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  • Day532

    Buddha Eden - Garden of Peace

    November 19, 2018 in Portugal ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    In 2001, wealthy Portuguese investor and art patron, José Berado, was so incensed by the Taliban governments destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan that he decided to create a large sculpture park on the grounds of his winery in order in pay homage to cultural and spiritual monuments.

    The result is Buddha Eden, 86 acres of manicured gardens interspersed with lakes, sculptures and contemporary art, surrounded by fields and vines, just an hour north of Lisbon.

    We visited on a bright, sunny day and were immediately impressed by the immense Buddha statues standing and reclining above the cork trees, the gold decoration glistening from afar. The topiary olive trees were a first for us but they worked perfectly alongside the water where koi carp came to investigate us.

    The garden has evolved over the years and now features the African Sculpture Art Garden dedicated to the Shona people of Zimbabwe who have been carving stone into works of art for over a thousand years. There are now over 200 works of African art on display through the winding bamboo walkways. This part of the garden is currently being expanded and we were able to see the fabulous recreations of some of Africa's wildlife in recycled metal. We look forward to seeing the final result when the landscaping is complete and the art is placed in situ.

    Part of Berado's own sculpture collection is also on display with contemporary art works from far afield.

    Over a bridge and around a corner and we were greeted by a cobalt blue replica of the terracotta army from China!

    Our visit culminated in the shop where we were able to buy some wine from the vineyard, although many others from Portugal's vineyards were available.

    We have seen lots of interesting places on our travels over the years but we both agreed that this was one of the best as it surprised us at every corner.
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