Botanical Garden Mazes in the World
There are hundreds of botanical garden mazes in the world and these innovative, fun, living puzzles provide excitement and challenge while participants try to find their way to the end, hopefully without getting lost! There are mazes which date back to ancient times and one of the world's first mazes of more modern times was the labyrinth at the Palace of Versailles. Although this was eventually removed and the area re-planted with trees, since then other creative and beautiful mazes have been planted around the world, from the United Kingdom to the United States. Set in lush gardens, these mazes feature unique designs. Let's learn a bit more about botanical garden mazes.
What is the history behind mazes?
Ever since the first recorded labyrinth was created in Egypt, in the 5th century B.C. people have been fascinated by the design and creation of both living, and constructed mazes. The word "maze" is an ancient word derived from the Latin word meaning "delirium" or "delusion". The word "labyrinth" may date as far back as the 14th century, and means a "complicated passage" One of the most famous ancient labyrinths is the Karnak Temple Labyrinth at Luxor in Egypt. Images of mazes and labyrinths have been found on ancient artifacts from the Spanish Bronze Age, in Ireland, North Africa, India and America.
What are the popular hedge maze designs?
There are about as many hedge maze designs as there are people to conceive them but they tend to fall into one of two main categories. They are often geometric in design, featuring right angles that confuse and delight, or may be circular in shape. There are also more fluid creative designs featuring faces or animal shapes. Labyrinths and mazes are not, strictly speaking, the same thing. Labyrinths are usually unicursal where there is just one path to the finish, while mazes are multicursal where many paths can be taken and there are numerous dead-ends.
Why were garden mazes created?
Some of the world's first garden mazes were built to entertain royalty and they were very popular activities at parties and festivals. Ancient mystics used them to force the mind into a calm state. The meandering pathways of a labyrinth are thought to create a new way of connecting to the world. Being confronted with many different paths and directions is challenging and as such a maze is first and foremost a problem-solving activity that activates the left-brain. As such, it may help people confront obstacles in a new way. Now, mazes are considered part of heritage and can bring communities together. The Traquair maze holds an annual Easter egg hunt every year, and saw the children of the local primary school help plant trees on the 25th anniversary.
Where are some of the famous botanical mazes located?
The Ashcombe Maze and Lavender Gardens is Australia's oldest hedge maze. The maze features a circular design created from roses and lavender with the main hedge planted with over 1000 Cypress trees. The Green Man Maze in Wales was created in the shape of the world's best-known pagan symbol over a grid of sacred geometry and features beech and yew-lined paths, secret gardens, pools, lavender fields and a tunnel. At the very end of the maze path is a special wishing stone and flower garden. The UK's oldest maze can be found in Hampton Court Palace gardens. Access to the maze is included in the admission price of Hampton Palace.
What is the most challenging maze?
The Villa Pisani maze in Italy is considered by some to be the most challenging maze in the world. It is said to have stymied Napoleon! It's also rumoured that Mussolini and Hitler wouldn't even attempt it. Designed in 1720 with nine circular paths, there are dead ends and very tall hedges to navigate before reaching the centre, climbing a spiral staircase to a tower and feasting your eyes on a view of the palazzo, botanic gardens and canal. It was designed by Girolamo Frigimelica. A statue of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and arts can be found at the top of the tower.
What is the longest hedge maze in the world?
Longleat Hedge Maze in the UK, meanders for an amazing 2.7km and is the world's longest hedge maze. Designed in 1757 by Lancelot Brown it is made up of 16,000 yew trees and surrounded by a large expanse of historic botanical gardens. There are several other mazes on the property including the Love Labyrinth, Sun Maze, Lunar Labyrinth, and King Arthur's maze. In Hawaii you can find the Pineapple Garden Maze that was named the largest maze in the world in 2008, stretching over two acres. To compare prices for flights to these and other botanical mazes, visit BudgetAir.
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