Kraljevo, 2001

Kraljevo (Serbia), the main town square, also known as “Milutin Square” (M. Tadić, M. Petrović, S. Blagojević, 2001)

(43° 43′ 25″ N,  20° 41′ 14″ E)

Fig. 1. The sundial at the main square in Kraljevo is one of the biggest in the world. Daily hours are shown by the shadow of the monument to a Serbian warrior popularly called Milutin (height: 15 meters)

Kraljevo-Trg-2Fig. 2. Sundial diagram



A horizontal sundial at the Serbian Warriors’ Square in Kraljevo (43° 43’25N, 20° 41’ 14”E), with a diameter D = 58 m, is one of the largest in Europe. The tiled square has a half-degree inclination so that the base of the sundial presents a truncated cone (D = 58 m, D1 = 17.5 m, a  = 179°). A monument to the Serbian Warrior (h = 14.43 m), popularly called by a traditional Serbian name “Milutin”, has the role of the gnomon. The author of the monument that is the symbol of Kraljevo was a Russian architect and sculptor Roman Nikolayevich Verhovskoy (Верховски Роман Николаевич, 1881-1968).

The monument was erected in 1932, whereas the sundial’s network was carved in the stone surface in 2001 (sundial calculation by M. Tadić, geodetic processing by S. Blagojević, architectural design by M. Petrović). The hour network consists of hour and date lines.

The hour lines have been cut for every hour in the range from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central European Summer Time (UT + 2 h). Daytime hours are read according to the position of the shadow’s end within the hour squares rather than the shadow’s direction, which is confusing for many observers. The end of the spear’s shadow of the Serbian Warrior disperses, which complicates the reading of the daytime hours additionally, especially when the reading is done from the vicinity.

There are four date lines: the summer solstice hyperbola, the equinox line, and the hyperbolas for October 7 and 14. The passage of the shadow’s end along the first hyperbola marks the first day of summer, along the equinox line – the first day of spring and autumn, along the hyperbola for October 7 – the day of the city of Kraljevo, and along the hyperbola for October 14 – the day when 1,736 civilians of Kraljevo were shot in retaliation in 1941 by the German occupying forces.

The square and the sundial were renovated at the end of 2018.