Visitors to London’s Westminster Abbey are allowed to visit shortly after the coronation of King Charles III. enter the area of ​​the venerable church for the first time, in which the monarch will sit at the ceremony – but only in stockings, as the abbey announced. In order to protect the sensitive mosaic floor, shoes must be removed for the “Crown and Church” special tour, which is offered from May 15 to July 29.

“It will be the first time in living memory that the abbey has invited visitors to step onto the cosmatian pavement where the coronation chair will be placed for the coronation on May 6,” an abbey spokesman said in a statement. The Cosmates were a group of Italian artisans who, during the Middle Ages, used a technique called incrustation to decorate floors and other areas in churches with marble mosaics.

The Cosmatian covering in Westminster Abbey dates from the 13th century and is considered one of the greatest treasures of medieval art in Great Britain. It was covered by a carpet for about 150 years – and also at the coronation of Charles’ mother Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. At the coronation of Charles III. but it should be visible. It depicts a geocentric universe – that is, with the earth at its center – and even contains a prediction for the date of the end of the world. However, with an alleged durability of the world of 19,683 years, that is still a long time coming.