Monday, 4 July 2011

The curious floor of the Oude Kerk

I spent a long time looking at the floor in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. I thought it was absolutely fascinating. The tomb slabs all had a beautifully inscribed number on them. Some had the usual kind of imagery you would find on tombstones in a churchyard - angels, skulls and so on. Some featured shields and heraldic devices. But some were inscribed with more enigmatic symbols. . .

Most of these markings are clearly some kind of monogram, presumably based on the initials of the deceased, but some of these engravings almost look like the mason's marks you see in cathedrals. Whatever the logic behind them, I really like them.


  1. Those are pretty amazing, and remind me of some of the seals and symbols from the Ars Goetia.

  2. Love these marks. I'm always crawling around at the back of old churches in East Anglia looking for arcane bits of ancient graffiti. Actually, I dropped by to say I just read 'Tales from the Tunnel's Mouth' and (I may be a tiny bit older than your target audience) I thought it was terrific! Right up my street - thanks and best wishes.

  3. Inspiration for a new book?

  4. Here I am again, Chris, check out this italian site:

    The release of your new book “Storie da leggere con la luce accesa” (literally translated “Stories to be read with the lights on”) is scheduled for October!
    Do you know which is the original novel? They must have change the title in the translation.

  5. Thanks everyone. Sorry it's taken so long for your comments to appear. Blogger has been misbehaving again and I have been away. Yes Jennifer - I think they may inspire something (and they are already making a guest appearance in my new book).

    Glad you liked 'Tunnel's Mouth' 'A' - you can work your way backwards through the series! And yes Orrin, I agree. I must try and find out more. Thanks Chagall/Enrico - I'll check that out.

  6. Been carving your school desk again Chris. Tut tut!

  7. What a great desk that would be though...