Hans Pieler

Hans Pieler

Architectures of Time

Time set in stone: Hans Pieler’s fascinating photographs of observatories and temple buildings


  • March 2023   approx. CHF 65.00 | eur 58.00


Title Information

Edited by Hubertus von Amelunxen and Ali Ghandtschi. Photographs by Hans Pieler. Essays by Hubertus von Amelunxen, Ali Ghandtschi, and Hermann Kern

1st edition

, 2023

Texts English and German


approx. 240 pages, 140 color and b/w illustrations

24.5 x 32.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-03942-088-9


For thousands of years, people have built so-called calendar buildings: buildings that served as sundials for measuring time or were used for astronomical calculations. The most famous examples include the Pyramids of Giza, the Megalithic Temples of Malta, the Solarium Augusti on Rome’s Campus Martius, or the ancient observatories in Korea, Baghdad, Cairo, or Samarkand. The oldest known archeo-astronomical device dates back to around 6000 BC and was discovered only some twenty years ago at Nabta Playa in Egypt.

The German photographer Hans Pieler (1951-2012) dedicated himself comprehensively to these calendar buildings. In a wide-ranging photographic project spanning fifteen years, Pieler travelled the world in the search for such sites, studied them, and recorded many of them in striking photographs. His interest was focused both on the architecture and its particular coding through the respective culture as well as on the theory of photography, the allegorical image of the time.

Due to Pieler’s premature death in 2012, the fascinating project remained unfinished and unpublished. This book now for the first time features a selection of some 100 of the best shots from the artist’s estate. Complemented by illuminating essays, they form a unique photographic study of these architectures and their meaning and purpose as a reflection of time in stone.


Hubertus von Amelunxen is an art historian, editor, curator, photography critic, and professor of philosophy of photography and cultural studies. He served as president of Braunschweig University of Art and of the European Graduate School, based in Saas-Fee, Switzerland, and Valletta, Malta.


Ali Ghandtschi is a Berlin-based photographer and keeper of the estate of Hans Pieler.

Authors & Editors