Sundials in
Berlin and around

Sundials in Charlottenburg and Pankow


Within the Pestalozzistr. located in Berlin-Charlottenburg there is a sundial at the second backyard of the public adults school (Volkshochschule - VHS), placed high at the brick fassade build at the beginning of the 20th century:

Sundial at the VHS in the Pestalozzistr., Charlottenburg, photo made with Pentax MZ-5 + FA70-200mm (188kB)

Sundial at the public adults school in the Pestalozzistr., Berlin-Charlottenburg, late Spring 2000

When at the first backyard, one have to take the right gate to get to the backyard with the sundial. The clock is a morning sundial, and in relation to this it has a text for propagating a living of getting up early: "Früh zu Bett und früh heraus bringt Frohsinn, Kraft und Geld ins Haus." standing for "If going to bed early and early getting up is done, it will bring happyness, strength, and wealth to one."

Normally, I'm not an early bird, but on this picture of mid April 2004 (when sundials show about the mean local time) is from 7h in the morning (8h MET DST), and it shows a true shadow of the gnonom. It shows also that the sundial is really one of the most exact sundials of Berlin and around, because it has also a set of time equation loops on its dial. The picture above from 2000 has a size of 740x512 Pixel and is referencing to itself.


Sundial at the Cauer school

Sundial at the Cauer basic school, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Fall 1997

The picture from the sundial at the Cauer school in Berlin-Charlottenburg was done at the same day and with the same camera as the pictures from the Einstein tower and the sundial at the Potsdam mill. The GIF is referencing to the picture done in winter 1995/96 (February 1996, 105kB GIF) with a Minox 35ML.


Sundial at the Savignyplatz

Sundial at the Savignyplatz, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Summer 1999

At the Savignyplatz in Berlin-Charlottenburg itself there is no sundial, but at the border of this place, divided by the Kantstr., there is a very old iron hardware dealer, where in a window showing to the Savignyplatz a nice mountable or simply placeable sundial is screened. In the summer 1999 it was standing in the window for at least a quarter year. It is not showing the time whatsoever, but it is nice to look at, anyways. The above GIF is referencing to a corresponding JPEG (65kB) from a photography in summer 1999 with the same Minox 35ML.

In summer 2004 this sundials was gone and there was another sundial to be found within the same window, a wall sundial (JPEG, 88kB) for a southside wall with a scale from 8 to 16h and the numbering 9 - 12 -3 in arabic digits. I've checked it lately (2008): there is no clock in the window anymore...


So, why showing a sundial which is nonexistant and didn't even showed the time? - Because: every sundial counts, and only about 100 meter away there is a working sundial near the Savignyplatz:

Sundial in the Grolmanstraße

Sundial in the Grolmanstraße, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Winter 2000

The Grolmanstraße is leading to the Savignyplatz, and on the facade of the house Grolmanstraße 53/54 is a somewhat large, painted sundial for noon and afternoon times. And although this sundial contains a no-no, identifying it as a sundial created or actualized after 1980, it shall be presented here. It has numbers for "summertime". The numbering starts at 11h a.m. local time (black numbers) / 12h noon local time+1 (eeek: white numbers ;-)) and ends with an impressive 9h p.m local time / 10h p.m. local time+1.

The otherwise simple sundial includes an inscription, saying "Alles braucht Zeit, Zeit verbraucht alles" for (somewhat like) "Everything needs time, time uses up everything".


A sundial close to the train station S-Bahnhof Eichkamp and close to the Grunewald still belongs to Charlottenburg:

photos made with Olympus E-100RS

Sundial Am Fliederbusch, Berlin-Charlottenburg, late Winter 2001/2002

The sundial above has an identical form as the armillarsphere at the public park Wilmersdorf. The only difference is the green paint. This sundial is not calogized, but its close to a catalogized, nearly non-functional sundial at the Eichkamp.

The form and the exact adjustment of this sundial at the Fliederbusch provides the possibility that this chronometer might be more correct than the two wall sundials in Potsdam-Babelsberg. And in fact this armillarsphere shows about 12:15h, while the camera recorded a time of 12:36h, when the above picture and the referenced detail picture (202kB 740x1000 JPEG) were made. When adding 12 to 13 minutes to the sundial-indicated time because of the time equation and adding 7 to 8 minutes for the correction of the two meridian degrees, which the sundial is away from the zero meridian of 15 degrees for MET, then, suddenly, the camera time and the corrected sundial time is within the same range...


Its questionable if sundials which could show the time but which don't because they are set up into the wrong direction, are dead or not. At least they are not working, and one of these non-functional sundials can be found at the Lambertstraße in Charlottenburg close to the station Jungfernheide:

The garden sundial at the Lambertstr., photo (110kB)

The Garden Sundial at the Lambertstraße, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Fall 2002

This sundial is installed within a garden in West-East direction, which means the pole is pointing towards sunset. This spherical sundial only needed a North-South alignment to work, and some error of the angle are adjustable by turning the armillarsphere at the basement (with its small figure). So this sundial could easily show the right time, but it doesn't. On the other hand the sundial also has the problem that there are buildings to the South, shadowing the sundial most of the year around noon.

The picture above is referencing to a broader view to the sundial and its surrounding (225kB JPEG), close to an autumn-colored railway dam along the city train and railway route at Jungfernheide (and don't get mislead by the Canadian flag: this picture is not from Canada). The detailed view above was also WFS picture of the week 35/03 (with explanations in German).


Another Berlin sundial in a private garden which also doesn't work anymore is shown by the next picture:

The garden sundial Goerdeler Damm 26, photo (37kB)

The Garden Sundial at the Goerdeler Damm, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Winter 2003/4

This is another case of taking the picture too late, because two or three years before this sundial was still working and was showing the time somewhat accurate, because the marker integrated into the wall of the garden house are obviously indiviually aligned for this not-exactly Southside wall. Now the gnonom coming out of the nave of the wheel is simply bend upwards without any care. Especially sad about this is, that only a few meters away there is another house with a similar wall sundial, which is set out of function in nearly the same way: there the gnonom is replaced by a holder for a flower pot.

The picture above is referencing to a view of the Goerdeler Damm of March 2004 (94kB JPEG) which might give a reason for the rosen carelessness of the garden owners in that area: since 2002 the formerly green stripe at the Westhafenkanal along the A100 is devastated to give the channel a huge width for possible cargo ships...


For not giving the wrong impression that in Berlin in general and in Charlottenburg for special there are mostly broken or badly aligned sundials, the following pictures shows a sundial, which not only made it through a renovation of the house it is applied on, but maybe even was renovated, too:

Sundial at the Laenderallee, photo (98kB)

The Sundial at the Länderallee, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Summer 2003

This sundial is not catalogized and was found by random in October 2002: You'll find it when being at the Heerstraße close to the city train station with the same name (Heerstraße) and then not going into the Grunewald towards Teufelsberg, but into the other direction into the Badenallee into the labyrinth of Neu-Westend. The house with the sundial is close to the first crossing, where the Badenallee and the Länderallee meet.

The picture is referencing to a closeup of the sundial (179kB JPEG), where you can also read the saying of it "Tempus vincit omnia" - "time conquers everything".


Sundial at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Gymnasium

Sundial at the school building of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Gymnasium, Berlin-Pankow, Winter 1997/8

The 568x386 142kByte GIF above shows a zoom (200mm focal length, photographed with a Pentax MZ-5 on Kodak Color Ultra 800) to the sundial at the back side of the school building of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Gymnasium (secondary school) and is referencing to a JPEG which shows the front side of the building at the Kissingenstr. The banner made of sheets in front of the balcony at the front side are remnants from the pupil and student protests against education fund cuts at the end of 1997 (where at the same year Berlin senate administrations moved within Berlin partly into expensive bureau buildings for a total cost of 500 Million DEM).

The creation time of the building is the early 20th century, so the school probably had a different name before, because the name giving Rosa Luxemburg, born 1871 in Poland, get famous in 1893 as coinitiator of the Polish socialistic party first. At the 1st World War she was imprisoned in Germany because of her anti war engagement. In 1918 together with Karl Liebknecht she initiated the German communist party. The day of their mudering was January the 15th, 1919.

In the neighborhood of the school there is a church, renovated in the late 1980ies. The funny thing about this church is that the tower clock has dials but no pointer...


Some sundials could be called "dead", if they could be identified as sundials, still, but if they have no chance to show any time. Even in Berlin and around there are some older ones of these relicts. One can be found at the Görschstraße at the wall of a school building at the beginning of the 20th century:

School at the Goerschstr. photo (76kB)

Sundial at the School at the Görschstraße, Berlin-Pankow, Spring 2001

This sundial is catalogized within the catalog of Sundials in Germany and Switzerland of 1994, collected by the German Society for Chronometry and is stated to be a relief with two sculptures and free ornaments made of artificial stone in a barock style with a creation year of 1912. And already at the time of the catalogization the pointer to show the time was missing, so that this sundial was and is out of function.

The picture above is referencing to a complete view of the school (106kB JPEG), where the sundial is still included at the left border of the image. The clock is placed about 12 meter above the ground below the gutter. At the time of the pictures in spring 2001 next to the school there was an older house with this relict at the outside wall...


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