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Stone Labyrinths


Throughout the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland, beyond the arctic circle to 71º N. and particularly around the shorelines of the Baltic Sea, stones and boulders were used to mark out the walls of the labyrinth. Over 500 examples are recorded. While their ages are the subject of much debate, a number have been confidently dated to the late medieval period, from the 13th century through to modern times, with a distinct peak during the 15th and 16th centuries. Stone labyrinths are also known from Iceland, Arctic Russia and Estonia; all of these outlying groups probably originated from Nordic settlers, fishing and trading contacts. The surviving early 18th century Troytown from the Scilly Islands, SW England is the only example south of latitude 55º N and quite unique. In recent years a number of historic examples have been restored and modern replicas are also popular throughout Scandinavia, at the coast, in parks and educational settings.


© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

St. Agnes, Scilly Islands, England

Valbypark, Copenhagen, Denmark


Bragegården, Vaasa, Finland

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

St. Martins, Scilly Islands, England

St. Martins, Scilly Islands, England

St. Columba's Bay, Iona, Scotland

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Valbypark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Valbypark, Copenhagen, Denmark

Valbypark, Copenhagen, Denmark

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Zaiatsky, Russia

Zaiatsky, Russia


Zaiatsky, Russia


© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Zaiatsky, Russia

Bolshoi Solovetski, Russia


Bolshoi Solovetski, Russia

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Bolshoi Solovetski, Russia

Kandalaksha, Russia


Umba, Russia

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Bragegården, Vaasa, Finland

Nyhamn Storlandet, Åland, Finland


Gregersö, Åland, Finland


© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Dritvik, Iceland


Lejre, Denmark


Lejre, Denmark


© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Tulstrup, Denmark

Tulstrup, Denmark


Visby, Gotland, Sweden

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

© Labyrinthos Photo Library

Sodra Hallarna, Gotland, Sweden

Nisseviken, Gotland, Sweden


Nyhamn, Gotland, Sweden


We also have a downloadable PDF guide to the stone labyrinths on the Swedish island of Gotland, one of the richest concentrations of these monuments  in Scandinavia, with information on recommended examples to visit, and a paper on the dating of stone labyrinths in northern Sweden by means of lichenometry and various other papers on this topic.


All of the images on this page (and many more besides) are available in high resolution digital formats for licensed reproduction. For details of reproduction fees and permission procedures, send us an e-mail with details of your planned usage and format requirements.




Fröjel, Gotland, Sweden

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