Most of all labyrinths we know are alternating labyrinths. In these, the pathway does not traverse the main axis. Every time it arrives at the end of a circuit it changes direction and skips to another circuit.
However, there exist some few labyrinths with the pathway crossing the main axis. This means, it does not change direction but only skips to an other circuit whilst following a piece along the axis. Up to now I simply have termed these „non-alternating“ labyrinths, since „alternating“ can be considered the rule. If we don’t want to term the property negatively („non-alternating“), we could also use terms such as „traversing“ or „crossing“. From now on, I will use the term „crossing labyrinths“ for such labyrinths.
Whether a labyrinth is alternating or crossing, this refers to its main axis only. That is the axis where the entrance to the labyrinth and also the access to the center are situated. In labyrinths with one axis, there is only the main axis. Labyrinths with multiple axes, have also side-axes in addition to the main axis. Note that the pathway always must traverse the side axes. Otherwise, no side axes could be designed.
Among the 87 types of labyrinths in my catalogue of historical labyrinths (see: further links, below), 10 are crossing, the others alternating. Here, I will show the three crossing labyrinths with one axis once more. All three have already been presented on this blog.
The most remarkable crossing labyrinth is the labyrinth of St. Gallen.
It has been repeatedly confused on this blog with the alternating labyrinth with 6 circuits and the same sequence of circuits, of which no historcal example is known (related posts 1 and 2).
Another very beautiful crossing labyrinth is the one by Al Qazwini (related posts 3).
The third crossing labyrinth with one axis is Folio 53r by Sigmund Gossembrot (related posts 4).
All three are interesting crossing labyrinths, in which the pathway does not enter on the first circuit nor reach the center from the last circuit. In St. Gallen and Qazwini it traverses on the full distance of the axis, in Gossembrot 53r only one part of the axis (from the 6th to the 9th circuit).
- How to Turn a Meander into a Labyrinth
- Listening to the Labyrinths
- The Labyrinth by Al Qazvini
- Sigmund Gossembrot / 5