Masks, Hells, and Books: The Nuremberg Schembartlauf (1449-1539)
Gallery of Höllen
Below is a gallery of images of the Höllen. For more information on an image and to zoom in on it, click on it.
The Hölle of 1503 was an elephant with a howda on its back. As if that wasn't impressive enough, the howda contains cannons or firework launchers. The coats of arms are those of the Paumgartner and Ketzel families.
The Hölle of 1506 was a ship of fools. The coats of arms are those of the Ebner and Strobel families.
The Hölle for 1507 was a basilisk. This particular Hölle may actually have survived for a time: 1507 was the year of the Schembart war when the Schembartläufer defended the exclusivity of their right to parade masked through the streets by attacking other paraders. The abrupt end to the parade may have saved the Hölle from the more usual end.
The 1513 Hölle was one of the weirder ones: a giant oven that a pair of fools were using to bake. Maybe the bread would "catch fire" to offer a chance for fireworks or the fools would throw baked goods into the audience.
The 1514 Hölle was a giant canon.
The Hölle of 1515 was a windmill with a stork's nest on top of it. The coats of arms belong to the families Tucher and Rummel. The Tuchers' crest shows the head of the third-century martyr St. Maurice. He appeared in many coats of arms because he was seen as an exemplary soldier, though the Tuchers probably chose him for their coat of arms because of his patronage of cloth-weavers.
The Hölle of 1521 was a garden. The coat of arms once again include the crest of the Tucher family with the head of St. Maurice, but also the crest of the Koberger family.
The 1504 Hölle was a castle, and according to this illustration, it was the stage for mock battles between two groups of fools.