On World Labyrinth Day 2012, a new labyrinth was inaugurated in front of the west portal of the Dom (Cathedral) of Magdeburg. The Magdeburg Cathedral is as old as the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres. So it was natural to focus on the famous Chartres labyrinth. Thus it happened that 800 years after its construction from around 1200 a pavement labyrinth modeled on the original was created on this place.
During the process of reconfigurating the complete Domplatz (cathedral place) by the city of Magdeburg, the first building project was the construction of the labyrinth. The Magdeburg Lord Mayor Dr. Lutz Trümper handed it over on 5th May, 2012. Cathedral preacher Giselher Quast blessed the labyrinth.
Gundula Thormaehlen (co-founder of the TLS) called over the heavenly forces from four directions with her mussel horn. The Martin Rühmann band contributed musically to the celebration. The banners pointed to the Kaiser-Otto-Year exclaimed for 2012 in Magdeburg.
The concept and the implementing of the labyrinth rested in the hands of the landscape architect Daniela Süssmann from Magdeburg with her committed employees. For many years she had had the idea for building a labyrinth on the Domplatz. Now, finally, it came into being after many preliminary talks with the municipal authorities, the monument preservation, and the cathedral parish.
Special recognition is due to the company Barleber Naturstein Bau- und Pflasterarbeiten whose site engineers, foremen, and paviours moved a total of 47000 tessellated paving stones carefully and exactly.
In the middle of the labyrinth a big amethyst, to which curative forces are attributed, was incorporated under the paved surface.
Everybody involved in the construction has achieved a masterful work. Never before a labyrinth type Chartres has been put into practice so perfectly as a pavement labyrinth.
The width of the walkable paths amounts to an average of 40 cm and is built of Bernburg shellbearing limestones, limited by a 10-cm-wide line of dark basalt stones. The way from the entrance into the center measures about 287 m. The middle has a diameter of 3 m, thus, including the 113 lunations, a whole diameter of 14.45 m arises. The paving stones and the mortar between them are moved on a foundation of concrete and are integrated into the available, unbound granite pavement surface. Hence, it shows some expansion joints which will still fade, however. The whole surface in front of the west towers which are being restored at the moment shows an inclination leading away from the cathedral, so that the labyrinth is well recognizable.
Unfortunately, it was raining at the time of the inauguration at 1 pm, which, however, didn´t cast a cloud over the happy atmosphere of departure. Thus Magdeburg has joined solemnly on the worldwide labyrinth movement all around the globe, under the terms of the World Labyrinth Day: Walk as One at one. Likewise the citizens have done three years ago on the 1st World Labyrinth Day in 2009.
After the end of the renovation works (probably in the end of 2012) on the west towers the west portal of the Dom will be visible again and the labyrinth can unfold his full effect as inviting symbol.
However, by now it is a sign for a new beginning, for return and coming home, which invites all people to walk it.
Magdeburg is worth a journey.
Here two short videos on YouTube: