Brno’s Twisted Pinnacle

Brno is a lovely collection of stories. Apart from the bells that ring an hour early, there is also a bent pinnacle on the Gothic facade of the Old Town Hall.

When the Town Hall was built in the thirteenth century, Brno had been newly founded as a city. [3] It is the oldest secular building in Brno that is still around today. [2] Many people climb to the top of the 63-metre tower to get a spectacular view of the city and the nearby environs. Like many other old buildings, this has been restored and modified in various ways. The current Renaissance-style additions to the building are part of a Baroque reconstruction. [2]

A photo of the Old Town Hall tower - Brno, CzechiaAs part of the reconstruction, town elders sent for an experienced mason. He set to work for the sum of three pounds of silver. [1] The project was lengthy so he asked for an advance payment. They refused this request since they did not wish to pay a single penny until the entire building was ready. [1]

Enraged, but powerless to do anything about it, the mason made sure that the topmost pinnacle on top of the main door was crooked. They ordered him to fix this but he refused claiming that since their words were also crooked, they now had a town hall to match. [1]

A photo of the twisted pinnacle on the Old Town Hall - Brno, CzechiaSome unkind souls explain the crooked pinnacle by claiming he was drunk. This may be the case, but I would expect to see more crooked pinnacles if this were the case.

The mason went on to work on St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna which was being reconstructed after a great fire. [4] There are no crooked pinnacles there. Perhaps he learnt how to build straight ones by then.

What unusual architectural features have you seen on historical buildings?


[1] Go To Brno!, The Twisted Pinnacle of the Old Town Hall, Retrieved 2017
[2] Go To Brno!, The Old Town Hall, Retrieved 2017
[3] Wikipedia, Timeline of Brno, 2016
[4] Wikipedia, St Stephen’s Cathedral, 2016

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