The Position of Orwigsburg


When taking a first glance at the plan of Orwigsburg, it seems to be randomly tilted with no reference to any sort of cardinal direction. However it seems that based on me research, there is much more behind the 20 degree tilt East of North. Historically, many towns and settlements were “oriented” to the North. This determination could be made in a few ways, one of which was to use a compass. However, a compass’ North does not actually point to true north. It actually points to magnetic north. Interestingly, science tells us that the location of magnetic north has moved over time and continues to move to this day as it is part of a glacier in the arctic circle. Therefore, I hypothesize that the orientation of early towns has moved with magnetic north over time.

This can be seen in Orwigsburg as the rear projection of magnetic north at the time of Orwigsburg’s founding was indeed very close to 20 degrees East of North.

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