Dolen in dit doolhof: A kerkdoolhof (Church Maze) in the St. Martinuskerk at Oud-Zevenaar (NL)

On the 3rd of June, 2011 the Dutch Maze and Labyrinth Symposium 2011 offered two excursions. I have taken part on the route B which led as first to a kerkdoolhof: a maze in a church. It was very interesting and seems to be a little bit strange, but it was absolutely remarkable. I suppose that only Dutchmen can have such an idea.

Picture 1

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 3

The Saint Martinuskerk in Oud-Zevenaar is from the 12th century, in the 19th century near the entrance a maze from black and white records was laid on the floor. The black records form the way. The maze is square with 8 circuits (depending on how one counts) and an unambiguously recognizable centre in the middle.
The layout

The layout

If one has got the knack, the way into  the centre is to be found relatively easy. At every branch one must decide where to go: Straight ahead or turning to the right or to the left? Each wrong way ends in a dead end. Because one can see still at the branch where the dead ends are, one must not follow all the paths and can continue the right way. And, finally, after 10 decisions and 9 “completed” dead ends one reaches the centre.
The entrance is also not to be recognised immediately, but the outermost circuit opens only at one spot and this is the right access. With the trial-and-error method one finds out all that. I started, for example, in the centre and searched (and found) the right way outwards.

And the deeper sense for all that in a church? I suppose: none. Since a maze offers above all fun and play. Or does this make sense, nevertheless?
Ask the priest or a Dutchman.

1 thought on “Dolen in dit doolhof: A kerkdoolhof (Church Maze) in the St. Martinuskerk at Oud-Zevenaar (NL)

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