Monday, June 08, 2015
I've travelled extensively in Europe but have yet to see a paternoster elevator. The elevator’s name comes from the Latin for “our father,”the first two words of the Lord’s Prayer, and refers to the way the chain of cabinets moves like a rosary in a religious person’s hand.
How do they work? The elevator consists of two elevator shafts side-by-side, with no doors. A chain of compartments moves continuously on an endless belt. In one open shaft the compartments go up, and in the other they come back down. The elevator goes up or down and around again like a Ferris wheel. Here is a video of one in action:
Once common in Europe they are disappearing, mostly because they are perceived to be dangerous. Germany and the Czech Republic are home to most of them. You can still do a tour of paternosters in Prague.