Rainbow Labyrinths

This type of labyrinth was used in Medieval Europe, particularly in Christian churches & cathedrals. It has four quadrants like the Roman labyrinth but with a more complex arrangement of folds so that following the path takes one on a more varied sequence around the circle than in the Roman one where each quadrant was completed individually in sequence.


ChartresChartres labyrinth spectrum

The most famous example still existent is a large floor mosaic in Chartres Cathedral in France so I based the path for my basic Medieval labyrinth on that one, albeit converted from a circular to a square shape.

Chartres with Narrow Path

Chartres labyrinth spectrum narrow path

A colouring variation with the path narrower than the wall. I consider this a more elegant colouring although less colourful.

Saffron Waldon

Saffron Waldon labyrinth spectrum

The turf maze at Saffron Waldon in the UK is of the Medieval type but with more circuits (1.5 times as many as in Chartres) and with the outer two rings bulging out into out decorative 'bastions' at each of its four corners. Once again I have converted it from circular to square for my version so that it can be coloured precisely on a computer screen.

Saffron Waldon with Narrow Path

Saffron Waldon labyrinth spectrum narrow path

Double Chartres (with embedded Menorah)

Chartres labyrinth double spectrum

Interestingly if one doubles the number of circuits in a Christian Chartres labyrinth (by increasing the number of repeats of the folding pattern from 2 to 4) and colour it with a spectrum with the hue changing uniformly along the path, the red parts form the shape of a Jewish menorah!

One could possibly make some some sensational conspiracy theory story out of this on the lines of Judaism at the heart of Christianity but I am sure it is just a coincidence. I have not come across any historical case of spectrum colouring a labyrinth and, anyway, an RGB spectrum is not a natural spectrum (the spectrum as seen by human colour vision does not fully loop back from blue to red so the right hand half of the menorah would be missing). It is also a bit contrived since I created the double Chartres labyrinth for this purpose after noticing a five branched figure in the coloured Saffron Waldon labyrinth which was similar to a menorah but lacked two branches.


Chartres labyrinth, square Chartres labyrinth square template
Saffron Waldon labyrinth, square Saffron Waldon labyrinth square template
Chartres labyrinth, double, square Chartres labyrinth double square template.

More Rainbow Labyrinths

For more, go up to the Rainbow Labyrinth Gallery home page.