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Old 10-22-2010   #1 (permalink)
aŮejo
 
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Question The Monk and the Staircase

Construction of a stronger and more massive bell tower for the monastery to replace the one destroyed during the last civil strife with a neighboring lord was well underway when the old Monk visited the site. The Abbot showed the Monk the drawings and model for the three-bell tower. The Monk was impressed until he stood where the bell chamber would be and saw the spiral staircase in this medieval bell tower running the wrong direction (counterclockwise).

"The staircase direction must be changed," said the Old Monk. The Abbot looked at the staircase and agreed. Why?


EDIT: You may have noticed this thread was closed as soon as it was created. That was not intended to limit your input or enjoyment in any way. On the contrary, your participation is most welcome. The action was taken to prevent eager Peeps from going into some search engine, finding the answer, and posting it, as happened on several occasions in the past. (Of course I harvest a lot of this material from other sources. You didnít think I create it all myself, did you? Iím good, but Iím not that good!) Regrettably, that also means that folks who legitimately work out their own answers, and would like to post them, donít get to display their prowess, but Iím afraid that canít be helped. Iíll open the thread in a couple of days, when Peeps have had an opportunity to try their hand at a solution, and you can post away then. The official answer will come a bit after that. I appreciate your patience and understanding, and hope you enjoy the exercise.
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Old 10-27-2010   #2 (permalink)
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A tad obscure, perhaps, but what's your guess?
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Old 10-31-2010   #3 (permalink)
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The Official Answer

Spiral staircases in medieval castles, towers and keeps were run clockwise. This is because all knights used to be right-handed. When the intruding army would climb the stairs they would not be able to use their right hand, which was holding the sword because of the difficulties of climbing the stairs, giving clear advantage to the defenders. Many of the orders of clergy had military training in order to defend monasteries and Abbeys during the middle ages.

Left-handed knights would have had no troubles, except left-handed people could never become knights because it was assumed that they were descendants of the devil.
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