

Another says about sharpening of weapons against the temple walls, and thereby sanctifying the blood shed in battle. No one would have done this – especially with such high prices of swords…

There is also a hypothesis saying about replacing of the fire bow drill with a stone…

Which of them is the right one?

Such holes can be found on the walls of stone and brick temples, even on the timer ones too.Later this custom disappears. When did this “LATER” happen? Had the Reformation any impact on it?

Or have other aspects of religion come to be in fashion? The traces of the past continue to surprise us sending us some information ;), yet not always we are able to read them properly.

I sometimes wonder why don’t we want to believe in simple and logical explanations.

I understood the answer on April 11th, 2009… On that day my granddaughter was baptized. For me – an atheist or maybe rather an agnostic – it WAS an experience. Not the baptism itself, but the whole entourage. …

It was Easter Vigil. The priest said something about putting off the lights.  Everything went dark, and the crown (it was a group baptism) flooded out from the church. They all went through the south west door of the church…  They whirled there for some time (I did not go, sure they’d return sometime) performing the mystery of light. And finally when they returned – everyone had in their hands a candle.


Consecrated light.

And suddenly I realized what a ceremony I witnessed!!!

Today no one makes the light against the church walls, but ages ago???? Of course they did! After the whole warm day – the south and west walls were the warmest.

The religious person will explain it – that the south side this is “good” (can be compared to construction of monasteries and churches – e.g. the Cistercians – north side was dark and bad – so there is a church to protect the monastery against evil) The meaning of Holy Saturday is the awakening to life. Fire – is life and purification. It must be holy. And that on this occasion ancestral faith (Pagan) is being adapted to the new realities? Why, even the churches were built often in places of worship of the old gods…

Kindling of fire disappeared in the sixteenth century … Protestantism brought many novelties, and often shattered the so called “old customs”. It is always so – we bring new customs, thinking they are the best 😉

Published in: on 31/01/2011 at 22:35  Comments (1)  

The Canon and his foundation

No one has “read” the altar from Skolity!

At these words I set my ears. Because how could it be possible that there was no attempt at all to read, understand and explain this ingenious piece of art work!

But first – a few words about the person of the founder.

Johann Hannovius (better known as HANNOW) was the nephew of Johann Dantiscus (so he was son of his sister – Anne de domo von Hoefen).

He was born in Gdansk (Danzig) –  as most of the canons of Warmia.

The education of the young bourgeois was financed by his mighty uncle. This was the same situation, as we know from the biography of Doctor Copernicus. And this was nothing new; after all, the family had kind of duty to care for children. Such records can be found in wills. Copernicus also held the care of his widowed cousin of Gdansk and her offspring.

After graduation in Chelmno, Johann was sent to Krakow for further studies. The books of the Cracow University show him in 1541. In the kingdom’s capital, he was cared for by Stanislaus Hosius. And he probably worked in the royal chancellery.

He took over his Frombork canonry in February 1546 and settled at the Cathedral Hill. There was a custom of permanent residence of the canons at the Warmia Chapter, so Johann settled in Frombork. As all canons – he also received stalls and the altar of his predecessor, and the right to purchase the mansion and grange (allodium), bringing a nice income.

He died in Frombork in 1575 and was buried there. Somehow it had never occurred to me to find his tombstone…

It was not the only Hannow in the Holy Warmia (Holy Ermland). Besides him, there was also his brother Casper. He had a Ph.D. in both laws, after graduation both University of Cracow and later in Rome. His education was also financed by his uncle. Since 1545 he was canon of Warmia, and dean of the collegiate chapter in Dobre Miasto. In 1547 he became canon in Wloclawek. He was a friend of Bishop Martin Kromer.

By the way, thanks to a little record written by Kromer – till today we call a certain Anonymous – Gallus Anonymous. And thanks to the discovery of the chronicle by the scholar Bishop (the so called Heilsberg Manuscript) we can read it till today…

And as for the name of Hannow – it is worth remembering Michael Christopher Hannow – living in Gdansk in the years 1695-1773. He held a professorship in Gdansk Academic Gymnasium. At the same time he was librarian and has begun work on the “Catalogus universalis alphabeticus Bibliothecae Gedanensis Senatus”. He was also among those who in 1743 created in Gdansk the Societas Physicae Experimentalis (since 1753 called Die Naturforschende Gesellschaf).

Moreover – Michael Hannow ran in Gdansk regular meteorological observations in the years 1739 – 1752 where he used a “thermometer which was a combination of Florentine and Fahrenheit thermometers”.

But let’s go back to the Hannows in Frombork… Besides the two already mentioned above, there also resided Simon and Valentine.

And what does it all have to do with the altar from Skolity?

A few words about the village itself – Skolity (German Schlitt) is a village in the municipality of Warmia-Mazury Voivodeship.

Next “dry piece of information” says that the village was located by Bishop Herman of Prague in 1348. And – at the local rectory Napoleon spent the night of 4/5 February 1807, (as if it was most important.)
Just a few words about the church… That it was built in 1709 and enlarged in 1907. The mention of the altar – that is preserved and can be seen in the north transept. For now, however, it is in the Museum in Frombork, and pleases the eyes of visitors!

And a little more about the church from the immortal Wikipedia:

“The village has a historic parish church dedicated to Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s a long building with one aisle. It has a pseudo-Gothic choir and transept (1907). The aisle was built after the fire of 1708 on the site of two earlier buildings. The new church was consecrated in 1709. The tower at the bottom was built in a “pole construction”, and is timbered. The ceiling inside the church has polychromes (1753-1763), probably painted by Ferdinand Guillerepsa of Dobre Miasto. The high altar was built in the baroque style (1684), with a painting of the Adoration of Madonna and Child by a group of saints. They were probably painted by George Piper from Lidzbark Warminski. In the church
there is also a historic Renaissance triptych from 1557, founded by John Hannow, a canon of Warmia. Near the village there is Lake Skolity. It is located in basin of the river Pasłęka. It covers an area about 40 ha; average depth of the lake is 3.6 m. The banks are overgrown with trees, mostly alder. “

And that’s all… And below: Skolity shown on the map:

Skolity on the map of Poland

According to tradition, in 1557 Johannes Hannovius founded the triptych for the church in Skolity.

At least, this is what the official information says. And what is the true story?
J.S. puts forward the thesis that the altar could actually have been funded for the temple of Frombork. This would point to the character of Virgin Mary and St. Andrew.

The Frombork Cathedral has two names: St. Andrew (this name was brought from the former church in Braniewo), and Virgin Mary – already tradition in Frombork.

Well, then comes the joy of reading the entire triptych…

A couple of comments arose in front of the altar. The answers to many questions are all too visible in the main image. Enough is to say that we spent two days in front of the altar, vividly debating. We – means me and my two colleagues (we always go to Frombork together). Simplifying (very much simplifying) – we have seven sacraments and the Church as Foundation** of the World (interesting is that it has such a strong chain) and there are ten Doctors of the Church…

(who are: St. Ambrose,  St. Augustine, St. Jerome, St. Gregory The Great, St.St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. John Chrysostom, St. Athanasius, the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, Basil the Great)

And well, here we have a flop…

During translation of this text from my Polish blog it occurred to me – that some of these Doctors were promoted only in the years 1567-1588. So how could this apply to the foundation of the altar? Who are those  ten figures with crosses, since the Four Doctors are listed on the Foundation of the World?

Now – I have received help from a theological expert:

She wrote that, those ten – are the popes… And they function rather as an idea than people.

** I interpreted this wrog – as Faith is foundation of the Church (world at that time).

Unfortunately my theological knowledge is – to put it delicately – more than mean. 😉

Well then, there is a lot of work ahead of me….

In the meantime let us enter into the more stable ground. The time of the foundation of the altar is interesting.

It was the time of the Council of Trent and times right after the Schmalkaldic wars. It was because of those wars – that the conciliar deliberations were postponed.

Also in the milieu of the canon there were still controversies concerning the cases of apostasy within the Chapter itself. A set of correspondence between the canon and his uncle-bishop is preserved. It concerns Alexander Scultetus (who finally became a Lutheran, quit canonry and married).

Besides – not so far was the court of Duke Albert of Prussia. And there – one of his most trusted courtiers was Georg von Kunheim. His son (Georg the Younger)  married Magaretha Luther (she was Martin Luther’s daughter). The famous Albertina University worked in Königsberg.

And in this context – the Holy Warmia seemed to be a small island of Catholicism on the great ocean of Protestantism.

There are many details in the altar’s main picture, ordering to set ears to the history and History, and even ordinary gossip (still we need to remember that the Big History consists of small histories…).

Above all – careful reading of the correspondence between Hannow and Dantiscus is demanded…

I’ll have quite a time 😉

In this whole entanglement in the four corners of the main painting – there is a full of expression image of Martin Luther thundering form the tower (!) of a collapsing Church. Although in my opinion those are: Martin Luther, Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin i Philipp Melanchthon.

“… yet in the 1556 in Prussia it was not fully realized that the split in the Church is imminent. It was one year after the Treaty of Augsburg (1555). The discussion started over the declaration.  Stanislaw Hosius the Bishop of Warmia and president of the Prussian States argued that the said confession is wrong.

Two Lutherans answered: both governors – one of Malbork county:  Achacy Cema and the second from Pomerania county – Fabian Cema. Both argued that his wrong confession within the last 30 years did settle well in Royal Prussia, and can not be removed in three months as the Catholic bishops demanded. There was still a long way to obtain the religious privileges, but the Prussian states felt emboldened by events in both the Polish Crown and the German Reich, which were introduced in the year 1555. It was the year of the Augsburg religious peace between Protestants and Catholics recognizing the principle of “cuius region, eius religio”.

Now, the great Prussian cities (Gdańsk, Toruń, Elbląg) took double efforts to gain religious privileges. December 30, 1556, Chancellor Jan Ocieski responded to the envoys of those cities – in confidence – that the king can not take any “heretic” privilege, because of the pope, the emperor and other Catholic princes, but since the Reformation has become a fact – he is ready to “look at it and practices of its adherents through his fingers”.

The biggest obstacle for the followers of the Reformation teachings was the bishop of Warmia who was Cardinal Stanislaus Hosius. He fought unsuccessful battles for the conversion of Elbląg citizens (Elbląg lay in the Diocese of Warmia), sometimes calling them “Elbląg goats” and their spiritual leaders he called the “Ministri Satanae”. His position was unfortunate, because even in the Chapter – the canons of Warmia (in perhaps exaggerated opinion of Duke. Albert of Prussia) were to be followers of Luther. This letter of 1554 was found  in the  one of the collections by professor Janusz Małłek.

(this is a bierf translation I did of a fragment of an article on a Baptist site. It was written by prof. Małłek – and it concerned Protestantism in the Pomerania. Unfortunately the whole is only in Polish). It shows what turbulent times Hannovius lived in, and what were his worries.

The continuation of the story appears to be a puzzle, especially in the context of the naive expression of the founder’s eyes …


Pots in the walls

A friend of mine gave me some scans of articles printed in some old publications (from 1950-ties). I have no title nor number of the periodical, only the said scans.

The texts are about acoustic holes in the walls of medieval churches.  Not much has been said and written about this particular way of magnifying voice in the Middle Ages. Probably because of the lack of general knowledge about this, or rather – because it is not a “serious matter” as one of the scholars told me 😉

An acoustic hole in fact is a … pot embedded into the wall. Such pots were placed in the walls of the orthodox churches in Russia but also in what is today Poland.  The opening of the vessel embedded in the wall was directed into the interior of the temple (or room, as this has been used not only to magnify the voice in churches)… According to the article – the oldest mention of such vessel comes from the 11th century and is about the use of pots during the construction of the church of St. Basil in Ovruch.

Next, the article says that in 1340 during the construction of the cathedral of Wloclawek, Bishop Matthew of Gołańcz ordered the builders to mortar four pots into the walls around windows; two under the arch of the chancel, and two slightly below.

Added to this were the pots above the entrance and in the vaults. For this reason the cathedral of Wloclawek was allegedly called a “thundering cathedral”.

Could it be that from those days comes the saying about the “thundering” or “roaring” voices of the then priests?

As it can further be read in the article, such pots were made of clay with an admixture of graphite.
The production of such vessels was held by potters in Bohemia and Russia, but also in our country (question: what does the author mean by “our country”, and hence: WHERE?).

Embedding of such vessels into (not plastered) walls gave the room an appropriate reverberation, while the echo was somehow suppressed, so as the spoken words acquired clear sound. In the 19th century the restorers plastered the holes in the walls not knowing their importance, and considering them redundant.  Suddenly then – the church chancels lost their acoustics, and the voice of the priest was less heard.

The measures of such vessels were often very strict.

And so – the depth= 18 in., diameter of the hole = 4 in. According to a book on Polish Geometry from 1683 – 1 inch = 12 grains of barley.

There was also the other use of such pots – they were used as air bricks to build vaulted ceilings.

In the second article one can find out that during the maintenance of the polychromy in one of the churches a ceramic spool was found under the plaster.

„… during the exploratory works dark circles quite regularly placed in the original mortar were found. After their exposure and attempt to remove, it appeared that they were spools with a hole inside, embedded in ruble in a cylinder of the same material and color.  After removing and careful examination of one of them it occurred that they were ceramic spools of black clay, 105 mm long, with the diameter of 51,5 mm from one side , and 38 mm from the other, narrowing towards the center up to 26 mm, and with  16mm diameter internal bore through the length of it . The weight of such spool was 172 g. These spools lay in the necks of urns embedded horizontally, holes inside the church. For a closer look at the vessel, which seemed to be oval in shape, and to get the exact dimensions, we unveiled in one place on the northern wall two vessels lying side by side, one of which was laid there already cracked. The height of the vessels vary from  43,5 to 48 cm, diameter of the bottom ca. 20 cm, diameter of the biggest bulge from 28,5 to 39 cm, the narrowest place in the neck  8 cm, outlet 10 cm. The thickness of the wall at the neck 10 -11 cm.”

As noted hereinafter – the number of these vessels in the vicinity of vault arches – ranged from 5 to 7. It was believed that these pots were used either to improve the acoustics, or to protect from moisture inside. Strange about this is the wall thickness of those vessels, especially that in the outlet which is 10 cm; this is an unheard wall thickness, with regard to such vessel.

I am pasting photos of such pots, or spools or however we might call them…

These are the vaults of summer and winter Refectories in Malbork castle, and the vaulted ceilings of  St. Peter and Paul in Reszel, and the walls of the church in Morąg (also St. Peter and Paul…). I also add Torun’s St. Jacob’s church.

I wonder whether the devils in Orneta did appear by accident as the ideological exercising of these holes  Just in case… whenever the thoughts of the faithful would wan to wander away – the devils were (are there) to catch them and scare them back to the brains, where they belong…  The history about Tutivillus is wonderfully matches here. But this is just my wishful thinking and I need to double-check it. Indeed, why only Orneta has such a symbolism? And since it was called the Holy Warmia, why the devil had to keep watch here? Well, in addition Orneta for some time was the seat of the bishop of the Holy Warmia… Maybe the position of the Catholic Church really was not that strong then…

I am pasting some pictures of my favorite Orneta devils – especially this one in the nightcap. I’m also pasting in the photos from Oliwa. From the former Cistercian Church –  now Cathedral. There are some in the vaults, but in the sixteenth century they have been covered with stars. Other holes – mysterious ones – are located on the north wall of the ambulatory. Maybe thanks to them the floor is always dry there – unlike the floor of Frombork cathedral…