Nexus Network Journal

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 431–443 | Cite as

Making a Difference



In attempting to identify how the ground plans of medieval churches were initially staked out, it has been noted that the width of a given element (an aisle or a pier) equals the difference between two given distances in a square appearing in that same church; in a church plan constructed on a square module with the side 1 and the diagonal \({\sqrt{2}}\), several distances in that plan would be produced, such as \({\sqrt{2}-1}\) and \({1-\sqrt{2}/2}\), a fact that is rather well known. However, the difference between those two measurements has been used. How did the original constructor actually create that difference of differences onsite? The answer was found thanks to a plan of the Dalby church (ca. 1060) and a little cord which simply needed to be folded.


Church basilica narthex atrium royal mansion Scania Denmark Sweden Medieval architecture Euclidean geometry ad quadratum modules measuring systems descriptive geometry symbolism 


  1. Adam of Bremen [Adamus Bremensis]. 2000. Adam af Bremens krønike., Allan A. Lund, trans. Århus: Wormianum.Google Scholar
  2. Anjou, Sten. 1930. Heliga korsets kyrka i Dalby. Göteberg.Google Scholar
  3. Brögger, Anni. 2003. Egtvedpigens dans. Mammut.Google Scholar
  4. Cinthio Erik (2006) Minnen från Lund och Dalby. Art Factory, LundGoogle Scholar
  5. Frankl Paul (1945) The Secret of the Medieval Masons. The Art Bulletin 27(1): 46–60MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Haagensen Erling (1993) Bornholms mysterium. Bogans Forlag, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  7. Humpert, Klaus and Martin Schenk. 2001. Entdeckung der mittelalterischen Stadtplanung. Das Ende vom Mythos der ”gewachsenen Stadt”. Stuttgart: Theiss.Google Scholar
  8. Koch Mogens (1993) Geometri og bygningskunst. Christian Ejler, CopenhagenGoogle Scholar
  9. de Lubicz R. A. Schwaller (1985) The Egyptian Miracle: The Wisdom of the Temple. Inner Traditions, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. Mogensen Lone (1996) Himlasagor och stjärnmyter. Alfabeta, StockholmGoogle Scholar
  11. Mogensen, Lone. 2003. Kosmisk by. ärkebiskoparnas Lund. Malmö: Förlagshuset Nordens Grafiska Ab.Google Scholar
  12. Mogensen, Lone. 2010. Den berömda platsen. In Dalby kyrka. Om en plats i historien, Anita Larsson, ed. Lund: Historiska Media.Google Scholar
  13. Olcott William Tyler (1936) Star Lore of All Ages. G. P. Putnam’s & Sons, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. de Santillana Georgio, von Herta Dechend (1970) Hamlet’s Mill. Gambit, BostonGoogle Scholar
  15. Schneider, Peter. 2002. The Puzzle of the First Square in Ancient Egyptian Architecture. Pp. 207-221 in Nexus IV: Architecture and Mathematics, Kim Williams and Jose Francisco Rodrigues, eds. Fucecchio (Florence): Kim Williams Books.Google Scholar
  16. Weibull, Lauritz. 1923. Necrologium Lundense. Lund.Google Scholar
  17. Wu, Nancy, ed. 2002. Ad Quadratum. The Practical Application of Geometry in Medieval Architecture. Aldershot, UK and Burlington VT: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  18. Zenner, Marie-Thérèse. 2002. Villard de Honnecourt and Euclidean Geometry. Nexus Network Journal 4, 2 (Autumn 2002): 65-78.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LundSweden

Personalised recommendations