It's an extraordinary experience to get lost in a maze… but it is even better in this 10!
Labyrinths have a magical and timeless fascination: you can't help but feel an unconscious desire of challenging yourself and crossing them. Men have always been attracted by the thrill of getting lost and finding yourself again, and no place like a labyrinth is perfect for this. Is it maybe because of this that, ever since we’re children, we feel an urge to explore labyrinths, a physical and metaphysical exploration at the same time?
Labyrinths are found all around the world, and come in any size and kind. Literature and cinema, too, seem to be under their spell, ever since Greek mythology with the Knossos labyrinth, built by Daedalus to imprison the Minotaur. But we also have plenty of more recent examples: the labyrinth in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, riddled with traps and magical creatures; or, in movies, the legendary frozen labyrinth of the Overlook Hotel, where Jack Nicholson freezes to death in Kubrick’s “The Shining”, or the labyrinth were Laurence Olivier meets Michael Cain in Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s “Sleuth”. Sci-fi lovers certainly remember “Tron” or “The Cube”, where labyrinths are at the same time a setting and a character in the story.
If you are into labyrinths and mysteries, we have made a list of the 10 most famous labyrinths in the world: wonderful places to visit, discover, experience… and, hopefully, get out of!
1 - VILLA PISANI IN STRA' (VENICE)
A boxwood romantic labyrinth with a tower in the middle, where a masked lady was hiding. Cavaliers had to reach her to discover her identity. The labyrinth is open to the public from April to October.
2 - HORTA (BARCELONA)
Created in 1971 in the Horta-Guinardó district, this labyrinth is on the lower terrace of a romantic park. It is made of short cypresses, with an image of Theseus and Ariadne at the entrance, and a statue of Eros in the middle.
HAMPTON COURT MAZE (LONDON)
This labyrinth of hedges dates back to 1689: king William III is said to have ordered its construction. This trapezoid labyrinth has been mentioned by many writers, among them Defoe and Jerome K. Jerome, in their books.
4 - GLENDURGAN GARDEN MAZE (CORNWALL)
It is a part of the National Trust Natural Park, along the Herford River in the county of Cornwall. It was created between 1820 and 1830 by Sir Alfred Fox.
5 - ASHCOMBE MAZE (MELBOURNE)
It’s Australia’s oldest labyrinth, with hedges more than 3 meters high and 2 meters deep. It has a southern and a northern part, with different rules and logics: successfully negotiating the first one does not mean you can do the same with the second one.
6 - RUSSBOROUGH MAZE (IRELAND)
This labyrinth is in the garden of the Palladian villa of Russborough House, near the Blessington lakes (Wicklow County).
7 – LABYRINTH OF REIGNAC SUR INDRE (FRANCE)
Born out of a bet in 1996, it is the largest garden-labyrinth in the world, standing at more than 4 hectares. Thousands of visitors visit every year…. And get lost in this circular madness!
8 - CHÂTEAU DE VILLANDRY (FRANCE)
In the shade of the Villandry Castle you can find this very elegant labyrinth, a real must-see. The nearest city is Tours (only 55 minutes from Paris Montparnasse). From Tours, a taxi will take you here in 20 minutes.
9 - PINEAPPLE GARDEN MAZE (HAWAII)
A Maze longer than 3 miles, surrounded not by hedges or cypresses, but by exotic plants… with a giant drawing of a pineapple in the middle (the park is owned by the Dole plantations)!
10 - LONGLEAT MAZE (WILTSHIRE, SOMERSET)
In Wiltshire, in the beautiful Longleat House (few kilometres from Warminster), inside a Safari Park with more than 500 animals, you can find this incredible labyrinth.
P.S. if you get lost in a labyrinth and have no idea how to get out… remember the left-right rule!