Nexus Network Journal

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

Making a Difference

  • Lone Mogensen


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 


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Copyright information

© Kim Williams Books, Turin 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LundSweden

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