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18 19 Many of Alfred Watkins leys linked medieval churches and churchyards, and while he argued that ancient churches were built on earlier pagan sites this could not always be proven. But there was a tradition of straight alignment in the Middle Ages. In the Netherlands it was decreed by law that the dead had to be carried for burial along a specially designated road called a dodweg or death road. These were invariably dead straight. In Germany in the 10th and 11th centuries it was the deliberate practice to lay out towns to a sacred geometric scheme. A cathedral was built at the centre of the town and four churches were erected in the cardinal directions, forming a cross. Often the churches were linked to the cathedral by straight roads, and sometimes existing pagan sites were incorporated into these Christian alignments. At Speyer the axis of the cathedral continues as the main street or ceremonial way to the city gate and points towards the prominent Kalmit mountain. In England the cities of York and Cambridge boast impressive alignments of seven medieval churches see pages 4445. Opposite A church line and pilgrimage route in Zurich, Switzerland. Fraumunster, the bridge, Wasserkirche and the Grossmunster align with a blue stone centre of picture, the geomantic centre of the city. J Murer, 1576. mEdiEval aligNmENTS the siting of churches and cathedrals
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