The Old Monk and the StaircaseTrivia brain teasers have some element of trivia in them, but they are not just pure trivia questions.
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?
HintLeft-handed people, it was assumed, were descendants of the devil.
AnswerSpiral 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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