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The pavement labyrinth at Chartres cathedral is a place of modern pilgrimage. Tourists from all over the world visit the cathedral, more or less well informed. Many of them leave the great gothic building without ever having knowingly set eyes on the pavement labyrinth.
Can you tell me the exact measurements of the Chartres labyrinth?
I have measured the labyrinth several times. In reading the books of John James, who has studied the cathedral in great detail, I find that our measurements coincide quite well. For some reason, in the literature about Chartres, there are a number of measurements that are not accurate. I can't explain why. In more than one instance people have said that the labyrinth is oval shaped and not round, but that is probably due to looking at the photo that was taken from above, but at a slight angle. Here are the measurements that I use. These are all averages, as there is some variation within the labyrinth itself. There is also the matter of mortar between the stones. What do we do with that? For the most part, we have averaged it out.
Diameter from tip of lunation to tip of lunation: 42' 3 3/8" -- 12.885 meters
Diameter to outside of 12th circle (no lunation): 40' 4 5/8" -- 12.455 meters
Diameter of center circle (to the outside of the line): 10' 1 1/4" -- 3,144 mm
Diameter of the petal (to outside of the line): 40 1/8" -- 1,038 mm
Path width: 13 5/8" to 13 3/4" -- 353.4 mm in theory, 347 mm actual
Line width: Varies from 3" to 3 1/4" -- 77 mm
Lunation circles (inside diameter): 11"to- 11 1/4"
Lunation total width: 13 3/4" -- 353.4 in theory, 351 actual
Height of the tooth, including the 12th circle: 11 1/8" to 11 1/4"
Length of path: 858' -- 261.55 meters
These measurements can also be closely rounded to form proportions that are good for any size labyrinth. Note that the center is almost exactly one-fourth the diameter of the labyrinth, for example, and the petals are one-third the diameter of the center. If the measurements aren't exact, please realize that the mortar measures from 1/4" to 1/2" in most places, but as much as 3/4" to 1" in a few instances. Adjusting for the mortar one could subtract a little from one number and add more to the corresponding number. Hence, there is quite a bit of leeway possible.