Sundials in
Berlin and around

The Sundial at the Falkplatz next to the Mauerpark

The Falkplatz in Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg is spanned by the Gleimstr. and the Schwedter Str. - In 1995 on this place a big sundial was built:

Sundial near the wall park, photo (82kB)

Falkplatz Sundial, Winter 1999/2000

Details of the Falkplatz sundial
The original reasoning event for the construction of the sundial was the UNO climate conference 1995 in Berlin. The base stone of the wall spiral was layed at a festivity at the equinox of March 1995. Until June 1995 the main construction was completed, and at another festivity at the summer solstice the gnonom and the totem ("Lebensbaum") was installed by Berlin fire fighters.

Details of the Falkplatz sundial
The nearly spiral sundial was planned as a "living sundial" and initiated by the groups of the "Netzwerk Klimagipfel 95", mainly by the journalist T. Römer with the "Verein zur Rettung des Regenwaldes und Naturschutzgebietes La Macarena", and the "Netzwerk Spiel/Kultur" at the Prenzlauer Berg.

Details of the Falkplatz sundial
The covering clay stones were made out of three metric tons of white and brown clay, formed by children of about 50 institutions like school classes and kindergardens of the closer region. The stones were burned and installed in the summer of 1995. Partly they are constructed out of different materials, partly especially formed or ornamented. Six detail images are showing some examples: (White near Red - MC?, Smiley with Heart Eyes, Sun-Moon-Star, Red Broken and Patterned, Rain pits and Stone Hearts in Clay, Red near White - Clay Fish and Sunshine over the Sea).

In September 1995 the sundial was completed. It was called "living sundial" because it was planned to replace the clay stones regulary when they are destroyed and to add some green to the outside wall of the clock. In December 1995 the clock got a special price of the local environmental administration.

Falkplatz sundial, photo (157kB)

Sundial at the Wall park, Summer 2000

An allsky panorama of the Falkplatz with the "Living Sundial" rests within the archive of the Wilhelm Foerster Observatory with planetarium at the Insulaner in Berlin after a lecture last summer. (By nice and persistent request it might be possible the get a presentation of this panorama.)


This sundial was deconstructed at the end of 2002 or at the beginning of 2003:

The dead living sundial at the Mauerpark, photo (61kB)

The dead "Living Sundial" at the Mauerpark, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg, Spring 2003

sundial detail
sundial detail
The sundial spiral was originally built in March 1995 with 20000 used stones and hundreds of red and white burned clay stones. In June 1995 the gnonom (the pointer) was made out of a tree stem and also a "Lebensbaum" - a totem in front of the sundial - was erected.

Before March 2003 both totem and gnonom were removed, where the gnonom was totally digged out and the totem only was cut down. Motivations for this might had been "security reasons", because the sundial was close to a childrens playground and to climb onto the gnonom and falling down onto the wall might had been dangerous. So from this sundial only the wall spiral and the clay stones remained. A planned greening of the outside of the spiral never happened.

The photo above of the dead "Living Sundial" is referencing to a larger version of same photo (228kB JPEG), while the two detail pictures of some of the clay stones of the wall spiral are referencing to different pictures (like on the page of the Falkplatz sundial). It might be the future of this sundial that it will never be reconstructed and will be removed someday.

Next to the Falkplatz is the Max-Schmeling-Halle sports hall, the Siegfried-Jahn-Stadion football and athletics stadium, and the Gleim tunnel - connected railway bridges over the Gleimstr. forming a tunnel which was closed at the times of the wall (Mauer). The Falkplatz was near the former wall area, where today a park is remembering the past, therefore called Mauerpark.

To the jd --