The hand of asylum

Secret symbols at the portal of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg, Austria - (c) untoldplaces
Secret symbols at the portal of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg, Austria - (c) untoldplaces

In a nutshell – expect this here.

At foot level at the main portal of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg, you will find the relief of a hand if you look closely. The raised thumb, index and middle finger indicate the sign of oath (similar to raising all five finders in the US) But what is the oath? One interpretation is that the stonemason of the portal swore not to create another artwork of this kind. The most plausible explanation however, is the one of the “reaching hand for asylum”. Everyone who touches this hand is admitted into the church, whether they are guilty of a sin or not. In medieval times, you could even benefit from touching that symbol to escape a gruesome trial after committing a major crime.

Where can you find this place?

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The hand of asylum

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The hand of asylum 47.798166, 13.043743 The small hand on the west portal entry of the Salzburg Franciscan Church is inconspicuous and well hidden. Even if you are specifically looking for her, you may not find her at first glance. Read here about its meaning.

More in short about the Franciscian church in Salzburg

The Franciscan church is said to predate the Cathedral of Saint Virgil in its first form and thus beongs to the oldest buildings in Salzburg. The church is located on the corner of Siegmund-Haffner-Gasse and Franziskanergasse and adjoins the residence.

The origin of today’s church is not exactly known, it probably goes back to the time of Saint Virgil, when the building served as Salzburg’s baptismal and synodal church. The church was originally called “Church of Our Lady”, but its name changed when it was given to the Franciscan Order. Find some more details on the order as well as to the church here.
From 1139 a parish church appears here, but it was destroyed by a fire in 1167. The rest is well written down on wikipedia 😉

The small hand on the west portal entry of the Salzburg Franciscan Church is inconspicuous and well hidden. Even if you are specifically looking for her, you may not find her at first glance. The viewer has to bend down o discover the mystical symbol.

Secret symbols at the portal of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg, Austria - (c) untoldplaces
Secret symbols at the portal of the Franciscan Church in Salzburg, Austria – (c) untoldplaces

Forage for further odd places in Salzburg

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Salzburg

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Coronation of Holy Mary: 47.797909, 13.045311
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The hand of asylum: 47.798166, 13.043743
A church for Napoleon\'s horses: 47.799110, 13.043153
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The revelation of Albert Einstein\'s Theory of Relativity: 47.806497, 13.044502
Secret Terrace on Mönchsberg: 47.803103, 13.037767
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Coronation of Holy Mary
Discover the perfect baroque gimmick of optical illusion on Domplatz Square.
Details to the Coronation of Holy Mary to be found here.

Domplatz Salzburg, Austria
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Discover two scary faces behind beautiful rose tendrils.
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Mirabellgarten Salzburg, Austria
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Kapitelplatz Salzburg, Austria
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Order some WW2 morphium
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Stairway to hell
MĂŒllner Hauptstraße 5 Salzburg, Austria
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King of the night
The KönigsgÀsschen or "King's alley" not named after a king. In fact Salzburg never had a royal king. The alley's name goes back to a much darker and more down-to-earth history. Find out its origin.
KönigsgÀsschen Salzburg, Austria
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A melodic facade
Mönchsberg 32 Salzburg, Austria
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The hand of asylum
The small hand on the west portal entry of the Salzburg Franciscan Church is inconspicuous and well hidden. Even if you are specifically looking for her, you may not find her at first glance. Read here about its meaning.
Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse 15 Salzburg, Austria
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A church for Napoleon's horses
UniversitÀtsplatz Salzburg, Austria
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The holy stairs to Pontius Pilatus
Kajetanerplatz Salzburg, Austria
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Remainders of the City Wall
Getreidegasse 36 Salzburg, Austria
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The 5 dead wives of Sebastian Stumpfögger
Sankt-Peter-Bezirk 1 Salzburg
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Collision with an American Army tank
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Steingasse Salzburg, Austria
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The cathedral coppola's asymmetric lump
Domplatz Salzburg, Austria
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The revelation of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity
Albert Einstein presented his famous Theory of Relativity at a research conference on September 21, 1909 for the first time to the world. And it happened right here. Read the details.
Faberstraße 8 Salzburg, Austria
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Secret Terrace on Mönchsberg
MĂŒllner Hauptstraße Salzburg, Austria