A Serene Oasis: The Hidden Beauty of Water Labyrinths

Introduction: The Timeless Elegance of Finca Moratalla Gardens

Nestled in the embrace of an Andalusian farmhouse that once belonged to the Marquis of Viana, the Finca Moratalla Gardens unveil a hidden oasis of tranquility. Dating back to 1910-1915, these gardens were envisioned by the renowned J. C. N. Forestier, merging French style with the Neo-Seville aesthetics he pioneered. As we embark on this journey, we’ll explore the allure of these gardens, tracing the sunken boulingrins, whimsical motifs, and the enchanting water labyrinths that grace this timeless landscape.

**1. The Gardens’ Origin: A Fusion of French and Neo-Seville Styles

Image source: spain.info

Dive into the historical tapestry of Finca Moratalla Gardens, where the Marquis of Viana’s vision for a recreational retreat and hunting base became a reality. Designed by J. C. N. Forestier, the gardens seamlessly integrate French style into the Neo-Seville aesthetic, creating a harmonious blend that has stood the test of time. Discover the large avenue, sunken boulingrins, and the fanciful motifs that characterize this enchanting space.

**2. The Life and Legacy of Laurens Jan van der Post: The Memorial Garden in Philippolis

Image source: flickr.com

Shift gears from the lush landscapes of Finca Moratalla to the poignant beauty of the Laurens Jan van der Post Memorial Garden in Philippolis. Born in South Africa in 1906, van der Post led an extraordinary life, earning recognition from Prince Charles and a personal friendship with Carl Gustav Jung. This section delves into his remarkable journey, his impact on the world, and the creation of the Memorial Garden that pays tribute to his philosophy of “Meaning transfigures all.”

The Concept Behind the Memorial Garden: Life as a Journey

Step into the conceptual realm of the Laurens Jan van der Post Memorial Garden, where life is portrayed as a multi-dimensional journey. Uncover the symbolism of the straight line of columns representing the physical journey, the segment of a circle reflecting the journey of the soul, and the convergence of paths forming a gateway – the bridge between the two dimensions. Understand the intricate design that captures van der Post’s belief in the eternal processes of repentance, growth, and development.

The Gateway: Symbolism and Focal Point

Explore the heart of the Memorial Garden – the gateway. This section unveils the symbolism behind the convergence of paths, serving as the third and foremost dimension of the design. Positioned as the bridge or link between the physical and soulful journeys, the gateway becomes a moment capturing the essence of time between life and death. Here, suspended between heaven and earth, lies the urn with the remains of Laurens Jan van der Post. Delve into the intricate details of the orifice, emphasizing the East-West axis between Poding-Tse-Rolo and Philippolis.

Water Labyrinths: Harmonizing Nature and Symbolism

Among the various elements of the Laurens Jan van der Post Memorial Garden, water labyrinths emerge as poetic expressions of harmony. Explore the significance of water in purification and love, embodied by the central drinking fountain within the gateway. Learn how indigenous trees, the local Willow, and the Wild Olive, merge the Garden seamlessly into its natural surroundings, creating a serene oasis that reflects van der Post’s connection to the land.

Conclusion: Preserving Legacy, Nurturing Tranquility

In conclusion, the intertwining tales of Finca Moratalla Gardens and the Laurens Jan van der Post Memorial Garden paint a vivid picture of timeless elegance and profound symbolism. From the sunken boulingrins of Andalusian opulence to the conceptual brilliance of a memorial garden in Philippolis, these spaces invite reflection, contemplation, and a deep appreciation for the harmony between nature and human expression. As we explore the hidden beauty of water labyrinths, may we find inspiration in the serenity they offer, preserving legacies and nurturing tranquility for generations to come.

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Design, Art & Architecture

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