Stock-im-Eisen Square leads into
St. Stephen's Square, to the left in this image
Photographed 5 January 2016
Images and Text © by Merisi
"The Stock im Eisen (German: "staff in iron") is the midsection of a tree-trunk from the Middle Ages, a so-called nail-tree (Nagelbaum), into which hundreds of nails have been pounded for good luck over centuries. It is located in Vienna, Austria, in Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, now part of Stephansplatz, at the corner of the Graben and Kärntner Straße and is now behind glass on a corner of the Palais Equitable."
"In the 18th century, a custom developed that travelling smiths and apprentices would hammer a nail into the tree trunk; in particular, from 1715 on, travelling journeyman locksmiths. The reason for doing so before then is unknown; however, it is unlikely to have been a craft guild custom in the beginning, because the Stock im Eisen is significantly older."
-> Wikipedia: Stock im Eisen