Rhönrad-Denkmal Schönau (Schönau Gyrowheel Monument) – Schönau an der Brend, Germany - Atlas Obscura

Schönau an der Brend, Germany

Rhönrad-Denkmal Schönau (Schönau Gyrowheel Monument)

A memorial to a dizzying sports device and its creator. 

Rhönrad-Denkmal Schönau (Schönau Gyrowheel Monument) is a monument dedicated to a dizzying sports device and its creator. It was erected in 1976 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of a former water well in Schönau, and is dedicated to the invention of Otto Feick’s 1926 invention of the gyrowheel.

Feick was born in 1890 in Reichenbach, Germany. In 1921, he was imprisoned by the French military police for his activities in the defense against the detachment efforts of the Palatinate. During this imprisonment, he came up with the idea of inventing the gyrowheel, a gym wheel used for gymnastics.

After 1923, Feick had to flee from the French occupants and moved to Schönau an der Brend, where he founded a metal workshop, which manufactured toys and bedframes, among other things. Between 1924 and 1925, he built the first gyrowheels, patenting his design not long after. In August 1930, Feick organized the first international gyrowheel contest in the nearby spa town of Bad Kissingen.

This monument to his creation consists of a roughly 8.5-foot-high basalt cone topped by a gyrowheel. As the monument is located over a former water well, it also features a small fountain, which can result in interesting icicles during freezing temperatures.

Know Before You Go

The monument can be seen at each time around the year.

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