The chronicle of Saint Peter of Erfurt noted a particular tragedy which occurred In 1148, on the morning of July 26. The German King Henry VI “was passing through Erfurt on his way to Poland and found there Conrad of Mainz who was having a violent dispute with Ludwig of Thuringia. While he was sitting trying to make peace among them, surrounded by many in a high room, the building suddenly collapsed and many fell in the lower well, some of them laboriously saved, while others suffocated in the mud.”
The truth of this “Hoftag” – a gathering of noblemen – was a little more disgusting. Medieval plumbing, such as it was, consisted of cesspits in the basements of larger buildings, and the latrine of the citadel was said to be especially large to accommodate the order of monks who resided there. The Hoftag just happened to be scheduled in the room above this extra large toilet.
Before the meeting could begin, the combined weight of the assembled worthies caused the room’s wooden floor to abruptly collapse, sending a hundred men to drown in the years of collected faecal matter below.
The King and Conrad survived only by the fact they had been standing on a stone alcove, and were able to cling to the iron rails of a window. Ludwig also survived, somehow managing to escape the roiling mass poop-saturated bodies. One can only imagine having escaped drowning in shit might have encouraged the men to put aside their differences.
Have a grand day and don’t fall into any poop, everyone.