On top of a door in a small Bavarian town, I found the following symbols: symbols

Given the circumstances, I assume that they mean either a date or some kind of blessing or epigram. The latter is particularly probable because the pair of the second and the third symbol is repeated (such as in, e.g., "que sera, sera").

However, I could not identify the symbols. At least the first and second symbol are not part of the German alphabet. In fact, I did not find any alphabet that contains all of these symbols.

Obviously, I don't know the solution to this puzzle yet. However, if you present me a convincing one, I can go to the inhabitant of the house and ask him (but I would prefer not to).

  • $\begingroup$ Not sure its relevant or if it helps, but when you rotate the picture 180, at least all the symbols appear to be common letters. Any possibility it is upside down? $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ Google shows an image of a similar marking, but no explanation. The implication is that it is some sort of house number though. goo.gl/images/z1xox7 $\endgroup$
    – SteveV
    Commented Jan 8, 2019 at 19:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SteveV That picture you found is clearly the year the building was made (Fabr.? 1739, Anno L??), but the picture in the question does not look like it signifies a year, unless it is 1775 with the letters SH inserted in the middle. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 2:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'm with Jaap: It is very likely that it means 17 SH 75. It is common to see the year of construction and the name or initials of the builder (usually the owner) in such inscriptions. It is aso common to see (arabic) year numbers split in two. The numbers on Swiss houses (page 6 here and page 16 here) have the digit 1 with the same forked stem. Also note the curious design of some numbers on page 15 of the second link. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 7:10
  • $\begingroup$ Here's another with the forked stem on the number one, and here too despite a large number of replies (all in german) nobody really has a clue what it means. fachwerk.de/fachwerkhaus/wissen/…. I would guess in your case a builder's initials SH and a date 1775 round it as the others have said. $\endgroup$
    – mwarren
    Commented Jan 9, 2019 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


Unlikely but:

It looks like upside-down sign. If we rotate it 180 degrees we get this:
enter image description here Now this reads SLHSLY
A quick google returns a very unlikely result that this is a gene identification (as far as I can understand) of the fruit fly . My only explanation is that the owner of the house was a joker and really loved fruits or, rather, fermented fruit products.


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