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## How to make a Wunderkreis or a Baltic Wheel

The Wunderkreis and the Baltic Wheel are compound labyrinths which are constructed from curves around different centres. The two lower turning points are proper for the “labyrinthine” circuits, those in the middle for the double spiral.

A Baltic wheel has a bigger, empty center and a short second exit. This is already a double spiral, yet without more twists. Both accesses are normally separated by an own intermediate piece, a sort of shoehorn.

The pattern for the layout is the same one for both labyrinth types. The tool to produce the layout is also the same. The number of the circuits in all can be different, nevertheless.

Here it is only about the method. The geometrically correct construction is another thing again. There are already several posts in this blog about that.

There is no seed pattern like we have it for the well-known classical labyrinth. However, there is a basically very simple method to draw such a labyrinth or to lay it directly with stones or to scratch it in the sand.

A step-by-step instruction should show it. The boundary lines of the labyrinth are drawn, the path runs between the lines.

Step 1

Step 1: I draw half a curve upwards, from the left to the right.

Step 2

Step 2: I jump a little bit to the left, make a curve downwards to the left, walk round the first curve and land to the right of the preceding curve.
This would already be the center of the Baltic Wheel or the middle of the smallest possible Wunderkreis.

Step 3

Step 3: Nevertheless, the double spiral should become bigger. Hence, I jump again a little bit to the left at the end of the first curve in green, make an other curve downwards to the left and walk again round the preceding curves.
Thus I could continue any desired. There must be left on the right side, however, always two free curve ends. With that the double spiral would be finished inside the Wunderkreis.

Step 4

Step 4: Now I must add at least three semi-circular curves round the previous lines.
If I want to have a bigger labyrinth, I can add more lines in pairs. There must however be an odd number of curves.
In our example we now have on the left side three free line ends, and on the right side five.

Step 5

Step 5: Now I connect on every side the innermost and the outmost lying free line in such a manner that in between an access is possible. This is to be continued (here only on the right side) so long as on every side only one single line end is left.

Step 6

Step 6: The both on every side lying free line ends are extended forwards. They represent the both lower turning points.
The labyrinth is finished.

Finally we will check out if the drawing is correct. We go in between the lines, turn to the right or to the left and must come again to the starting point. If not, something must be wrong.

Best try it out yourself, with a pencil on a sheet of paper. Wishing you success.

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## How to simply make bigger and smaller Labyrinths, Part 2

In part 1 (see Related Post below) about the simplified seed pattern I only have spoken of the enlargement of labyrinths.

But of course the number of circuits also can be reduced by this way. This is possible for all labyrinths built from this seed pattern, as well as for all containing this pattern. I would like to call them compounded labyrinths.

For me this are the Indian Labyrinth, the Baltic Wheel and the Wunderkreis. They all have only two turning points, however, the middle is formed in each case differently.
The Indian Labyrinth (Chakra Vyuha) contains a spiral, the Baltic Wheel has a big empty middle and a second access, the Wunderkreis contains a double spiral and also has the second access.

Here the Indian Labyrinth which can be generated through a seed pattern contained in a triangle:

The Indian Labyrinth

The Indian Labyrinth with two more circuits:

The enlarged Indian Labyrinth

Here the Baltic Wheel. The middle section is constructed in a special way. But the circuits round the two turning points can be increased or decreased in pairs.

The Baltic Wheel

The Baltic Wheel with two less circuits:

The downscaled Baltic Wheel

The Wunderkreis has a double spiral in the middle section. The double spiral can have more or less windings (not shown here). But the typically “labyrinthine” circuits round the two turning points can be influenced as mentioned above.

The Wunderkreis

The Wunderkreis with two less circuits:

The downscaled Wunderkreis

In the quoted statements I would like to show that there is a “technology” through that one can influence the size of a labyrinth.

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## How to Walk the Baltic Wheel in Pairs

This way to walk a labyrinth is known as the Appleton for the Classical labyrinth (read more in Further Links at the bottom of this post). Thereby one can go in pairs in the same direction on lanes next to each other. However, one person goes into the labyrinth and the other outwards. This also functions in groups. However, this is only possible on certain lanes, not on all.

In the Baltic wheel this is quite different. There it is possible on all lanes from the beginning to the end. For there are two ways: One long way to walk in or out, a second short way to do the same.

The beginning

The blue ball wants to get into the center of the labyrinth and takes the long way in. The yellow ball takes the short way directly into the center, from where it wants to take the long way out.

Home position

They stand side by side and walk off together in the same direction. It is also possible that others join them and form a long queue, since there is enough place.

Encounter

Arriving at the second turning point there is a special moment: They meet each other and their lanes cross.

Shifting the lane

But they don’t change direction. They continue their way.

End position

They have both nearly achieved their aim: The blue ball has arrived at the center. The yellow ball approaches the end of its way.

The end

The blue ball can take the short way out. The yellow ball has arrived the exit. Both have exchanged their places.

The end is the beginning and the beginning is the end.

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## How to Make a Baltic Wheel from a Wunderkreis

This is what a Baltic Wheel looks like:

The Baltic Wheel

It has circuits which run primarily about two turning points. The middle is empty, however, it has a second, short way to leave it directly. Thereby we also have two entries which are separated by a spoon-like formed part.
Historical examples are very rare. In Germany there is the Rad in der Eilenriede at the town park of Hannover. Otherwise we only know this type from literature.

In the previous articles I have dealt with the Wunderkreis. Besides, a certain resemblance between both these types has also struck me. Though both have two entries they are still different types. In what way are they different now?

The Wunderkreis

The labyrinthine circuits are disposed around turning points which are arranged in a triangle. In the middle we have a double spiral (the circuits A, B, C) through which we leave the Wunderkreis. We have a walk-through labyrinth lying ahead of us.

The Baltic Wheel has a big, empty middle and consequently contains no double spiral. However, there is also the second access (or exit). If I leave out the circuits for the double spiral, I shall nearly get the  Baltic Wheel.

The intermediate stage

The remaining circuits are the same. Also the path sequence is the same. This shows the close relationship between the two labyrinth types.

Now I add a middle section formed from arcs between the two entrances and will thus receive a complete Baltic Wheel.

The Baltic Wheel

The Baltic Wheel can exist of a varied number of circuits. These can be added the same way as in the Wunderkreis (see related posts below).

Other design elements can also be added, such as an additional circuit around the whole Baltic Wheel.

Some years ago I had already published construction instructions for the Baltic Wheel. It looked a little bit different. The construction developed now seems easier to me and I like it better.

If I have fixed the number of the circuits for a Baltic Wheel, I can also begin with the base line of the triangle (between M3 and M4) and then determine the centre M1.

The construction has a dimension between axes of 1 m and therefore allows to scale it easier.

The drawing

Here as a PDF file to look at, to print or to copy.

Related Posts

## A Latvian Baltic Wheel

During the labyrinth congress in Valguma Pasaule a new labyrinth of special kind was initiated: A labyrinth of the type Baltic wheel whose boundary lines are formed by man-shaped name panels with Latvian first names.

In Latvia the name day has a bigger meaning than the birthday.

The participants of the congress completed a part of about 1500 prepared little figures with the inscription of names. Now these little wooden figures had to be put into the sandy soil on two iron sticks. There were not enough panels and some have not been lettered yet. The labyrinth was opened solemnly together with the Latvian musician’s family Igauņi. Afterwards everybody celebrated the opening with Latvian folk music and folk dances accompanied by a first-rate dinner.

Once more Vita Beļavniece and Viesturs Serdāns have created something special in Valguma Pasaule with this labyrinth and have contributed another one to the already existing labyrinths .

The layout

The labyrinth came into being in connection with the barefoot path on a specially heaped up sandy surface in the wood. The paths are 1 m wide, the middle surrounding a tree has a size of about 8.5 m and the whole diameter is about 26.5 m. The simple way into the center is about 492 m long, the boundary lines with the little figures are about 540 m long. A striking tree stands in the middle, two others form the gate.

The Baltic wheel is suited especially well for groups, because one can walk in and out in pairs side by side. There is an aditional short path on which you can enter or leave the Labyrinth more quickly as this path leads directly to the middle.

Here some photographic impressions:

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## Labyrinths from the Bird’s-eye View

Only from above one recognises best the structure and the beauty of a labyrinth. For birds this is no problem, but still for us. We have this look maybe as a skydiver, paraglider, passenger in a balloon or an airplane? This is why I am glad that I can show now some labyrinths from the bird’s-eye view. I owe this to my son, which is owner of such a new “aircraft” with camera below, and generously has made some overflights.

Along the waterfront of the river Main (Mainlände) are still standing the sculptures of this year’s sculptor’s symposium to the subject Panta rhei (everything flows). The contribution of  the the kindergarten children Saint Sebastian to this was a first with sawdust scattered Knidos labyrinth on a meadow near the volleyball court, that now is cut.

Knidos Labyrinth at the “Mainlände” Dettelbach, photo: Tobias Reißmann

The second labyrinth of the same type is found on a meadow below the pilgrimage church “Maria im Sand”. The entrance is beside the sculpture “Fremder” (stranger), and the labyrinth is aligned to the sculpture “Jakobsstein” (Jakob’s Stone) standing there to represent the end of the Dettelbach sculpture way “Pilgervolk” (pilgrim’s People) from the symposium in 2005.

Knidos Labyrinth at the church “Maria im Sand” Dettelbach, photo: Tobias Reißmann

At the beginning of the year  we made some overflights from other labyrinths. The videos can be watched on Youtube.

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Here the Knidos labyrinth of Saint Alfons in Würzburg:

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Here the Medieval labyrinth of Münsterschwarzach:

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Here the Roman labyrinth of Retzbach:

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Also in Google Earth one can sometimes see labyrinths if the quality of the satellite pictures is good enough. The knowledge of the geographic coordinates of a labyrinth (virtually their house number and address) quite help to the search.

Here the labyrinth of type Baltic wheel at the Mönchbergschule in Würzburg in an interactive map:

I owe an other nice view from above to my son-in-law who was on the move as passenger in a balloon just over a year ago, and by chance discovered the labyrinth at Eisingen. The photos are to be seen in the post quoted below.

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## The Candle Labyrinth in the Night of the Churches at Rödelsee (Germany) 2011

On Saturday 29th of October, 2011 the two parishes of Rödelsee celebrated the night of the churches under the motto “open doors, open hearts, open churches” as an ecumenical event.

One program point was the candle labyrinth on the place of Schloss Crailsheim. People were invited to walk the labyrinth from the beginning of the darkness at 18 o’clock until midnight.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 5

Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 8

Picture 9

I contributed the layout and have chosen the type Baltic Wheel. Together with active and “old” boy scouts we have put up about 300 light bowls. A small coal fire was burning in the centre and each who liked to do, was invited to throw some grains of  incense into the glow.

The layout drawing

The labyrinth had 4 circuits with an additional short path, the path width was 1 m, the middle had 4 m of diameter, the whole diameter amounted to 12 m, the lines were 122 m long and the way to the middle had 100 m.

For those interested in the layout drawing: Here it is as a PDF file to look at, to copy or to print.