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Goseck circle and Goseck castle (Schloss Goseck)

N 5111.895', E 1151.879'
2020-02-08
http://www.sonnenobservatorium-goseck.info/
Our rating: 7.20
Overall rating:
The Goseck Circle is one of the oldest solar observatories in the world. Good place for outdoor walking, especially with children.

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

The circle was discovered in 1991 during aerial photography of the area. Radiocarbon analysis showed that it was built around 4900 BC and used for at least 200 years. The most important find of archaeologists was two holes in the ramparts, which proved the researchers that they found a solar observatory.

Best seen from above

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

The holes indicate the points of sunrise and sunset during the winter solstice. This is the day when the sun is the lowest above the horizon, and the day, accordingly, is the shortest. For the first time, the date of the winter solstice was fixed in the calendar by Julius Caesar, setting it on December 25. However, due to the fact that the year is not exactly 365 days, this date gradually shifted and in the 16th century it moved as much as 12 days.

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII set a new date - December 22, and nowadays the solstice fluctuates within a day from this date.

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

The famous Stonehenge in the UK is a similar solar observatory, but it was built 3,500 years later. In general, such structures are not unique. Hundreds of them were found in Germany, Austria and Croatia, but the vast majority are not of scientific interest and scientists have focused on the oldest.

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

Since the Neolithic era (9500 BC) these days were very important for people. There was always hunger in winter and it was important for people to understand whether they could survive the winter and whether they had enough supplies. But there was no such thing as a calendar. So they were guided by special days, which they calculated using the length of the shadow of a stick or tree.

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

Another curious fact is that it was the winter solstice that caused the idea of the birth of the gods. Since the sun starts rising upper, then God has been reborn, everything is simple.

Goseck circle
Goseck circle Yuriy Buriak

In addition to the circle itself, there is also a castle in Goseck, founded by the Archbishop of Bremen in the 11th century. There you can find an information center about the Goseck circle with the information described in this article.

Goseck castle
Goseck castle Yuriy Buriak


Goseck castle
Goseck castle Yuriy Buriak


Goseck castle
Goseck castle Yuriy Buriak


Goseck castle
Goseck castle Yuriy Buriak


Goseck castle
Goseck castle Yuriy Buriak

Getting there: parking near the circle N 51 12.013 E 11 52.263, then 600 meters on foot. The nearest bus stop is Kochs Garten, Goseck, then 900 meters on foot. You can also walk from the circle to the castle, it's about 1,400 meters. Parking for a couple of cars near the castle N 51 11.567 E 11 52.558. The bus stop closest to the castle is Bergschlößchen, Goseck. Use bahn.de.
Tags, Germany: unusual buildings

Tags, all countries: unusual buildings
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