lipprose Werner Nolte über mittelalterliche Architektur und Geschichte
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A Monk with Back Problems

 
Is this not what appears to be represented? He definitely seems to carry a heavy load. Perhaps he groans under the weight of an obese canon.
 
 
 
 
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With this unusual depiction, I would like to draw your attention to the choir stall, an interesting piece of medieval church furnishing.
 
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From the Romanesque period, little has remained. Also from the Gothic period, only fractions have survived.
 
 
Yet, it is worthwhile to study them. Particularly the misericords underneath the folding seats, which were supposed to alleviate the prolonged standing during the celebration of Mass, frequently feature rich, artful, and often comical woodcarvings.
 
 
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Depending on the number of monks or canons, as well as the period of production, the choir stall could be modest yet also enormous. Especially during the late-Gothic period, the wood carved decorations could be very rich. The master woodcarvers were often inspired by the stone decorative elements of church architecture, with their pinnacles and canopies. Of the largest original ensembles, only remnants have survived.
 
 
Translation: Erik Eising (M.A.)