Tuesday, 9 June 2015


Thanks to a report shared by the exceedingly brilliant and adventurous Nag-on-the-Lake on the curious and quirky so-called Paternosters, I was reminded of an item I’d recently heard on the local news that’s unleashed a minor tempest.  I thought the looping passenger lifts, like escalator stairs and properly called cyclic elevators or Personenlaufzüge (people circulating elevator), were called Paternosters because the ride was particularly harrowing and induced one to recite the Lord’s Prayer—which may well be but they are also called such because the mechanism is similar to praying the rosary.

There are still quite a few still in service around Germany (mostly in universities and government office buildings) and the Czech Republic but already prospective passengers of these endearing people-circulators are in need of producing proof that they in fact are competent and licensed to ride in them or otherwise take the stairs. Now Germany wants to dismantle them altogether—out of concern for public safety but I think that they will not go without a fight, especially beloved by those who have to take the plunge or leap of faith daily. I have been moved to find a couple of candidates really nearby—we’ll see how that goes, and I hope that this is something that we both get to experience before they’re all gone.