Old Labyrinths

Viking & Sweden

TibbleSeed patternTibble is the largest classical type labyrinth that I know of. It is in central Sweden, has fifteen circuits, and a seed pattern of a Cross with three right angles and a dot in each quadrant.





Seed pattern

Lindbacke is also an old Classical Seven Circuit Labyrinth. It was clearly on the coastline at one time - you can still easily see the beach, but the land is still rising from the last Ice Age, and now, there is an entire city (Nykoping) between this labyrinth and the sea! The people in the labyrinth are Dan Mattsson and his son. Dan has a great web site on other Swedish prehistoric sites.




Seed pattern

There are more full-sized labyrinths in Sweden, Finland and Estonia than anywhere else in the world. Some were built by the Vikings; however, most of them were built by fishermen from about 1500 to 1900 CE who walked these labyrinths before going fishing to ensure a good wind and a good catch.

Galgeberget girls

Sometimes, labyrinths are meant to be run. These kids at Galgeberget began by walking, but they just had to go for it!

Galgeberget means "Gallows Hill." Criminals were hung here, just North of the walled Hanseatic port city of Visby on the island of Gotland, off the East coast of Sweden.


These two typical labyrinths below were walked by fishermen as recently as 1900 CE for good luck before going fishing in the Baltic. They were also used to keep the pesky trolls (Swedish leprechauns ) from going fishing with them. The fishermen would walk in slowly, with the trolls following, Then the fishermen would run out and jump in their boats. The trolls couldn't figure out how to get out fast enough, and would be left behind.

Borgen Seed pattern Norrholmskobbarna
Borgen   Norrholmskobbarna

What do you call the kind of fishing where you let a line go out behind a slowly moving boat?

Answer >>