Sundials in Austria

Page 57

Tyrol, A-6600 Reutte, District Court



Design for the Open contest (26 KB)
      In fall 1998, an open contest for a sundial was arranged in the Internet in the course of the KulturZeit Reutte - Außerfern ‚98 - ZEITENWENDE. The aim of the competition was to design a very original, artistic and creative sundial. The practical usability of the design was considered significant. The jury consisted of members of the culture society and prominent individuals of the municipality Reutte. Everybody was eligible, except for the jury members. Cash prizes were distributed for the first three winners as well as other prizes for additional designs.
The architect and representative of the culture society 'HUANZA', graduate engineer Sigi Wacker from Reutte, had initiated this contest.

40 designs were submitted, 20 of which from foreign countries and 20 from Austria. The foreign designs were derived from USA, Mexico, Spain, France, Germany, and Italy.
The decision of the jury on November 22nd, 1998, was as follows :

1st prize: Sibylle VOGEL, Vienna/Karl SCHWARZINGER, Sistrans
2nd prize: Claude HARTMAN, Los Alamitos, California, USA
2 x 3rd prize: Eva DRAGOSITS, Reutte and Jean Michel ANSEL St. Georges-Le-Gaultier, France

10 additional prizes were distributed to other contest participants, some of whom are well-known in the gnomonic circle:

Rafael and Sebastian Soler, Palma de Mallorca, Martha A. Villegas and José C. Montez Jiménez Mexico, Yves Opizzo/Christian Tobin, Germany, Javier Moreno Bores, Madrid as well as the members of the Working Group of Sundials of the Austrian Astronomical Organization (GSA) Thomas Greß, Güssing, Simon and Roland Moroder, South Tyrol, and Gebhard Schatz, Imst.


The joint design of the artist Sibylle Vogel, Vienna and the technician Karl Schwarzinger, Sistrans, won the 1st price.

In 2000, that is, just at the turn of the century, the winning design was actually realized. Many obstacles had to be overcome. The District Court, a historical monument, is a listed building, so a number of approvals from Innsbruck and Vienna were required before work could start.

The design represents four sundials, indicating the development of the concept of time in the course of the last 2000 years. Symbols are assigned to the sundials of different eras, indicating the zeitgeist of the corresponding epoch. A plate, mounted in summer 2003 beneath the sundials, provides details :

Common gnomonic data :

Reutte, District Court (44 KB)j (latitude) = + 47° 29’ N
l (longitude) = - 10° 43’ O
Dial types : Wall sundials, flat
Declination of the wall (d) : d = - 34,1° (Southeast)
Artistry and craftsmanship : Painting
Construction date : 2000
Construction : Karl Schwarzinger, Sistrans, Tyrol
Artistic design : Sibylle Vogel, Vienna
Manufacturer : Students of the technical college for arts and crafts Elbigenalp (Supervision Ernst Hornstein)

Attention :
The four sundials demonstrate which time measures were used in the course of time in everyday life. They are not supposed to be authentic ancient or medieval sundials.




CANONICAL SUNDIAL (on the left above)

Canonical sundial
      (39 KB) Time display : The monks' prayer times from suns rise to sun set : prima, tertia, sexta, nona, vespera.
Artistic design and craftsmanship : Painting : Triangle with divine eye, fishes.
Gnomon : Horizontal pole
Record number : 3767

Excerpt from the plate :
Approximately as of the 7th century, sundials were used for determining prayer times in the monasteries. Orientation towards spirituality and mysticism, the medieval prayer clock stands for, is symbolized by the triangle with the divine eye and the fish, one of the oldest symbols of the Christianity.


Sundial for Temporary hours (42 KB) Time display : Temporary hours from I to XII
Artistic design and craftsmanship : Owl in front of rising or setting sun.
Gnomon : Horizontal pole.
Record number : 3766

Excerpt from the plate :
The sun itself is in the centre of the antique sundial. The owl and the geometric division of the dial express the esteem for science and wisdom in the Antique age. The so-called temporal hours were the civil time measure up to the emergence of the cogwheel watches (14th century). The time of day was divided into 12 equal parts from sunrise to sunset: 1st, 2nd, 3rd hour, etc.


SUNDIAL FOR THE TRUE LOCAL TIME (on the right above) :

Sundial for true local time (36 KB) Time display : Local time (from 5 o'clock in the morning until 4 o'clock in the afternoon)
Artistic design and craftsmanship : Snail.
Gnomon : Style
Record number : 3768

Excerpt from the plate :
The watch of the most recent centuries is adorned with the snail, representing a symbol of renewal. The introduction of the cogwheel watches resulted in a changeover to the so-called equinoctial hours.
The time from midnight to midnight was divided into 2 x 12 equally long hours. This time measure is called True Solar Time or local time. However, this time measure was not used any more as of the beginning of the 19th century, since it was uneven. An even Mean Solar Time finally replaced it.

SUNDIAL FOR OUR STANDARD TIME (Central European Time = MET and Summer Time = METS) (on the right below) :

Sundial for the Standard Time (MET/METS) 52 KB Time display : Standard time (Central European Time (MET) from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and daylight savings time from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.).
Date information : Date line of the zodiac.
Artistic design and craftsmanship : Globe (unfortunately, the signs of the zodiac are missing).
Gnomon : Style with ball as point shade for the date.
Record number : 3769

Excerpt from the plate :
Today's time measurement is shown by the modern Standard Time. As of the end of the 19th century, the whole globe uses Standard Time, based on the Middle Solar Time and bound to Standard Meridian. The analemma directly indicates Standard Time (MEZ) and daylight savings time. In winter, the analemma is read on the left above, in spring, on the one right below, in summer, on the left below, and in fall, on the right above.

Last update : 16. September 2003