Trojeborgar

 

The Troy Towns

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The Scandinavian Troy Towns are very old classical labyrinths in the shape of stones laid out in free field.
In Germany we have still 4 historic labyrinths (Graitschen, Steigra, Hannover, Kaufbeuren), in England there are 8.
There are about 300 historic, passable stone labyrinths in Sweden, and therefore most of them worldwide. Maybe they are amongst the first in history that could be walked.
It is difficulty to say something sure about their age and meaning. Some are probably more than 2000 years old, many 500 years, and some only 100 years. But nevertheless all of them are older as the new labyrinths built worldwide in the last 20 to 30 years.
So we may look at the Scandinavian countries as the home of the labyrinth.

 

In the following you will see the Swedish labyrinths with the eyes of a surveyor and civil ingineer. I am interested, where exactly the labyrinths are situated (by GPS), how they are looking like nowadays, which is the pattern and geometric design behind them. Maybe one could call it the search for the ideal line.
Then I think about how to make one with simple measurement methods. Probably they have been built this way. All you need should be some pegs, a ruler, and a rope.

Is this to high or to simple, to extreme or irrelevant?

Form your own opnion.

 

The pattern

The pattern for a 7-paths labyrinth The pattern for a 11-paths labyrinth Encarving in the church of  Hablingbo (Gotland, Sweden) Encarving in the church of  Hablingbo (Gotland, Sweden) The pattern for a 11-paths labyrinth with rounder lines
Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5

There is at first the well-known pattern to develop the classical labyrinth (picture 1). This will be the 7-paths labyrinth.
If you add an angle in each section of the square, you will get the 11-paths labyrinth (picture 2). Still one more, totally 3 angles in one section results in a labyrinth with 15 paths. You can increase that to have more and more paths. Simply try to do that by yourself (with a pencil and a sheet of paper).
The pattern can be varied (picture 5) in the way how to  join the ends of the lines and the points, in which direction, with wath kind of graphic elements (a straight line or a curve), where to begin or even by leaving something out.
All this was known by the "Old Sweden" (pictures 3 and 4), and through the times very much different variations were built.
You may vary the pattern itself through a different number and arrangement of the angles (which may be round also), getting by this quite other labyrinths.

If you don't know how to make the whole labyrinth out of the pattern, please look at "In 9 steps" ... here >

 

Troy Towns with 7 circuits

Troy Town Lindbacke

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 1, 2007
The walls
7.5m x 8.8m
The path
108 m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Lindbacke lies at Nyköping in the province Södermanlands Län, and is presumably 2500 years old. This classical labyrinth is stretched very strong in the height, and a little bit fewer in the width. Through this the center is very much pointed.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Lindbacke >

 

Troy Town Majbacken in Petarve

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 3, 2007
The walls
13.5m x 14.0m
The path
174 m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Majbacken lies at Petarve (municipality of Garda) on the island of Gotland, and is approximately 150 years old. This classical labyrinth is stretched a little bit in the height and in the width. It looks somewhat angular.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Majbacken >

 

Troy Town Dibjärs

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawingg
Photo from
June 2, 2007
The walls
12.8m x 11.5m
The path
131 m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Dibjärs lies on the island of Gotland, and is approximately 100 years old. Unfortunately the labyrinth is totally overgrown, and hardly to see. There is need to do something if it shall survive.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Dibjärs >

 

Troy Town Nyhamn

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 4, 2007
The walls
7.5m x 6.8m
The path
77 m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Nyhamn lies on the island of Gotland, and is approximately 60 years old. The labyrinth is on the beach near to holiday homes, and is obviously visited and maintained by the people.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Nyhamn >

 

Troy Towns with 11 circuits

Troy Town Visby

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 2, 2007
The walls
18.9m x 17.7m
The path
326m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Visby lies on the island of Gotland something outside the old Hansa town Visby under the galgberget (gallows hill). This classical labyrinth with 11 circuits is presumably 2500 years old. It is well-known and often visited. One can see that through the years there have been made some short cuts and deviations inside the labyrinth. Curt Roslund (Sweden) sees the labyrinth built in units of the so-called megalithic yard. In the drawing this unit is used to construct the labyrinth.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Visby >

 

Troy Town Fröjel

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 3, 2007
The walls
10.4m x 9.2m
The path
164m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Fröjel lies on the island of Gotland inside the graveyard surrounding the church. The 11-paths labyrinth is presumably 2500 years old. In ancient times there was a place of worship for the goddess Freyia (therefore the name Fröjel). In 1974 the labyrinth has been restored.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Fröjel >

 

Troy Town Bunge

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 4, 2007
The walls
18.4m x 17.6m
The path
318m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Bunge lies on the island of Gotland on a meadow beside a crossroads near the church, and near the country museum. 100 years ago the labyrinth was laid out by the founders of the museum as a mirrored copy of the Troy Town Visby.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Bunge >

 

Troy Towns with 15 circuits

Troy Town Tibble

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
May 26, 2007
The walls
14.0m x 12.4m
The path
302m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Tibble lies east to the city of Västerås in the province Västmanlands Län, not far away from the grave fields of Badelunda. The 15-paths labyrinth is presumably at least 1500 years old. The entrance is from the west. John Kraft worked for months to uncover the stones sunken to the ground during the centuries. The ZDF (the Second German Television) reported about John Kraft and the Troy Towns in Sweden.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Tibble >

A video about John Kraft on the website of the ZDF ... Link >

 

 

Troy Town Rösaring

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
May 26, 2007
The walls
15.5m x 14.3m
The path
351m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Röaring lies in the forests near Låssa in the province Stockholms Län. The 15-paths labyrinth is presumably 2500 years old, and orientated from West to East. It would be very important to restore it, because it is in danger to dissapear.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Rösaring >

 

 

Troy Town Holmudden

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawingg
Photo from
June 4, 2007
The walls
15.2m x 13.0m
The path
305m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Holmudden lies on the small island Fårö in the north-east of Gotland not far away from a light house. 15-paths labyrinth is presumably very old. The ground plan shows the center lying under the upper two turning points, so the labyrinth looks   somewhat compressed.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Holmudden >

 

 

Troy Town Hallshuk

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 4, 2007
The walls
15.5m x 13.8m
The path
332m long
The drawing

The Troy Town Hallshuk lies above the steep coast of the Baltic Sea near to Hall on the island of Gotland. The classical labyrinth is presumably very old.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Hallshuk >

 

Troy Town with 19 circuits

Troy Town

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing

Photo from
June 2014

The walls
39.0m x 34.5m
The path
1054m long
The drawing

I don't know (till now) a Troy Town with 19 circuits. Who will help me? Or is building one? That would be great.
H. Lippuner © (credits for the photo) carved one in wood in June 2014.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

 

Other Troy Towns

Troy Town Landsort

Photo
The walls
The path
The drawing
Photo from
June 6, 2007
The walls
9.9m x 8.4m
The path
150m long
The drawing

This labyrinth lies on the small island of Landsort south of Nynäshamn, and has been restored through John Kraft in 1978. It is presumably very old, and shows a very special design, which one could call competition labyrinth. The central cross is opened, and offers the possibility to go either to the right or to the left. There is a tradition known with two boys running from this point to the center, where a girl awaited the first.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

More pictures in the photo gallery under Landsort >

 

Bypass Labyrinth

Outline Bo Stjernström
The walls
The path
The drawing
The outline
The walls
23.0m x 20.5m
The path
364m long
The drawing

About this labyrinth I only know from an article of John Kraft in Gotländskt Arkiv 1983. Two paths are connected in the middle in a way to make the center larger, and to lead the path above the central crossing point and beside the center; creating in this way a bypass.

Here the drawing as PDF-file >

 

Acknowledgements

On the ferry back from Gotland
The English experts

My special thanks goes to John Kraft, Anita and Bo Stjernström, whose research made it possible for me to make the drawings.
Further thanks goes to Kimberly and Jeff Saward, who brought the Swedish Troy Towns home to me and others.

 

A dream

The best way to conserve a labyrinth is to walk it. And this practice and this tradition seems to get lost in Sweden.

The Troy Town Rösaring is in need of restoration.

What would it mean if the Scandinavian Troy Towns would be inscribed on the UNESCO's list of the World Heritage Sites?

 

 

 

 

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