The Klötzelmönch's Worried Mother Statue – Görlitz, Germany - Atlas Obscura

The Klötzelmönch's Worried Mother Statue

Görlitz, Germany

This bust remembers the haunting local legend of a murderous monk. 


The history of the medieval city of Görlitz, Germany, is exciting—and mysterious. A multitude of legends surround the historical streets, squares, and buildings. If you cast your eyes to the upper floors of the building at 2 Fleischerstraße, you’ll discover a small, stone sculpture of a woman’s head, fearfully gazing up the street towards the Holy Trinity Church, also known as Dreifaltigkeitskirche, part of the former Franciscan monastery church.

Behind it lies the tale of the Ratcheting Monk or the Klötzelmönch (Black Monk). According to the folktale, a weary traveler fell asleep from exhaustion in the back benches of the church, was locked in, and, in the middle of the night, was awakened by a clattering sound. He saw a hunchbacked, gruesome monk with wooden clogs dragging a dead girl’s body by the hair. The murderous monk then buried the girl beneath a stone slab at the altar. The traveler was scared to death but identified the monk the next day to authorities. As punishment, the monk was buried alive within the walls of the church. He’s said to still haunt the church’s holy grounds.

The woman’s head in Fleischerstraße represents the worried mother anxiously searching for her daughter, who did not return home from mass.

Know Before You Go

The medieval city of Görlitz is home to other legends, such as the Three-Legged Dog, the Night Smith, and Traitor's Alley.

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May 15, 2024

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