About the Schwanberg Labyrinth


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The first outlineThe final outlineThe Schwanberg Labyrinth was built in 1995 by a group of people taking interest in labyrinths. After numerous workshops and considerations about the subject for long weeks the labyrinth was designed in its very own unique shape and realised. Rosmarie Schmid from Zurich and Gernot Dettweiler from Ingolstadt had been originally consulted and worked with the group.


Parson Koller 2003Mrs. and Mr. Koller (the Schwanberg parson at that time, now both in Erfurt) took part too. On August 2, 2003 parson Koller visited the labyrinth.




The "foundation stone"The outline of the labyrinth and the words "Der Weg ist das Ziel" (the way is the destination) was engraved into a rock, taken from the excavation of the first Chapel of St. Michael. The rock, invariably guarding the entrance to the labyrinth, now appears somewhat weather beaten.




The entranceAt just about 1 p.m. wintertimeThere is a sun-dial in front of the entrance to the labyrinth. Small stone blocks, arranged in a half circle present the hours. The shadow of the visitor actually takes the place of the short hand when he stand on the small paved path, the actual position of course depends on the season. It is meant to symbolise the relationship of space and time.


The original labyrinth tileThe labyrinth was laid out as a square, with bordering hedges. The hedges are no longer there today. They disappeared, along with many other objects that had been placed there originally. Nature itself is responsible for part of it, since it is a natural labyrinth and located on a meadow surrounded by old apple trees. Many shrubs have been planted and many flowers and plants sown.



Gabriele SchubertMy ceramic tileThe tile with the outline of the Schwanberg Labyrinth was created by Gabriele Schubert, a ceramic artist from Reupelsdorf. She is prepared to give artistic form to any customised tile you may wish.



HermannThe gentleman in this picture claims to have been "the gardeners assistant of the first hour". But he is selling himself a bit short, he has actually done more than that. Anyway, he is happy that the labyrinth-idea is still going strong after all these years.




An announcement at the entranceThe keepers of the labyrinthFor a while the labyrinth was in danger to disappear in the wild growing vegetation, but meanwhile a small number of women, full of enthusiasm from Kitzingen and Prichsenstadt have committed themselves to the care of the labyrinth at present.



Children run the pathsThe playground located nearby is good for the labyrinth. The children run with drive and enthusiasm through the paths and in doing so help to keep the paths clear from overgrowth.




Seen from the conventThe labyrinth is located between the convent building for the sisters of the Community Casteller Ring and the old farmhouse on Schwanberg. From the central parking lot you turn right toward the farmhouse, turn left in front of it.After crossing the children's playground you may enter a small gate in the low fence.



A mapNot far away from here there are radio and transmitting aerials of different civil and military institutions. Schwanberg (hill of Swans) reaches a height of 470 metres right on the edge of the Steigerwald, a low Franconian mountain range. Schwanberg area belongs to the village of Rödelsee.



View from the ground Schwanberg is within easy reach from the railway station Iphofen and by car coming from the highway A3 from Frankfurt - Nürnberg, Kitzingen exit and then via B8 through Kitzingen, Mainbernheim, Rödelsee.




In the summertimeIn the wintertimeThe Schwanberg Labyrinth is totally different from other types of labyrinth. Its form is not inspired by the classical 7 circuit labyrinth or similar forms, developed over the last 1000 years. It has a diameter measuring 18 metres and paths aapproximately 200 metres long. Since the way back is the same lenghts as the way in, you actually walk about 400 metres.


Graphic ArtOne principle for a labyrinth is therefore met: To gain as much room possible in a narrow and very limited space available. You are circling around once counter-clock wise before entering the path leding to the middle. The path meanders in four double coils through four sections toward the middle; you proceed by first walking the left lower section, then the the left upper section, then you go on to the right upper section and finally the right lower section which leads to the middle.


After a rain showerThese technical facts however are not the essentials for a labyrinth. There are a great many interpretations and explanations. Some of them you might discover in a different part of this web site. But for every person who has walked the Schwanberg Labyrinth, the most important factor is the personal significance.



Words on the wayQuotations taken from a flyer about the Schwanberg Labyrinth, which can be found in the foyer of Saint Michael's church. The text is translated for you.




St. Michael churchHere the road to the Schwanberg comes to an end. If you want it to be, it is also a labyrinthine way. Its branches off the main road at the bottom of the hill between the villages of Rödelsee and Wiesenbronn, wind up the hill and end here at the top. The way back is the same, there is no other way.



View to  Rödelsee and KitzingenView to Münsterschwarzach The Schwanberg has a long and extensive historic tradition, but today is commonly known as "Geistliches Zentrum Schwanberg" (Spiritual Center Schwanberg), an institution for reflective conferences and meditation maintaining its own spirituality for the past 50 years.



Doris PaulThe Schwanberg Café also is a longstanding tradition on the mountain. Many years managed by the sisters of the Community themselves, it is now leased and aptly operated by Miss Doris Paul as of last year (2002). Here you can enjoy "Franconian hospitality", the view and some peace and quiet.




WebsiteMore information under ... Link >




The  "Birkensee" (birch lake)The  "Birkensee" (birch lake)  frozen The Schwanbergsee






For more pictures of the labyrinth please go to the Photo Gallery under Schwanberg >

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