Reflections on the Wunderkreis, 2

As we have seen (in part 1), the most different variants of the Wunderkreis can be created. Depending on which part is emphasized more or less, they then look like.
When creating a new labyrinth, of course, it also depends on the size of the available space and the purpose the labyrinth is to serve.

Type 5 a-c
Type 5 a-c

The path sequence, if we go first to the left: 0-3-2-1-4-a1-b2-c1-c2-b1-a2-5-0. To the right we have: 0-5-a2-b1-c2-c1-b2-a1-4-1-2-3-0.
With the digits we have the sequence with odd and even numbers, as we know it from a classical labyrinth.
With the letters, which designate the elements of the double spiral, we can also see a certain systematic: The letters come alternately one after the other. If two identical letters follow each other, we have reached the center of the spiral and the basic change of direction. The additions “1” designate the lower part and the addition “2” the upper part of a transition.
If we take a closer look at the circuit sequences, we can see that the second one (to the right) is opposite to the first one.
So we can say that here two different but related labyrinths of a group are united in one. Depending on which path we choose first.

How many circuits does this Wunderkreis actually have?
That is a little difficult to count. To do this, we divide the figure into three parts, the lower left quarter, the upper half, and the lower right quarter. Let’s start at the bottom left: There are the 3 “labyrinthine” circuits and 3 of the double spiral. At the top we have 4 “labyrinthine” circuits and the 3 of the double spiral. Bottom right: 5 “labyrinthine” circuits and the 3 of the double spiral. So, depending on the angle of view, we have 6, 7 or 8 circuits.
The type designation is the maximum number of “labyrinthine” turns plus the letter sequence for the turns of the double spiral. Adding both gives the number of total circuits. In this example “5 a-c” so 8 in total.
In the file name for the drawings I have tried to express this as well, additionally provided with the indication of the entrance and the exit of the labyrinth.

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The Rad in the Eilenriede (Hannover) was Originally a Wunderkreis

Since 1932 there is a labyrinth of the Baltic wheel type in the Eilenriede, the municipal forest of Hannover. In the larger center stands a linden tree and it has an additional, direct, short path to the outside. So we consider it to be a walk-through labyrinth. It is one of the last four historical lawn labyrinths in Germany (the others are Kaufbeuren, Graitschen, Steigra).

The Rad in the Eilenriede nowadays
The Rad in the Eilenriede nowadays, photo: Axel Hindemith, public domain

It was previously located on today’s Emmichplatz and was mentioned as early as 1642 in the city chronicle of Hannover. The occasion was a visit by Duke Friedrich von Holstein with his fiancée, Duchess Sophia Amalia von Braunschweig and Lüneburg, to his Hanoverian brother-in-law, Duke Christian Ludwig. He also organized a “tent camp” for the bridal couple in the Eilenriede, the climax of which was the bridal run in the labyrinth.


But what might the labyrinth have looked like back then?
Only now have I come across an old drawing of the Rad from that time in the book “Reise ins Labyrinth” by Uwe Wolff from 2001 in the chapter on German lawn labyrinths (p. 50 – p. 57).

The Rad in 1858
The Rad in 1858, source: “Reise ins Labyrinth” by Uwe Wolff, 2001

At least that’s how it looked in 1858. And presumably (or hopefully) it corresponds to the originally laid out labyrinth.
What is particularly noticeable in the drawing is that the middle is formed by a double spiral. Just like it is in a Wunderkreis. There are also two entrances, sometimes separate, sometimes with a branch.

While researching the Internet, I came across an old postcard with the labyrinth illustration. It shows the Rad from probably before 1932.

The Rad on a postcard
The Rad on a postcard

The drawing looks a bit idealized and has two circuits less than the drawing from 1858. But there is the double spiral in the middle and the two entrances again. And so it corresponds again to a Wunderkreis.

Years ago I wrote about the differences between the Wunderkreis and the Baltic wheel. I recommend reading the related posts below again.
I was particularly interested in the transformation of a Wunderkreis into a Baltic wheel.
And this transformation obviously took place with the Rad in the Eilenride.

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