Frank Albo’s discoveries is highlighted in book titled “The Hermetic Code: Unlocking One of Manitoba’s Greatest Secrets"



Hidden Message Built In Unique Architectural Landmark [Winnipeg]

Dr. Frank Albo Shares His Discoveries & Theories Of The Esoteric Architectural Design Of The Manitoba Legislative Building In "The Hermetic Code"

Frank Albo Leading His Hermetic Code Tour Inside Famous Landmark [Photo Credit: Dan Harper/Tourism Winnipeg]

Driving down Broadway, Winnipeg, Ontario’s main drag one day, Frank Albo was worrying about a topic for his undergraduate thesis. The assignment was to find a remnant of ancient magic in modern culture. As he passed the Manitoba Legislative Building something caught his attention.

“From the corner of my eye, I spotted a sphinx,” he tells The Buzz. He pulled over, got out of the car and entered the building guarded by the symbol of Egyptian magic. What he found set him on an academic odyssey that would consume 10 years and four academic degrees, as he delved deeper into the mind of Frank Worthington Simon, the building’s architect, and the esoteric elements he included in his design.

“I walked into the lobby and saw two huge bison on either side of the Grand Staircase,” he recalls. “They reminded me of the statues of bulls that guard the entrances of many pagan temples.”

As he looked around, Frank saw many additional images used to ward off evil, including carvings of Medusa and Athena, lion heads and bucrania, the skulls of cattle that have adorned sacred spaces since ancient times. He realized that the entry had all the elements of a room of protection, one of the three essential elements of pagan sanctuaries, as well as Solomon’s Temple as described in the Bible.

“I thinking, now if I can just find an altar,” he recalls. In the huge central rotunda at the top of the stairs, Frank found a circular balustrade. “Sure enough, I peer over the balustrade and there’s an eight-pointed star picked out in black marble on the floor below. It was my Aha! moment.”

The eight-pointed star, Frank explains, has been the symbol of Venus since Babylonian days. He soon realized the star was positioned directly beneath the building’s most iconic feature, the statue called the Golden Boy, perched atop the legislature’s dome. Carrying a sheaf of Manitoba’s golden wheat, Albo believes the statue represents Hermes or Mercury, husband of Venus in Roman and Greek mythology. His theory gained strength as he examined the lamps that surround the circular room. 

Don Finkbeiner Giving A Tour Of The Legislative Building [Photo Credit: William Au/Tourism Winnipeg]
The Manitoba Legislative Building Lit Up At Sunset [Photo Credit: Nilo Manalo/Tourism Winnipeg]

“They are hermaphroditic figures,” he says. “Male on one side, female on the other, just like the child of Venus and Mercury.”

These were just the first of many discoveries reinforcing his view that the building took its inspiration from a pagan temple. “So many aha moments,” he says. “It took me longer to decode the building than it took the architect to build it.”

Albo eventually identified the office of the province’s Lieutenant-Governor as the temple’s Holy of Holies and a carving called the war chest on the roof as the temple’s Ark of the Covenant, as well as numerous Masonic elements and dimensions based on sacred geometry. Locals began referring to him as Winnipeg’s Dan Brown, and comparing his work with the breaking of the Da Vinci Code.

In 2009, the Winnipeg Free Press published a lavishly illustrated book detailing Frank Albo’s discoveries and the theories behind them. Titled “The Hermetic Code: Unlocking One of Manitoba’s Greatest Secrets,” the book created a sensation and kicked off a wave of visitor interest.

One of the book’s readers, Don Finkbeiner, had been leading tours of the Legislative Building since the 1970s. “I had never heard anything quite like this,” says the owner of Heartland International Travel & Tours. “I told Frank, this is brilliant. It’s an incredibly important story. He didn’t think he could lead tours, but I finally convinced him to give it a shot.”

Since 2009, Don reports, more than 25,000 people have taken the Hermetic Code Tour. Frank leads public tours on Wednesday evenings when he’s available. Don fills in when he isn’t and also does private tours for convention groups, sometimes 4 or 5 a week. “He’s the Beatles, I’m the cover band,” Don jokes. “Last Wednesday evening we had 64 people on the tour.”

“Frank is so passionate about it,” he says. “He always says, don’t believe a single word I say unless I can prove it.”

Dr. Frank Albo In Front Of The Manitoba Legislative Building [Courtesy/Tourism Winnipeg]
Mesmerizing POV From The Floor of The MB Legislative Building [Photo Credit: Phuong Nguyen/Tourism Winnipeg]
"Golden Boy" Statue Perched Atop The Building's Dome [ [Photo Credit: Victor Jarman/Tourism Winnipeg]

The tour, Don says, has become a big deal in Manitoba, and is recognized as one of Canada’s Signature Experiences. “It’s so cool, so unique. You will never look at architecture the same way again. It’s like looking at buildings through a different set of glasses.”

The architect built a puzzle for Manitobans to figure out, Finkbeiner believes. “All the evidence is there, hidden in plain sight. But the only one who has been able to put the pieces together is Frank.”

What was architect Frank Simon’s hidden message? The purpose of the encoded sacred symbols, Frank Albo believes, was to inspire people walking through, politicians and tourists alike, to become more intelligent, more balanced, more moral, more civilized. “You are unknowingly participating in an interactive drama with roots in the Masonic tradition,“ he says. “The building is edifying, an illustration of the cultural legacy of our Western civilization. It made me more intelligent.”

Frank ends every tour in the room with the black star on the floor. “The room has very special acoustics,” Don explains. “The sound is awesome, very emotional, but the effect only works in the very center of the star, so the dimensions of the whole building had to be just perfect. It’s like an echo chamber and will make the eyes pop out of your head.”

Each tour member is invited to step in to “wish upon a star,” and experience the unusual sound effects. “Frank always wished for the Jets, our professional hockey team, to come back to Winnipeg,” Don says. After the Jets returned to the city, Frank began wishing for a Stanley Cup win.

“It’s an amazing way to end a tour,” Don says.

Renee Wright 

A graduate of Franconia College in Social Psychology, Renee has worked as Travel Editor for Charlotte Magazine and has written three travel guidebooks for Countryman Press among other writing assignments. She enjoys food and camping.

Hermetic Code Tours

Make Sure To Check Out:

Hermetic Code Tours of Manitoba Legislative Building and join Dr. Frank Albo for an unforgettable tour of magic, mystery and architectural wonder. Dr. Albo will take you along step-by-step to reveal a trail of occult clues concealed in the building’s architecture. 

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