Sundials in
Berlin and around

Sundials around Berlin

Sundial in Prerow

Sundial in Prerow, peninsula Zingst, spring 1997 - Photo: J. Rattey

Berlin is not really full of sundials. The "capital city of solar energy" has only a few of these chronometer - maybe because at the beginning and end of the daylight savings time they are so difficult to adjust...

But also in the former socialistic country around one has to search hard until finding a sundial. - The two-hours-with-a-train-distant Baltic Sea has sometimes the second name "Bathtub of Berlin", therefore also the coast of the Baltic Sea could be included into the closer surroundings of Berlin.

From this "surroundings" the picture above was made, it is out of the town Prerow on the peninsula Zingst in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The sundial is standing at the coordinates 54°25' North and 12°33' East in comparison to Berlin with ~52°30' North and ~13°20' East. The sundial has to have a difference of the alignment to earth of two degree to its Berlin comrades. Buts this could hardly be seen on the picture.

Waren at the Müritz is placed somewhat directly in the North of Berlin, about one and a half hour away by train heading Rostock. The Müritz is the largest inner lake of Germany and belongs to the Mecklenburgian Sea Plate. At the Strandstraße of Waren there is a house with a sundial, but the gnonom of the sundial is totally wrong adjusted.

photo: digital

Sundial at the Strandstraße, Waren (Müritz), Spring 2007, photos: -- jd --

The camera taking this sundial was a Olympus E-100RS.

The following sundial is to find in Falkensee, a village West of Berlin. It is a standard wall sundial for walls heading South. This dial in the Fahrländer Straße is not working because the gnonom is missing.

photos: digital

Sundial at the Fahrländer Straße, Falkensee, Summer 2003, photos: W. Tost
The pictures of this dial were made with a Olympus C3030Z.

Dennewitz sundial in detail

Sundial at the church in Dennewitz, fall 1997

The image above shows the sundial at the main nave of the church in Dennewitz. The fassade implies that the church may be as old or older as the Berlin central churches St. Petri or St. Nicolai and may be build in the 12th or 13th century. In the partly wooden tower there is also a conventional clock, shown in the complete view (136kB JPEG) referenced by the GIF. On the sundial the words are engraved:

Aus der Zeit zur Ewigkeit

standing for

From time to eternity.

The place where the church in Dennewitz is build guarantees that the church wasn't always that pleasant looking: Dennewitz at the border between Prussia and Saxon besides of Groß-Görschen and Bautsen was the battlefield of the spring campaigns 1813 between the Napoleonic and the Prussian-Silesian armies starting the liberation wars of 1813-1815, followed by the Battle of the Nations at Leipsic in October 1813. In and around Dennewitz some information tables about the history are placed covering the moving past. Today Dennewitz is a town within the federal state Brandenburg near the border to Saxon-Anhalt.

Dahme city hall with tower

City hall with sundial in Dahme (Mark), fall 1997

Dahme (Mark) is a small town in Brandenburg around 50 kilometer south of the Berlin city border and lies between Jüterbog und Luckau. The town Dahme (Mark) is connected with Berlin by the brook Dahme, which flows into the Spree near Berlin Köpenick. As an association for remembering the Berliner has the saying:

"In Köpenick mit ach und weh,
stürzt sich die Dahme in die Spree."

which stands for "In Köpenick with ah and woe, the Dahme (lady) falls into the Spree." The picture above is showing the 1849 built city hall with its sundial on a cold, drizzling fall day at an October weekend, where anyone else had stayed in their houses instead of looking for sundials...

The GIF is referencing to a detail image of the sundial (64kBytes JPEG) seen in a different angle.

Fürstenwalde in Brandenburg is a town around 50km east of Berlin half way to Frankfurt/Oder. It has its origins from the same (13th) century as Berlin and like in Berlin the Spree runs through Fürstenwalde.

City hall of Fürstenwalde, summer 1998

The city hall of Fürstenwalde was built in 1511, but the clock tower is from 1624. At the sundial of the clock tower the year 1806 is drawn, so at least the sundial might be created at that date. There was a postcard (31kB JPEG) showing the city hall with its original tower and sundial at the turn of the 19th century. After the destructions in 1945 the city hall and the nearby dome had to be rebuilt. It was renovated after the fall of the wall.

The 88kB GIF above is referencing to a closer view to the sundial (36kB JPEG). Both images were made with a Pentax MZ-5 in summer 1998. You can reach Fürstenwalde by the regional express train to Cottbus RE1/RE160. Until March 1999 starting from any Berlin city train station you needed an ABC zone ticket. After this a distance tariff was introduced where Fürstenwalde is not included into the three Berlin zones anymore. You need a special ticket which is not available on any underground station automats, you can get them only on S train stations or at the DB service offices.

Havelberg post card (176kB)

Havelberg view, town ditch with dome, post card, beginning 20th century

Havelberg is a district capital at the northeast part of Saxon-Anhalt near the border to Brandenburg, around 150 kilometer northwestof Berlin. Before the times of the GDR Havelberg was a part of Brandenburg. The town is located at the Havel river shortly before it runs into the Elbe. Havelberg has older roots even than Berlin, because in Havelberg there is a roman gothic dome which was erected from 1170 to 1411 and which is somewhat famous for its architecture.

The sundial within the inner town on an older house is somewhat lesser known. It is shown by the image below, made in summer 1999.

Sundial in Havelberg (85kB)

Sundial in Havelberg, photo: W. Tost

Besides of its dome, a water tower, its river banks and some other sightseeing objects this town has at least two other sundials, where one of them is to find at the secondary school at the Weinberg at the Pestalozzistr. The image below is showing this sundial as visited in the summer 2000 and is referencing to a second more total view.

Sundial within Havelberg (129kB)

Sundial at the secondary school at the Weinberg in Havelberg

Dahlewitz sundial photo (72kB)

Sundials at the basic and secondary school in Dahlewitz, Autumn 1999

A photo showing a nearly non-existing-anymore sundial is presented above. These are the remnants of a sundial at the backyard of the combined basic and secondary school in Dahlewitz. This school is a plate building typical for the former GDR, and it homes an observatory at its rooftop. The building is around half a kilometer away from the main train station of this town. This school and public observatory even has an own web site (only in German). At that site you'll might find that the sundial was renovated in late Spring 2002 and also got a second sundial as a neighbour installed at the big observatory dome behind the school.

Dahlewitz is located south of Berlin within the district Teltow-Fläming. It is the place of birth of Mark Brandis (Nikolai von Michalewski), author of a thirty volume German SF novel series "Weltraumpartisanen" who died in the year 2000. - From Berlin, Dahlewitz is reachable by train directly by regional express Dresden-Strahlsund (RE5), stopping at Alexanderplatz or Ostbahnhof, or by S-Bahn to Blankenfelde (S2) and then by regional train to Wünsdorf-Waldstadt (RB24).

Dahlewitz train station photo (76kB)

Dahlewitz train station, Autumn 1999

Southeast of Berlin is the town Lübben, a somewhat large town within the center of the Spreewald. It has a historical church, some remainders of medieval fortifications, and several sundials. One of these sundials is located on a (former) central market place called "Am Mark". The following reworked photo is from Summer 2000:

photos: Pentax MZ-5

Sundial "Am Mark" in Lübben, Summer 2000

A citizen of Lübben will probably recognize instantly on this photo which architectural urban crime was removed electronicall from this picture. (There was a really disgusting supermarket on the right side of the picture of which the outside "trolleys" are still visible.) This easy to find sundial is a metal work of 1981 (and with this out of the time of the former GDR), where the roman digits are stated to be exchangable, so that this sundial can be switched between standard time and "summer time".

The picture is referencing to another unedited view (146kB 512x740 pixel JPEG) of this sundial with the already mentioned church in the background.

South of Berlin within the Teltow area there is Zossen (at Berlin). If driving through this town one might pass the following house with sundial:

photos: Pentax MZ-5

Sundial at the Bahnhofsstraße in Zossen, Summer 2000

This chronometer might or might not be catalogized. If so, it might be built with the house in 1932, but then the catalogization might happened after the recent renovation, because the catalog of sundials in Germany and Switzerland is not mentioning the sayings at the dial: "Carpe Diem" - and the catalog is normally accurate about this. The picture above is referencing to a close up view of the sundial (80kB 720x440 pixel JPEG).

Strausberg and Rüdersdorf are two towns East of Berlin within the Brandenburg area Marchian Switzerland ("Märkische Schweiz"). One town is reachable directly by city train, the other only by bus or car.

Strausberg is probably known because of its sluice, its historical tram, and the Strausberger See, for which it is a popular recreation destination for Berlin citizen. Somewhat lesser known is the Strausberg sundial at the Wallstraße, which is placed on the former area of the old city wall. Remainders of this wall is also visible in the background of the picture of the sundial:

photo: Minolta Vectis 25

Sundial in Strausberg, Summer 2000, photo: DD

Strausberg can be reached directly from Berlin with the city train (S-Bahn) line 5.

A bit more East of Berlin than Strausberg there is the small village of Waldsieversdorf which homes another working sundial:

photo: digital

Sundial in Waldsieversdorf, Spring 2010, photos: Martin van der Veer

The pictures above were taken by Martin van der Veer with a Nikon D80. The sundial has an own homepage (in German) where more information about it can be found.

Rüdersdorf at Berlin might be know for its building materials industry and open-cast working. The town has a thematical museums park about this topic, where there might be a sundial from the year 1826. There is also a German website (maximizing your browser window... sorry for that - there is also a website doing the same) where more information might be to find... or not.

Rüdersdorf has another historical sundial which might had suffered because of its public accessability, bearing some signs of vandalism:

photo: Pentax MZ-5 photo: Pentax MZ-5
photo: Pentax MZ-5
photo: Pentax MZ-5

Sundial in Rüdersdorf at Berlin, Summer 2000

It is a three-sided pillar of 1810, where it has a guidepost at the Northern side of the pillar, a daytime sundial at the Southeast side of the pillar, and a morning sundial at the Western side of the pillar. The pillar is placed at a court behind the Kulturhaus (cultural house) of Rüdersdorf, which you see on the photo of the morning sundial. The gnonom of the daytime sundial is lost. Some graffiti on the pillar were removed electronical on these pictures.

Finally Rüdersdorf is also known for a barlay soup "Rüdersdorfer Art" made of pickled ribs, barlay, an onion, potatoes, soup-greens, extra celery and extra parsley, a native hot-pot, which is added to the "Berliner Küche" (Berlin cuisine).

Rheinsberg at the Rhin is a former health resort within the Northwest of Berlin, which might be known by the novel of 1912 called "Rheinsberg" by Kurt Tucholski. Within the time of the former GDR it was emphasized with pleasure in Western encyclopedias that there was a nuclear energy reactor installed next to this town. - The following collage is referencing to 10 pictures from a grey and rainy day in Rheinsberg, where the church of Rheinsberg has a historically interesting sundial:

photos made with Pentax MZ-5

Collage to the Sundial at the Church of Rheinsberg, Summer/Fall 2000

Rheinsberg in Brandenburg is North of Neuruppin and can be reached by the regional train from Berlin-Charlottenburg directly within 2 1/4 hours.

One sundial which can be used with much lesser effort according to the correction of the indicated time for getting the political valid time is the sundial at a restaurant in front of the rock in Oybin. This is one of the oldest buildings in Oybin, a town within the Zittauer Gebirge:


Sundial in Oybin, Saxon, Summer 2002, photos: DD

The walls of the architectural protected house have their origins out of time of the monks, but the sundial is, according to the catalog of sundials, from the 19th century. The clock and the house were renovated 1981 for the last time.

The reason why this sundial is much easier to read is because its located at the longitude of about 14 degrees 45 minutes East, and with this its only one minute away from the Central European zero meridian of 15 degrees. This one remaining minute is probably within the range of indication correctness, and so this clock only has to be corrected by the value of the equation of time and... by the "daylight savings time" for getting the mean local summer time.

The picture above is referencing on a detail of a second photo, where the inscription of the sundial can be read: "Die dunklen Stunden zähl ich nicht" (The dark hours I don't count).

To the jd --