The Babylonian Visceral Labyrinths in Knidos Style

To say it more exactly, here I relate to the 21 row-shaped visceral labyrinths, still known from some of the previous articles (see Related Posts below).

The appearance is defined by the circuit or path sequence. With that one can construct the different and new labyrinth types (here 21). To this I use the once before presented method to draw a labyrinth (see below).

The path and the limitation lines are equally wide. The center is bigger. The last piece of the path leads vertically into the center. All elements are connected next to each other without sharp bends and geometrically correct. There are only straight lines and curves. This all on the smallest place possible. All together makes up the Knidos style.

Look at a single picture in a bigger version by clicking on it:

I think that by this style the movement pattern of every labyrinth becomes especially well recognizable. With that they can be compared more easy with the already known labyrinths.

Remarkably for me it is that only one specimen (E 3384 v_6) begins with the first circuit. And the fact that many directly circle around the middle and, finally, from the first circuit the center directly is reached. Noticeably are also the many vertical straight and parallel pieces in the middle section.

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A New Turf Labyrinth at the University Hospital of Magdeburg (Germany)

11 days after the World Labyrinth Day the new lawn Labyrinth was initiated solemly on a meadow  between house 4 and house 20 in the university medical centre of Magdeburg on the 18th of May, 2016.

So there is also a Classical, Cretan 7 Circuit labyrinth in the Knidos style besides the 11 Circuit pavement labyrinth of the Chartres type in front of the west portal of the Magdeburg Cathedral. The Knidos Labyrinth has a larger middle than the usuall Classical labyrinths, here it amounts to the fourfold of the dimension between axes of 90 cm.

There have been long and intensive consultations and preconsiderations before building the labyrinth. The driving force behind the project was the therapist of the university hospital for psychiatry and psychotherapy Uta Bittkau. She managed the conviction work and she did the fundraising. She found committed contributors in Ute Zeising, employee in the area of Building care, Stefan Feige, leader of the central project office and Marcus Bursian, manager of the company Grünland Landschaftsbau GmbH.

I was enabled to contribute the draught for the labyrinth. The paths are 50 cm wide and built of grit, seperated by grass strips of 40 cm width. The whole diameter is 16 m and the path length into the middle amounts to 213 m.
The assiduous gardeners of the company Grünland Landschaftsbau GmbH lead by Marcus Bursian implemented the blueprint. They will also be responsible for the care.

Layout drawing of the Knidos labyrinth

Layout drawing of the Knidos labyrinth

The speakers at the inauguration ceremony were Daniela Süssmann (landscape architect), Jens Hennicke (manager of the engineer health insurance Saxony-Anhalt), as well as the present hospital manager Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Frodl from the university hospital for psychiatry and psychotherapy and his predecessor Prof. em. Dr. med. Bernhard Bogerts. They were all supporting the project on different levels.

Claudia Schmidt and her group sang a mantra, as well as the labyrinth music from “canela” accompanied the first, solemn walk into the labyrinth.

May the new turf labyrinth be a place of rest and reflection and unfold its possibilities of self-awareness and orientation for all visitors.

Here some impressions of the inauguration:

Click in any photo in order to enlarge it and open the photo gallery. If you want to finish and return to the post click on “X” in the top left corner of the black background or the “Esc” key on your keyboard.

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A “Form-Fitting” Knidos Labyrinth

Sometimes you will get a diamond-shaped, empty element in the middle part of a Knidos labyrinth which is formed normally by a cross. This happens when all the paths have the same width and the walls are aligned to them. This form arises because the four turning points form a square.
A shift of the rhomb may also result if one brings into line the entrance axis (of the path into the labyrinth) and the entry axis into the center of the labyrinth with the main axis of the labyrinth figure. In the “twisted labyrinth” I have demonstrated this already once (see related posts below).

If one wants to give a certain shape to this “empty form”, one can play with the position of the turning points. I have done this to get the “form-fitting” labyrinth. All elements are arcs, however, the four turning points do not lie any more in a square.

The suggestion for this labyrinth dates to the logo sketched by the Swiss artist Agnes Barmettler with the woman in the labyrinth for the public women’s places.

The logo for the public women's places

The logo for the public women’s places

Such a labyrinth can be drawn nicely, but is hard to build, above all as a big labyrinth. Hence, I have tried to develop the shape for this labyrinth with geometrical elements only. Some imagination is asked of course. Anyway, the “empty space” offers creative leeway.

The "form-fitting" Knidos Labyrinth

The “form-fitting” Knidos Labyrinth

The following layout drawing for a sort of prototype shows the geometrical qualities in detail.

Who looks accurately and compares to the original Knidos labyrinth, recognises that one segment less arises. The turning point below on the right is laid in the lengthening of the line from the midpoint of the center and the upper right turning point. The usually narrow “cake piece” is thereby lost in this area.

The drawing

The drawing

Who would like to build such a labyrinth, is invited warmly to it. The drawing contains all that is neccessary. Indeed, one can also use other parametres, because the labyrinth is scaleable. The underlying values are based on the dimension between axes of 1 m. This means that all details changes proportionally (are reduced or extended). If one wants, e.g., a half as big labyrinth, one multiplies all measures by 0.5. One can even proceed in such a way with “crooked” numbers to get the desired result.

Here you may see, print, save, copy the PDF file of the drawing

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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

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

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.

Here the Knidos labyrinth of Saint Alfons in Würzburg:



Here the Medieval labyrinth of Münsterschwarzach:



Here the Roman labyrinth of Retzbach:



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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