Dog prints in medieval chained library
I made this image in the chained library “De Librije” in the Dutch city of Zutphen. Established in 1564, everything about this place is still precisely as it was, including the tiles on the floor. Remarkably, throughout the library there are tiles with a dog’s paw prints. These 450-year-old traces of a large dog come with a local legend. One night, a monk called Jaromir was reading in the library while enjoying a meal of chicken, delivered to him by some nuns. He was not supposed to do this: not only does one not eat in a library, but he was also going through a period of fasting. Then suddenly the devil appeared in the form of a dog, scaring the living daylights out of the monk. The devil ate the chicken and locked the monk inside as a punishment - as devils do. Knowing the story, it’s hard to ignore the prints when admiring the books.
Pics (top my own): Zutphen, Librije Chained Library. More on the legend on the library’s website, also source for lower pic, here (in Dutch).
Ok but the paw prints are on tiles, not poured cement or anything. Tiles. The tile layers would have been laying the tile, and pulled out the tiles with the paw prints, and instead of going ‘whoops this tile is messed up, i’ll just use another one’ or ‘hmm, i don’t have spare tiles but i’ll just flip this around so the paw print is face-down and no one has to know’, they went, ‘oh dang, this is adorable!’, and laid the paw print tiles smack dab in the middle of the fucking floor and grouted them in there that way for everyone to admire.
And at no point in four hundred and fifty years did anyone ever say ‘let’s replace those tiles.’
Dogs are cute but humans are fucking delightful.