There is now a new labyrinth at this extraordinary and historically significant place.
In the church Mariä Schutz a labyrinth was built during the three-year period of renovation and rebuilding on the area of the Vogelsburg.
Father Bernhard Stühler, hospital chaplain of the Juliusspital, initiated it. Architect Stephan Tittl from the office SequenzSieben Würzburg made the architectural design of the church and delivered the layout. During the inauguration of the project turned out, that Sr. Hedwig Mayer, prioress of the Augustinusschwestern on the Vogelsburg, always had wished a labyrinth.
The new labyrinth
It’s a newly created sector labyrinth with 5 circuits. In the middle is a bowl-shaped pitch circle to divert the direction. The dividing bars form a cross and are arranged symmetrically.
The diameter amounts to 6 m, the middle to 2 m. The ways are 34 cm wide and are marked by a 6 cm wide brass sheet on the terrazzo floor. The way into the center amounts to about 64 m.
One enters the church from the south over an outside stair. On the left hand of the entrance is the labyrinth which is aligned to the west and the east. You enter it from the west, arriving the center, one looks to the east in the direction of the altar and leaves it also again in this direction.
The Oberpflegeamtsdirektor (Chief Administrative Officer) Walter Herbert of the Juliusspitalstiftung (foundation Juliusspital) said on occasion of the inauguration of the altar in May, 2016 to the interior design of the church:
With the elected interior design and with the labyrinth in the ground we would like to offer to every visitor of the Vogelsburg the possibility to find the way to one’s own center, to get back to basics and to find the possibility of steering towards God in the church space.
The segments of the 5 circuits
As Andreas proposed in his last article we can number the 20 segments for the 5 circuits in this 4-armed labyrinth. The sequence of segments can be derived from it for the pathways. Some segments form a connected section which runs through several quadrants. These segments can be marked by brackets. The sequence of segments then looks as follow: 9-5-(1-2-3-4)-8-12-(16-15)-11-(7-6)-10-(14-13) – (17-18-19-20)-21. I write the result a little bit differently than Andreas and still add the center at the end. Inside this labyrinth we have as a specific feature two segments which enclose the full length of a circuit.
Further Links (in German)
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In one-arm labyrinths, each circuit is represented by one number. Therefore it is possible to capture even quite large labyrinths appropriately with the level sequence. In labyrinths with multiple arms, the pathway may repeatedly encounter the same circuit. Various possibilities exist to take account of this in the level sequence. For this, according to the number of arms, the circuits have to be further partitioned to segments. Here I will show a method in which all segments are numbered through.
For this I use an example of a labyrinth that has repeatedly been presented on this blog. It has 3 arms and 3 circuits.
First, each circuit is partitioned to three segments. One segment corresponds with a unit of the pathway between two arms. Next, the segments have to be numbered through. This can be done in different ways. Here I number them from the outside to the inside and one circuit after each other.
Now we can track the course of the pathway through the various segments. This results in the sequence of segments encountered by the pathway. In labyrinths with multiple arms the level sequence thus extends to a sequence of segments.
The sequence of segments of this labyrinth is 7 4 1 2 5 8 9 6 3. The length of this sequence of numbers is a result of the number of circuits multiplied with the number of arms. Thus, for a labyrinth with 3 circuits and 3 arms, 9 numbers are required. Whereas in a one-arm labyrinth with 3 circuits only 3 numbers are needed.
However, besides the numbers no other information is needed. The sequence of segments itself determines where the pathway makes a turn or traverses an axis. In one-arm labyrinths this had to be indicated additionally by use of separators.
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I have shown with the example of my demonstration labyrinth how the pattern of a labyrinth can be obtained. This was a one-arm labyrinth. Of course, it is also possible to transform labyrinths with multiple arms into the rectangular form.
Figure 1. Compiègne
I will show this here with the Compiègne labyrinth as an example (fig. 1). This is a labyrinth with four arms. It is presented with the walls shown. Erwin has already used this type of labyrinth in this blog (see related posts). In order to obtain the rectangular form, I will use the Ariadne’s Thread and apply method 2, as usual.
Figure 2. The Ariadne’s Thread, situation of the arms
Fig. 2 shows the baseline situation. The labyrinth is represented by the Ariadne’s Thread with the entrance at the base and in clockwise rotation. The main axis and the side-arms are highlighted.
Figure 3. Flipping the Arms
As can be seen in fig. 3, both side-arms on the left and right side are flipped upwards by about 1/4 of the arc of a circle. There they meet the upper side arm which remains unchanged. Only the main axis is split into two halves, and these are flipped upwards each by ca. Half the arc of a circle, where they attach to the side-arms.
Figure 4. Finalization of the Pattern
Fig. 4 shows the straightening-out process and, as a result of it, the pattern of the Compiègne labyrinth.
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In my last post I have shown how one-arm labyrinths can be inscribed into the Flower of Life. Now I will also consider labyrinths with muliple arms. I begin with the labyrinth with three arms and three circuits that has already been introduced by Erwin in several previous posts (see also related posts below).
Figure 1: The Labyrinth with three arms and three ciruits
It is possible to inscribe the Ariadne’s Thread of this labyrinth into the original Flower of Life using the same previously described method by following a pathway along the lentiform segments.
Figure 2: The three-arm three-circuit labyrinth in the Flower of Life
However the resulting Ariadne’s Thread is strongly distorted. This is due to the fact that the center is too narrow. The innermost circuit therefore is made up mostly of parallel vertical lines. This makes it difficult to realize that it is a circuit at all.
The solution is to size-up the center so that the innermost circuit comes to lie on the second concentric hexagon. As shown in figure 3 this enables us to give a hexagonal shape also to the innermost circuit. By this, the entire labyrinth is far better recognizable in its intended form, although on a hexagonal layout.
Figure 3: Four circles for three circits with a larger center
In order to inscribe multiple-arm labyrinths into the hexagonal grid, a bigger area is needed. This must have a diameter that is one circle greater than the number of circuits of the labyrinth. Let’s examine this with a larger labyrinth. And, given the hexagonal grid, why not inscribe the Ariadne’s Thread of one of my labyrinth designs with six arms. Figure 4 shows my labyrinth KS 3-3 of the category of my Cascading Serpentine labyrinths with six arms and 11 circuits.
Figure 4: Labyrinth of the type KS 3-3 on the hexagonal grid from the Flower of Life
In order to inscribe the Ariadne’s Thread of this labyrinth into the hexagonal grid, an area with a diameter of 12 circles is needed (11 circuits + 1 additional circle for sizing-up the center).
The Flower of Live provides a hexagonal grid. This grid can be extended without limits. And it is possible to inscribe labyrinths with a greater number of arms and circuits on larger areas covered with this grid.
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