On a wall of the Hildesheim Town Hall, you find this Elle (ell). In the past, merchants on the local market square used to measure their fabrics in ells. The publicly displayed piece formed a benchmark for the correct length of the marketer’s ells.
The ell as a measurement unit
The ell was a measurement unit in northwestern Europe for a while. The correct length of an ell differed in the countries. In Germany, people often saw a model of an ell hanging on a public place to indicate the accurate length of a local ell. The German name for the unit and the tool was Elle.
The Hildesheim Market Square
You find the depicted ell on a wall of the Hildesheim Town Hall. The neighbouring market square is of interest for many reasons. A bombing raid completely destroyed the buildings during WWII. Today, you see remarkable reconstructions of the historical buildings. Small depictions in the wooden architecture remind us of the bad outcome of wars.