Medieval letter tile
As medieval letters Einbuchstabensteine brick (brick, tiles and pavers ) are referred to, which were used in monasteries and churches of the late Middle Ages to the production of sacred inscriptions. The practiced especially in the 13th and 14th century decorative technique similar to the now well-known from the board game Scrabble Method: Through the juxtaposition of bricks, each showed a letter that could be create any text on walls or floors. The letters themselves were previously produced by impressions of laterally inverted stamps in the soft clay, which was then fired firmly.
The particularity of the method is that it is an early form of printing with movable type, which is its principle by nothing other than the succession of identical individual letters in the printed image. In contrast to the later established by Johannes Gutenberg printing technology but the sequence of work was at the brick alphabets reverse: the printing was first, and only then, when laying the letter tiles, it came to the setting process when these were combined to form texts.
The use of mobile Einbuchstabenziegeln among others occupied for the English Chertsey Abbey, in whose ruins such paving stones were recovered from the second half of the 13th century, and today also destroyed monastery Aduard in the Netherlands, whose floor covering dates to the early 14th century. In Kloster Zinna south of Berlin there is, however, still the text of an Ave Maria in the floor in front of the main altar admitted. Each letter appears 14 cm circumference in high relief impression on an unglazed, red - brown Tonfliese of 14 ×. The Latin inscription dates from the 13th to the 14th century and was written in Gothic capitals.