These days we forget how safe life is. Airbags and automatic brakes in cars, soft landings in play parks, the ever growing influence of health and safety regulation… None of these are bad things, but what about the good old days, when you really needed that tetanus shot!

Well have no fear, we have found a source of everyday terror for you to show your kids and say “See! You guys have easy these days!”

Paternoster Elevators were invented in Britain in 1884. They were originally called Cyclic elevators because of the way they continually cycle. The name Paternoster came from the first two words of the latin Lord's prayer – Our Father. This was because of the cyclic nature of the rosary beads, but may have also had something to do with the quick prayer most people said before stepping aboard!

You haven't been allowed to install a new Paternoster in West Germany since 1974 and in 1994 the government tried to have the already-installed ones removed. There was an upswell of support however and the old workhorses were allowed to keep on lifting.

There are a few examples still around in Berlin, most notably in the Stasi Museum, the Haus des Rundfunks and Rathaus Schöneberg (Where Kennedy made his 'ich bin ein Berliner' speech).

The Axel Springer Hochhaus houses the highest Paternoster in Europe – 20 Floors! Unfortunately a lot of these are only accessible to staff or are not always in service. You can find a full list of Paternosters in Berlin here

If you want an experience that gives feelings of confusion, resignation, fear, courage and satisfaction, all within the space of a few seconds then we highly recommend a quick trip on a cyclic elevator.

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