You are currently viewing Greek mythology, romanticism and neoclassicism in the Horta labyrinth.

Greek mythology, romanticism and neoclassicism in the Horta labyrinth.

  • Post category:PLACES

The stories of Ancient Greece come to life in the North of Barcelona. The Horta Labyrinth Park is the oldest garden in the city. A neoclassical plant paradise, designed at the end of the 18th century by the French landscaper Joseph Delvalet commissioned by the owner of the land, Joan Antoni Desvalls i d’Ardena, an illustrated aristocrat characterized by being a “son of his time”: interested in the arts, music, languages and with a refined taste for aesthetics and nature.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 9
MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 6

The jewel of the natural environment that forms the park, its greatest hallmark and what ultimately gives it its name, is its labyrinth. Located in the westernmost part of the garden, it is made up of 750 linear meters of cypresses cut into an exercise in topiary with perfectly straight lines.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 11

At its entrance, an inscription refers to the most famous labyrinth of Antiquity, that of Crete in which the Minotaur lived:

Come in, you will come out bluntly,

the maze is simple,

there is no need for the ball

which Ariadne gave to Theseus.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 2
MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 8

It thus refers to the myth of the Greek hero, who went from Athens to Crete to avoid the annual sacrifice of more young people at the hands of the monster son of Minos. Ariadne, also the daughter of Minos, fell in love with Theseus and offered him a ball of yarn, which served to leave him following the entrance route after killing the Minotaur.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 4

From the labyrinth created by the architect Daedalus, Horta’s also draws its trapezoidal double-edged ax shape (like the labrys of Ancient Greece). More in keeping with its time, the design stems from the Italian giardini d’amore, of Renaissance origin. Gardens that proposed some symbolic content tours, and that have inspired landscaping to this day: from Alice to the gardens of Versailles, great stories have the labyrinth as an active or passive protagonist.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 7

In the center of the maze is a statue of Eros, the Greek god of love, on a pedestal. It is reached through eight entrances, marked by cypresses cut in the shape of an arch.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 10
MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 12

The exit from the labyrinth opens onto a markedly Neoclassical style terrace over a small circular pond. Excavated in a support wall of the terrace, the cave of Eco is located.

Another Greek myth that takes shape in the park, is with an image of the nymph made in terracotta and facing the pond in which her lover Narcissus reflected, who fell in love with his reflection and fell drowning.

MYBARRIO Laberinto de Horta 5

At the ends of the terrace there are two separate temples also dedicated to characters from Greek mythology: one dedicated to Dánae, and another to Ariadna.

Text by Elena Minguela.

Analog pictures by MYBARRIO

SHARE THIS STORY

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email

#stories