Alex from the Ukraine has provided me pictures that show two sculptures with an encrypted or abbreviated inscription. I have never seen anything like this before, let alone do I know what the inscriptions mean. Can a reader help?

Elonka Dunin, who is the world’s leading specialist for the famous Kryptos sculpture, has got me into contact with Alex Stepanchenko from Zolochiv, Ukraine. Alex has provided me a few photographs of two stone sculptures I have never seen before.


The stone sculptures

Here is the first sculpture:

Source: Stepanchenko

As can be seen, the inscription consists of letters and dots. The dots might stand for letters that are omitted. This reminds me of mnemomic aids as used by the Freemasons and the Oddfellows …

… but I have no idea if there is a relationship. Here’s another photograph Alex provided me:

Source: Stepanchenko

The same stone (or at least a very similar one) can be seen here:

Source: Stepanchenko

The inscription is “L… a… l… ..”. Again, I have no idea what this means.


Does a reader know more

I hope, my readers can help to find out what these sculptures are about. Where are they located and what do the inscriptions mean? If you have an answer, please let me know.

Further reading: Andy Bauch’s Lego code is broken


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Kommentare (8)

  1. #1 Thomas
    5. März 2019

    Some information from a Russian site (Google translate):

    Deciphering the cipher of the Zolochivsky castle 
    At 67 km from Lviv there is another still preserved castle – Zolochivsky. It is located in the city of Zolochiv and for a long time was inaccessible to ordinary citizens, because Not far from the castle was the center of space communications.

    Zolochevsky castle is based on the site of an old Russian fortress, which was destroyed by the Tatars. Beginning in 1532, the castle began to be actively built and developed thanks to Yakub Sobieski. He fortified it with four bastions. Each wall of the castle was over a hundred meters long and eleven meters high. 

    Entrance to the castle. There was a clock over the gate. Also near the entrance was a secret underground passage through which it was possible to leave the castle. 

    Another attraction of the castle are two stones lying on the castle courtyard. The largest of them weighs 9, 5 tons, and the smaller – 3, 5 tons. More precisely, there are three stones. The third stone – the smallest guides are called unlucky and even advised to photograph the stones so that this third does not get into the frame. 

    The surface of all three stones is covered with mysterious letters and drawings.The smallest one shows a crown and an intricate arrow. 

    Local residents claimed that the people in the forest near these stones lost their orientation and could not get out of there, they could hear different voices there, they were overcome by irresistible horror. But the most curious thing is that local legends have not kept any legends about the appearance of these stones … 

    The inscription on the largest of the stones is made in Gothic style, so historians dated it to the beginning of the 15th century. Together, the images and the inscription on the stones, of course, represent a cryptogram, an encrypted message. 

    Mysterious boulders were brought here from the village of Novoselki, Zolochiv district, where they lay in a former defensive ravine. The largest stone could be pulled out only from the third time – the cables were torn at the crane. 

    According to retellings, these stones are all that remained of the Novoselkovsky castle destroyed in the 16th century, built by people from Hungary, the descendants of the rich and powerful order of the Templars. The chronicle mentions of the Hungarian village of Novoselki testify that in 1398 it already existed. Archaeologists unearthed there the foundation of the monastery fortifications of early construction. All this confirms the conjecture that this is one of the three monasteries in Eastern Europe (and all in Western Ukraine), where miraculously survived the sentence of Philip IV of the Nice Templar found refuge, probably the representatives of the Order of the Holy Thistle (they managed to escape and escape from execution to Eastern European countries).Under what circumstances, and for what reason the inscription was made, and in what language, remains unknown. And the font, though similar to the gothic incunabula, is not it. 

    In 2001, the assistant of Pope John Paul II visited Zolochevsky Castle. He suggested that this is the Old Polish language, which was used in the middle of the XIV century. Perhaps this is Old Polish written in Latin. For example, in the vaults of the Kamyanets-Podilsky Museum-Reserve there are many old-printed books, dating back to the XVI-XVIII centuries, executed exactly like this. One of them – “The coats of arms of the knighthood of Polish” is written in Latin letters in Old Polish. To date, three more large fragments of this plate have been found and work is being done (and not without success) on finding its small fragments.It is known that underground stones and other premises existed under the stones. They pointed arrow, which is located on a small stone. They say that in the near future the stones will be collected in one place and the inscription will be tried to decipher. 

    The middle stone is interesting not only for its ornamentation – thorns and poppy wreaths, which are intertwined like two wedding rings. Between the wreaths – neat hole. No one knows what it means and what it is meant for. 

    There are always a lot of tourists. They say that if there is a secret desire, you need to put a finger in the hole, think about what you want and quickly turn your finger around the axis. If the desire is material, it is necessary to rotate in the direction of the thorny, “dead,” wreath. If a romantic – in the direction of a wreath blooming. 

    Employees of the castle joke: if the desires were not fulfilled, then the finger was not the same. Nothing can be done, we must go to Zolochiv castle again. 

    Where did this belief come from … Perhaps from the legend that the prisoner of Novoselkovsky castle was the legendary Janusik, such a Polish Karmalyuk. On the night before the death penalty, he had a dream: he could find a stone with a hole in his cell – his most passionate wish would come true if you put your finger in there and turn it around. Janusik found the stone he needed, and in the morning a beautiful man with wet handkerchiefs was brought to the cell in the cell. He tied them up one by one and ran away from the castle. 

    Another version of the legend: Janusika was handed over by a girl in love with him through a hole in the stone. 

    This stone is very popular with local students, especially before exams. 

    No matter how it was there, Zolochevsky castle was lucky much more than Novoselsky. And legends for castles a bit too much …. Spirit 

    The text is made in Gothic font is read in Latin using abbreviations. 

    Ubi where 

    Ora is praying 

    Aras stone 

    Spiritus spirit 

    Apostolus apostle 

    “Where to pray the stone to the spirit of the apostle (saint)” (lit) 

    Most likely the stones had a religious purpose. 

    “Pray to the stone blessed by the spirit of the apostle (holy)” 

  2. #2 Alex Stepanchenko
    Green Brook
    6. März 2019


  3. #3 M.
    6. März 2019

    Looks like a Song. The other one could be the sheets for a Gong. Like a spiritual Gong.

  4. #4 Hans
    6. März 2019

    More information from a Ukrainian site, which states that the inscription likely dates back to the 19th century (Google translate):
    An interesting object of the castle yard are mysterious stones, brought from the village of Novosilki in Zolochiv district. On one engraved encoded short phrase and two wreaths (dead thorny and lively floral) with a hole in the middle, as on the right in the photo. The second one – a few encrypted lines. Numerous legends and stressed attention by guides made these stones a kind of attraction for tourists. Stamped stories about the Knights Templar, which allegedly coded the location of the treasure. In fact, the inscriptions are much later – most likely during the XIX century. However, the content of the text is still unclear.

  5. #5 Hans
    6. März 2019

    And a youtube link where the signs on both stones can be seen well, maybe helpful for a transcription (although the video’s language is Russian):

  6. #6 schorsch
    6. März 2019

    You will find the original photos with much higher resolution on the photographers blog

    There you will find the same nonsense story about the templars and the alleged age of the inscription of ~ 600 years – but no useful information.

  7. #7 Klaus Schmeh
    7. März 2019

    Joe McNicholas via Facebook:
    The stone on the right looks like a sundial. Add a wooden stick to throw a shadow

  8. #8 Jan Pulkrábek
    7. März 2019

    It looks like cipher from the book “Cryptographia, oder Kunst geheime Schrifften zu machen…” (Hamburg, 1685) by Johannes Balthasar Friderici, pages 71–73.