I was going through some old holiday photos the other day and came across this cheeky little fellow:
I posted him on my Instagram account, but couldn’t remember much about him, except that I’d snapped him in the northern German town of Lubeck several years ago. (There’s an umlaut on that ‘u’, by the way, but my WordPress account doesn’t stretch to non-British punctuation. Sigh.)
So I turned to Google for a bit of research, and found this charming post which explains the myth beautifully.
Apparently back in 1250 the townspeople of Lubeck were starting work on their new church, the Marienkirche (St Marys). The devil saw all the commotion and believed they were building a tavern, so came swooping down to help. It wasn’t until the building was quite well advanced that he realised he’d been tricked. Needless to say he was a bit cross, but was prevented from destroying the church when the people promised to build a tavern across the road instead!
The church, the tavern, and a boulder that the devil threatened to destroy the church with, are all still there. As is this little statue, perched on a stone at the side of the church. As the author of the blog I quote above says, he may very well be the cutest devil in the world. He certainly brought a smile to my face.