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Colored and scored corner cuboids
Cornerstone as the foundation stone with bronze relief (Bonifatiuskirche Aachen)

The terms corner stone , corner cuboid or Ortstein ( Latin: lapis angularis ) refer to smooth or roughly hewn stone in the corners of a building or in its door and window frames.


Corner stones were originally built into natural stone masonry (especially dry stone and quarry stone masonry ) as a means of fastening the edges in the corners of the wall. Corner stones have a supporting function, especially on buildings, as they have a stabilizing effect overall due to the alternating superposition of the narrow and broad sides and their greater weight.

In addition, corner stones are used as an architectural design element and as the foundation stone of a building. If the corner squaring (also called corner squaring) is used exclusively for design, it can be designed as a scratched ashlar or as a sgraffito technique. It is also possible to paint or decorate it as a dummy architecture or trompe- l'oeil .


The use of corner blocks for quarry stone masonry was already common among the Etruscans . On many quarry stone or field stone buildings from antiquity and the Middle Ages, corner stones are the only precisely cut stones .

Figurative meaning

In the Bible , the word Eckstein is used figuratively. In Psalm 118, God's saving work is felt as a cornerstone-laying:

I thank you for hearing me; you have become my savior. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. ( Ps 118 : 21-25  EU )

In the New Testament this passage from the psalm is quoted by Jesus ( Mt 21.42  EU , Mk 12.10  EU and Lk 20.17  EU ) and referred to him: 1 Petr 2, 4–8  EU . It is also quoted in the Acts of the Apostles of Luke ( Acts 4:11  EU ) by Peter in relation to the high council .

Use in a counting rhyme

When Hide And the cornerstone is also mentioned. Before the search begins, the seeker returns with the rhyme

One, two, three, four, cornerstone
Everything must be hidden
behind me and in front of me
it doesn't apply there
Now I'm coming

Opportunity to look for a hiding place.

See also

Web links

Commons : Cornerstones  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Stone bandages . In: Brockhaus Konversations-Lexikon 1894–1896, Volume 15, p. 306.