The Candle Labyrinth in the Night of the Churches at Rödelsee (Germany) in 2014

As already three years ago (2011) I could propose a labyrinth draft to this event. The responsibles have decided on a Roman labyrinth of the type Dionysos from a list of 9 different suggestions. It is known since the 2nd century AD, and belongs therefore to the oldest labyrinth types at all.


The Roman Labyrinth type Dionysos

The Roman Labyrinth type Dionysos

The existing place allows only a labyrinth with approximately 13 ms of diameter. The ways width was 1 m to allow better access. Therefore, only 5 circuits are possible, because the center should also be a little bit more largely. In the design drawing the details are comprehensible.

The whole line length of the walls adds up to nearly 150 ms. If one chooses a distance of approx. 50 cm for the lights, one arrives after all at 300 candles. The distance may not be greater any more, because with a path width of 1 m the passageways must remain clearly recognizable. The way into the center adds up to 117 ms.

The design drawing

The design drawing

How to make the labyrinth

First one fixes the center and then the vertical main axis. Thereto I use a 3-mm-thick cable with marks for the different radii, hung up with a spring hook in an approx. 1 cm thick iron stick smashed in the center.

Then one draws with chalk the inner circle and the external one already taking into account the entrance. Afterwards one marks, outgoing from the lower mark of the vertical axis in the outside circle the horizontal axis on the rigt and the left side, at last still the upper mark of the vertical axis. By applying the chord length of 9.19 m for the 13 m diameter circle this suits best.

Now one draws preferably all the straight (vertical and horizontal) lines which begin in the inner circle, and are ending on the 2nd circle, seen from the outside. To this one uses best a second cable or a rope. In parallel distance of 1 m to the previous lines run an other one, beginning at the external circle up to the 2nd circle, seen from the inside. The lower vertical lines proceed in parallel distances of 50 cm, 1 m and 1.50 m to the vertical main axis. This shorter distances one measures up with a folding ruler which must be held more or less at right angles to the main lines.

Now one draws the four inner circular segments which begin alternately at a straight line and stop 1 m before the next straight line – and vice versa.

We were four persons and needed about two hours to trace the labyrinth and to lay the light bowls.

Here you can see, copy or print the design drawing as a PDF file …

Here a little photo gallery:

We had about 270 light bowls, with however, different burning time. Lighting the candles was more difficult this year as three years ago, because of the wind. It took good two hours, although we used a gas burner. And although the children helped.

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